Infomotions, Inc.A commentary on Hegel's logic. / McTaggart, John McTaggart Ellis, 1866-1925

Author: McTaggart, John McTaggart Ellis, 1866-1925
Title: A commentary on Hegel's logic.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press 1910
Tag(s): hegel, georg wilhelm friedrich, 1770-1831. wissenschaft der logik; logic; hegel; category; quantum; substratum; categories; syllogism; transition; dialectic; plurality; unity; essence; quantity; identity; greater logic; conception; judgment; surface; quality; infinite; hegel says; notion; dialectic process
Contributor(s): Eric Lease Morgan (Infomotions, Inc.)
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Cambridge : 
at the University Press 


2.7 H 3 

BF rji: S^jl/A' AUTHOR 



/CHAPTERS II, III, VIII, IX, and X of this book are 
^^ based on articles which appeared in Mind (Oct. 1902; 
April, 1904; April and July, 1897; Jan. 1899; and April, 
1900). In many cases, however, both the interpretation and 
the criticism as now published are materially different from 
the earlier versions. 

I am much indebted to my wife for her aid in reading 
this book in proof, and for many valuable suggestions, as 
also to Mr Bertrand Russell for his kindness in reading 
Chapter III, and for giving me much assistance in the 
treatment of the categories of Quantity. I owe much, too, 
to the criticisms and suggestions of the pupils to whom 
I have lectured on Hegel's philosophy. 

Trinity College, Cambridge. 
January^ 1910. 




1. Object of this book 1 

2. Previous writers on the same subject ..... 1 

3. Relative authority of the Greater Logic and the Encyclopaedia 2 

4. Terminology adopted in this book 3 

5. Errors of Hegel concerning the dialectic method. He exaggerates 

the objectivity of the dialectic process .... 5 

6. And also its comprehensiveness 6 

7. Errors in particular transitions — sometimes caused by his 

failure to coniine the process to the existent ... 7 

8. Sometimes by his desire to include conceptions of importance 

in science .......... 8 

9. Sometimes by confusion between categories and the concrete 

states after which they are named ..... 8 

10. Errors in Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic (a) as to the tran- 

scendental character of the process 10 

11. (6) As to the change in method in the later categories . . 11 

12. The same continued 11 

13. (c) As to the relation between a Synthesis and the next Thesis 12 






14. Divisions of Quality 

15. /. Being. A. Being 

16. B. nothing 

17. C. Becoming 

18. Hegel's conception of Becoming does not involve change . 

19. But the name suggests change, and is therefore misleading 

20. Alterations in names of categories suggested . 



21. II. Being Determinate. A. Being Determinate as Such 
(a) Being Determinate in General 
{b) Quality ...... 

(c) Something ...... 

Are the divisions of A. superfluous ? . 
Is the introduction of Plurahty justified ? 

B. Finitude. (a) Something and an Other 

(b) Determination, Modification, and Limit 

(c) Finitude 

The divisions within {h) are unjustified 
The Ought and the Barrier in Finitude . 

C. Infinity ...... 

(a) Infinity in General .... 
(6) Reciprocal Determination of the Finite and 
(c) Affirmative Infinity .... 
The treatment of Finitude and Infinity in the 

The same continued 

///. Being for Self. A. Being for Self as Such. 

Determinate and Being for Self . 

Being for One ..... 

One. The divisions of A. are unjustified 

The One and the Many, (a) The One in Itself 

The One and the Void 

Many 0?ies 

Repulsion and Attraction, (a) Exclusio7i 

(b) The one One of Attraction . 

(c) The Relation of Repulsion and Attraction 
Transition to Quantity .... 







f the One 









47. Divisions of Quantity 42 

48. Hegel's knowledge of mathematics. The bearing of this ques- 

tion on the dialectic ........ 43 

49. /. (Undivided) Quantity. A. Pure Quantity .... 45 

50. B. Continuous and Discrete Magnitude 46 

51. Defects of this category 47 

52. C. Limitation of Quantity ....... 48 

53. //. Quantum. A. Number ....... 49 

54. Possibly all the Ones taken together are finite in number. 

Hegel ignores this possibility, but it does not affect his 

argument .......... 49 

55. The relation of Quantum and Limit 50 

56. B. Extensive and Intensive Quantum, (a) Their Difference . 51 



57. (b) Identity/ of Extensive and Intensive Magnitude. Are these 

on a level, or is Intensive Magnitude higher? 

58. The latter view seems more probable 

59. The instability of Quanta 

60. (c) The Alteration of Quantum 

61. C. The Qxiantitative Infinity, (a) Its Notion 

62. (jb) The Quantitative Infinite Progress 

63. An objection discussed .... 

64. (c) The Infinity of Quantum 

65. Relations between Quality and Quantity . 

66. ///. The Quantitative Ratio 

67. A. The Direct Ratio 

68. B. The Inverse Ratio .... 

69. C. The Ratio of Powers .... 

70. The transition to C. is unjustifiable . 

71. And the whole of ///. is unjustifiable for more general reasons 

72. Suggested reconstruction 

73. The treatment of Quantity in the Encyclopaedia 





74. Divisions of Measure .... 

75. Criticism of the transition from Quantity 

76. The same continued ..... 

77. Possible reasons for the error . 

78. /. The Specific Quantity. A. The Specific Quantum 

79. B. Specifying Measure, (a) The Ride 

80. (b) The Specifying Measure 

81. Here a new conception of Measure is introduced illegitimately 

82. (c) Relation of both Sides as Qualities 

83. C. Being for Self in Measure . 

84. //. Real Measure. A. The Relation of Stable 

85. (a) Union of two Measures 

86. {b) Measure as a Series of Measure Relations 

87. (c) Elective Affinity ..... 

88. B. Nodal Line of Measure Relations. Here we return to the 

conception of Measure abandoned in /. B. (6) . 

89. And do so by an illegitimate transition .... 

90. C. The Measureless 

91. ///. The Becoming of Essence. A. The Absolute Indifference 

92. B. Indifference as Inverse Relation of its Factors 

93. C. Transition to Essence 

94. The treatment of Measure in the Encyclopaedia 










J 00. 
1 OS. 

1 Oi). 

I 10. 



I I 1. 




1 -JO. 

1 -:(!. 




DivisioiiM of Essence .,...,. 
'rr;ui.siti()ii to Essence ....... 

Tlie name Appearance may be misleading 

What is meant by the immediacy of Appearance ? 

'V\\o. name EH.sciice is ambiguous ..... 

/. Shoio. A. T/te Essential and Unessential . 

Is the retention of Plurahty at this point justifiable ? 

The same continued 

Ci'itieism of the transition to the next category 

li. Sliow 

C. Ri'Jlection. (a) Positing Reflection .... 

{h) External Reflection . 

((■) Determining Reflection ...... 

//. The Essentialities or Determinations of Reflection. A 

Jdcntiti/ ......... 

Hegel's treatment of the Law of Identity 

But this Law is not specially connected with Hegel's category 

of Identity ......... 

li. Difference, (a) Absolute Difference .... 

(/)) Varicti/ ......... 

Suggested alteration of argument 

Hegel's treatment of Qualities and Relations requires enlarge 

mont .......... 

Hegel's treatment of the Principle of the Identity of In 


((•) Opposition ........ 

Criticism of the category of Opposition .... 

C. Contradiction 

Suggested reconstruction of this category 

Hogel's treatment of the Law of Excluded Middle . 

///. (iroinid. A. Absolute Ground, {a) Form a/id Essence 

^b) Form and Matter ....... 

(o) Forn) and Content 

B. Determined Ground, (a) Formal Ground 

(b) Real Ground 

The possibility of sophistry in Gi-ound .... 
yc) Complete Ground 

C. Condition, {a) The Relatireh/ Unconditioned . 

{b) The Absolutely Unconditioned 

i^c'^ Transition of the Fact into E.risfence .... 
Sus2;ixo^tod rooonstruotion of (i round .... 










Divi.sions of Appearance 

/. Existence ........ 

A. The Thing audits Properties .... 

(a) The Thing in itself and Existence 

(b) Property/ 

(c) The Reciprocal Action of Things 

B. The Constitution of the Thing out of Matters 

C. The Dissolution of the Thing .... 
Criticism of the categories of Existence . 
//. Appearance. A . The Law of Appearance 

B. The World of Appearance and the World in itself 

C. The Dissolution of Appearance .... 
///. Essential Relation. A. The Relation of Whole 


The same continued 

B. The Relation of Force and its Manifestation, (a 
Conditionedness of Force ..... 

(6) The Solicitation of Force 

(c) The Infinity of Force ..... 

Criticism of the divisions oi B. 

Suggested reconstruction 

C. The Relation of Inner and Outer 
Note on the Difference between the Greater Logic and the 

Encyclopaedia in the first two divisions of Essence 
Table of the categories according to the Greater Logic and 

the Encyclopaedia ........ 

Account of the differences 

The same continued . . 











155. Divisions of Actuahty 

156. 7. The Absolute. A. The Exposition of the Absolute 

157. Criticism of the conception of the Absolute . 

158. B. The Absolute Attribute 

159. Criticism of this category 

160. C. The. Modus of the Absolute .... 






161. //. Actuality 162 

162. A. Contingency, or Formal Actuality, Possibility, and Necessity 162 

163. The same continued 164 

164. B. Relative Xecessity, or Real Actuality, Possibility, and 

Necessity 165 

165. C. Absolute Necessity . . . . . . . .167 

166. ///. The Absolute Relation. A. The Relation of Substantiality 168 

167. Suggested reconstruction of the argument by which Substance 

is reached 169 

168. Hegel's remarks on the philosophy of Spinoza . . .170 

169. B. The Relation of Causality, (a) Formal Causality . . 171 

170. The transition to Formal Causality is not justifiable . . 172 

171. (6) Determined Causality . . . . . . .173 

172. Hegel imduly ignores the differences between Formal and 

Determined Causality 175 

173. He attempts to remove one such difference by asserting the 

identity of Cause and Effect. Criticism of this . . 176 

174. The same continued 177 

175. The same continued 179 

176. The treatment of Causality in the £'«cj/c?o/>aec/ia . . .180 

177. The Infinite Series of Causes and Effects .... 180 

178. (c) Action and Reaction ........ 181 

179. C. Reciprocity 182 

180. The infinity ascribed by Hegel to Reciprocity . . . 183 

181. The treatment of Actuality in the Encyclopaedia . . . 184 



182. Divisions of Subjectivity ...... 

183. The significance of the nomenclature in Subjectivity 

184. The same continued 

185. Hegel's assertion that Freedom is the Truth of Necessity 

186. /. The Notion. A. The Universal Notion 

187. Suggested reconstruction of the argument 

188. The same continued ....... 

189. B. The Particular Notion 

190. The same continued 

191. C. The Individual 

192. //. The Judgment. A . The Judgment of Inherence, (a) The 

Positive Judgment ........ 





193. Transition to the next category 

194. Criticism of the transition 

195. (6) The Negative Judgment ...... 

196. (c) The Infinite Judgment 

197. The same continued . 

198. B. The Judgment of Suhsumption ..... 

199. The same continued . 

200. (a) The Singidar Judgment ...... 

201. (6) The Particular Judgment 

202. Transition to the next category 

203. (c) The Universal Judgment ...... 

204. C. The Judgment of Necessity ..... 

205. (a) The Categorical Judgment 

206. (6) The Hypothetical Judgment 

207. (c) The Disjunctive Judgment ...... 

208. Transition to the next category 

209. D. The Judgment of the Notion, (a) The Assertoric Judgmen 

210. (6) The Problematic Judgment ..... 

211. (c) The Apodictic Judgment 

212. Criticism of the Judgment of the Notion 

213. The same continued 

214. ///. The Syllogism. A. The Qualitative Syllogism, (a) First 

Figure ......... 

215. The first defect found by Hegel in this category 

216. The second defect 

217. ib) Second Figure 

218. (c) Third Figure 

219. {d) Fourth Figure 

220. Criticism of the Second and Third Figures 

221. Suggested reconstruction ...... 

222. B. The Syllogism of Reflection, (a) The Syllogism of Allness 

223. (6) The Syllogism of Induction 

224. (c) The Syllogism of Analogy 

225. Transition to the next category 

226. Criticism of the Syllogism of Reflection .... 

227. C. The Syllogism of Necessity, (a) The Categorical Syllogism 

228. (6) The Hypothetical Syllogism 

229. (c) The Disjunctive Syllogism 

230. The same continued 

231. Hegel's conception of the Self-Diflferentiating Notion 














































232. Divisions of Objectivity 241 

233. Significance of the term Objectivity 242 

234. Transition from Subjectivity 242 

235. Proposed amendment of the transition ..... 243 

236. /. Mechanism. A. The Mechanical Object .... 244 

237. B. The Mechanical Process 246 

238. .(a) The Formal Mechanical Process 247 

239. (6) The Real Mechanical Process 247 

240. (c) The Product of the Mechanical Process .... 249 

241. C. The Absolute Mechanism, (a) The Centre . . . 250 

242. The example given by Hegel is misleading .... 252 

243. The transition to Chemism in the Encyclopaedia . . . 252 

244. (b) The Laio 254 

245. (c) Transition from Mechanism 254 

246. II. Chemism. A. The Chemical Object 255 

247. B. The Chemiecd Process 255 

248. Transition to the next category 256 

249. Criticism of this transition 256 

250. C. Transition from Chemism 257 

251. Is there more than one Chemical Notion ? . . . . 258 

252. III. Teleology 259 

253. The same continued 260 

254. The same continued 261 

255. The terms End and Means are misleading .... 263 

256. Are there more Ends than one 1 264 

257. A. The Subjective End 265 

258. B. The Means . 265 

259. The first argument for the transition to the next category . 267 

260. The second argument for the transition 268 

261. C. The Realised End 269 





262. Divisions of the Idea 

263. Transition from Objectivity .... 

264. /. Life 

265. Hegel's view that there are many Organisms . 

266. His view that the Body is an inadequate manifestation of 

the Seele 

267. A. The Living Individual 

268. B. The Life-Process 

269. C. The Kind . 

270. Criticism of this category 

271. The inadequacy of the manifestation is shown in Propagation 

and Death . 

272. Which also jjrovide the escape from this inadequacy 

273. The same continued 

274. The same continued 

275. //. The Idea of Cognition 

276. The same continued 

277. Criticism of this category 

278. The same continued 

279. A. The Idea of the True 

280. The same continued 

281. (a) Analytic Cognition. (6) Synthetic Cognition. Criticism 

of these categories 

282. The transition to the Idea of the Good can be made without 


283. The transition further considered 

284. B. The Idea of the Good 

285. Criticism of this category 

286. Hegel regards this category as higher than the Idea of the True 

287. And as involving the complete goodness of the universe 

288. Transition to the Absolute Idea 

289. The same continued 

290. ///. The Absohcte Idea . 

291. The same continued 

292. The same continued 
SQS. The same continued 

294. This is the final category. The proof of this 

295. Is the Absolute Idea exemplified in any concrete state k 

to us ? 

296. Conclusion 












1. In this book I propose to give a critical account of the 
various transitions by which Hegel passes from the category 
of Being to the category of the Absolute Idea. I shall not 
describe or criticise the method which he employs, nor his 
applications of the results of the dialectic to the facts of 
experience. With these subjects I have dealt, to the best of 
my ability, in my Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic and Studies 
in Hegelian Cosmology. I hope that my present work may 
serve two purposes — that those students of Hegel who have 
read the Greater Logic may find it useful as a commentary, 
and that it may serve as an account of the Greater Logic for 
those who are prevented by want of time or ignorance of 
German from reading the original. 

2. The dialectic process of the Logic is the one absolutely 
essential element in Hegel's system. If we accepted this and 
rejected everything else that Hegel has written, we should 
have a system of philosophy, not indeed absolutely complete, 
but stable so far as it reached, and reaching to conclusions 
of the highest importance. On the other hand, if we reject 
the dialectic process which leads to the Absolute Idea, all the 
rest of the system is destroyed, since Hegel depends entirely, in 
all the rest of the system, on the results obtained in the Logic. 

Yet the detail of the Logic occupies a very small part of 
the numerous commentaries and criticisms on Hegel's philo- 
sophy. They are almost entirely devoted to general discussions 
of the dialectic method, or to questions as to the application 
of the results of the Logic to the facts of experience. The 

M'^T. 1 


most elaborate of the expositions of Hegel's system — that 
which Kuno Fischer gives in his History of Philosophy — allows 
to the detail of the Logic less than one-ninth of its space. 

There are, however, two admirable accounts of the Logic, 
category by category — Hegel's Logic, by Professor Hibben of 
Princeton, and La Logique de Hegel, by the late M. Georges 
Noel, which is less known than its merits deserve. I owe 
much to these commentators, but my object is rather different 
from theirs. I propose, in my exposition, to give frequent 
references to the passages in Hegel's text on which I base 
my account, and to quote freely when necessary. When the 
meaning of the text is doubtful, I shall not only give the view 
which I think preferable, but shall discuss the claims of other 
interpretations. I shall also add a certain amount of criticism 
to my exposition. 

Professor Hibben follows the Encyclopaedia in his exposition, 
while M. Noel follows the Greater Logic^. I shall adopt the 
Greater Logic as my text, but shall note and discuss any point 
in which the Encyclojmedia differs from it. 

3. The Greater Logic and the Encyclopaedia agree much 

more than they differ, but they do differ on variouS important 

points. When this happens, the advantage is not always 

on the same side, but is, I think, more often on the side 

of the Encyclopaedia. But, whichever is the more correct, there 

is no doubt that the Greater Logic is much clearer. The Logic 

of the Encyclopaedia is excessively condensed. The treatment 

of the categories, as distinct from preliminary questions, is, 

in the Encyclopaedia, only one-fourth as long as it is in the 

Greater Logic. Some room is gained in the Encyclopaedia by 

the elimination of certain sub-divisions, and also by the omission 

^ By the Greater Logic I mean the work published in 1812 — 1816. Hegel 
himself calls this simply the Logic, but I use the adjective to distinguish it from 
the Logic which forms part of the Encyclopaedia. My references to the Greater 
Logic are to the pages of the complete edition of Hegel's works, in which the 
Greater Logic occupies Vols. 3, 4 and 5 (quoted as G. L. i., G. L. ii., G. L. iii.) 
published in 1833 — 1834. My references to the Encyclopaedia are to Sections, 
and in quoting from it I have generally, though not always, availed myself of 
Professor Wallace's valuable translation. When, in expounding the Greater 
Logic, I give references both to the Greater Logic and to the Encyclopaedia, the 
latter merely indicates that it is in this Section of the Encyclopaedia that the 
corresponding point is treated, and not that the treatment is the same as in the 
Greater Logic. 


of the notes on mathematics which fill a disproportionate space 
in the Greater Logic, but in spite of this the categories in the 
Encyclopaedia are in some parts of the process crowded so 
closely together, that the arguments for the transition from the 
one to the other almost disappear. 

With regard to the relative authority of the two Logics, as 
expressing Hegel's final views, nothing very decisive can be said. 
The last edition of the Logic of the Encyclopaedia published by 
Hegel appeared in 1830. In 1831 he published a second 
edition of the Doctrine of Being in the Greater Logic. His 
death prevented him from carrying this edition further. It 
would seem, therefore, as if the Greater Logic was the best 
authority for the Doctrine of Being, and the Encyclopaedia for 
the Doctrines of Essence and the Notion. 

But many of the points in the Doctrine of Being in which the 
first edition of the Greater Logic differs from the Encyclopaedia 
are repeated in the second edition. We can scarcely suppose 
that in each of these cases Hegel had abandoned by 1831 the 
view he held in 1830, and returned to the view he held in 1812. 
And thus it seems impossible to attach any superior authority 
to the second edition of the Greater Logic. But if, to the end, 
he regarded the changes in the Encyclopaedia as improvements, 
at any rate he cannot have regarded them as very important, 
since he did not alter the second edition of the Greater Logic to 
correspond with then. 

The actual language, however, of the Greater Logic has 
a much greater authority than much of the language of the 
Encyclopaedia. For every word of the Greater Logic was 
written and published by Hegel himself. But in the Encyclo- 
paedia a part of the supplementary matter added, with the 
title of Zusatz, to many of the Sections, is compiled from 
students' notes or recollections of what Hegel had said in 
his lectures ^ 

4. A few points about terminology must be mentioned. 
The whole course of the dialectic forms one example of the 
dialectic rhythm, with Being as Thesis, Essence as Antithesis, 
and Notion as Synthesis. Each of these has again the same 

1 Cp. the editor's Preface to the Logic of the Encyclopaedia in Vol. 6 of the 
Collected Works. 



moments of Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis within it, and so 
on till the final sub-divisions are reached, the process of division 
being carried much further in some parts of the dialectic than 
in others. 

Hegel has no special name for the system formed of a 
Thesis, Antithesis, and Synthesis. A name, however, is con- 
venient, and I propose to speak of such a system as a triad. 
Being, Essence, and Notion I shall call primary categories ; 
their immediate divisions {e.g. Quality, Quantity, and Measure) 
I shall call secondary, and so on with smaller sub-divisions. 

One difficulty of terminology arises in writing about Hegel 
from the fact that he uses so many terms as names of particular 
categories that none are left to be used more generally. For 
example, to what does the whole dialectic process apply ? 
According to one view, the subject-matter of the process is what 
is commonly called Being or Reality. According to another 
view it is what is commonly called Existence. But Hegel has 
already appropriated these names. Being and Existence are the 
names of particular categories in the process, while Reality, 
according to Hegel, is a term only applicable after a certain 
stage in the process has been reached. {G. L. i. 120; Enc. 91.) 

Again, after a few categories we reach the result, which 
persists through the rest of the process, that the subject-matter 
under consideration is a differentiated unity. It would be very 
convenient to have a name by which to designate these diffe- 
rentiations, irrespective of the category under which we were 
viewing them. But here, again, every name is already appro- 
priated. One, Thing, Part, Substance, Individual, Object — 
each of these is used by Hegel to indicate such a differentiation 
as seen under some one particular category. To find a name for 
more general use is not easy. 

To meet this difficulty so far as possible, I have always used 
a capital initial when a term indicates one of Hegel's categories, 
and a small initial when the term is applied more generally. 
I have distinguished in the same way between those of Hegel's 
categories which are named after concrete facts, and the concrete 
facts after which they are named — e.g. I have written Life when 
I meant Hegel's category, and life when I meant the biological 


5. With regard to the Logic as a whole, I believe, for 
reasons which I have explained elsewhere \ that the dialectic 
method used by Hegel is valid — that, if the categories do stand 
to one another in the relations in which he asserts them to 
stand, he is entitled to pass from one to another in the way in 
which he does pass. And I believe that in many cases this 
condition is fulfilled, and that therefore, in these cases, the 
actual transitions which he makes are justified. 

The points on which I should differ from Hegel are as 
follows. In the first place I think that he falls into serious 
errors in his attempts to apply the results gained by the Logic 
in the interpretation of particular concrete facts. In the second 
place I think that he did not in all respects completely 
understand the nature of that dialectic relation between 
ideas which he had discovered. And in the third place there 
seem to be certain errors which vitiate particular stages in the 

I have considered the first of these points elsewhere^. With 
regard to the second there are two fundamental questions as to 
which I believe that Hegel to some extent misunderstood the 
nature of the dialectic process. I think that he exaggerated 
both its objectivity and its comprehensiveness. 

By his exaggeration of its objectivity, I mean that he did not 
merely hold that the dialectic process conducted us to a valid 
result, and that the lower categories of the process were con- 
tained, so far as they were true, in the Absolute Idea which 
synthesised them. So much he was justified in holding, but he 
went further. There is no doubt, I think, that he held that if 
that chain of categories, which was given by him in the Logic, 
was correct at all, it was not only a valid way of reaching the 
Absolute Idea, but the only valid way. He would have held it 
to be a priori impossible that two valid chains of dialectic 
argument, each starting from the category of Being, should each 
lead up to the Absolute Idea, so that the goal could be attained 
equally well by following either of them. And be would also 
have rejected the possibility of alternative routes over smaller 

^ Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, Chapters I. to IV., but cp. below, Sections 

2 op. cit. Chapter VII. 


intervals — the possibility, e.g., of passing from the beginning of 
Quantity to the beginning of Essence by two alternative dialectic 

Now I do not assert that such alternative routes are to be 
found, but I cannot see that their possibility can be disproved. 
And, if there were such alternatives, I do not think that the 
dialectic process would lose its value or significance. In re- 
jecting the possibility of equally valid alternatives, it seems to 
me that Hegel exaggerated the objectivity of the process as 
expounded by himself. 

6. His exaggeration of the comprehensiveness of the 
dialectic lies in the fact that, having secured, as he rightly 
believed, an absolute starting point for the dialectic process in 
the category of Being, he assumed that this was not only the 
absolute starting point of the dialectic, but of all philosophy. 
No preliminary discussion was required, except negative criticism 
designed to remove the errors of previous thinkers, and to 
prevent misunderstandings. Nothing in philosophy was logically 
prior to the dialectic process. 

Here again there seems to be an error. For example, what 
is the subject-matter to which the whole dialectic applies ? It 
is, I think, clear that Hegel regards it as applying to all reality, 
in the widest sense of the term. But, when we examine various 
stages of the process it becomes clear that he is only speaking of 
what is existent, and that his results do not apply, and were not 
meant to apply, to what is held by some philosophers to be real 
but not existent — for example, propositions, the terms of pro- 
positions, and possibilities^ The apparent inconsistency is 
removed if we hold, as I believe we should, that Hegel, like 
some later philosophers, held nothing to be real but the 
existent. I do not mean that he ever asserted this explicitly. 
Probably, indeed, the question was never definitely considered 
by him, if we may judge from the fact that his terminology 
affords no means of stating it. (Reality and Existence, as used 
by Hegel, refer, as w^as mentioned above, to particular stages of 
the dialectic.) But it seems to me that the view that nothing 

^ I had not realised this distinction with sufiBcient clearness when I wrote 
my Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, but what is said there is not inconsistent 
with my present view. Cp. Sections 17, 18, and 79 of that work. 


is real but the existent is one which harmonises with his general 
position, and that he would have asserted it if confronted with J 
the problem. 

But the view that nothing but the existent is real, whether 
right or wrons', is one which cannot be assumed without dis- 
cussion. It is a difficult and disputed point, and Hegel had no 
right to take a dialectic of existence as equivalent to a dialectic^ 
of reality until the question had been carefully considered. . 
Moreover, the absence of such consideration leaves Hegel's 
position, not only unjustified but also rather vague. Generally, 
as I have said, the categories seem clearly intended to apply 
to the existent only, but there are some steps in which he 
seems to change his position unconsciously, and to take the 
categories as applicable to some other reality in addition to 
the existent. 

There is another point on which preliminary discussion was 
needed and is not given. Hegel's arguments assume that, when 
a thing stands in any relation to another thing, the fact that it 
stands in that relation is one of its qualities. From this it 
follows that when the relation of one thing to another changes, 
there is a change in the qualities of-each of them, and therefore 
in the nature of each of them. Again, it follows that two 
things which stand in different relations to a third thing cannot 
have exactly similar natures, and on this a defence might be 
based for the doctrine of the Identity of Indiscernibles. 

This is a doctrine of the greatest importance, and by no 
means universally accepted. It is possible to conceive a dialectic 
process which should contain a proof of it, but, so far as I can 
see, Hegel's dialectic does not contain any such proof, direct or 
implied. In that case he had no right to use the doctrine in 
the dialectic unless it had been proved in some preliminary dis- 
cussion, and he does not give such a discussion. 

7. Passing to the errors in certain particular transitions, 
there are some, I think, which cannot be traced to any general 
cause, but are simply isolated failures. But other errors appear 
to be due to certain general causes. In the first place some 
errors have, I believe, been caused by Hegel's failure to realise 
explicitly that his dialectic is a dialectic of the existent only, 
and by his treatment of some categories as applying also to 


some non-existent reality. This is unjustifiable, for he would 
have no right to pass in this way from the smaller field to the 
more extensive, even if the more extensive field were in being. 
And, as I have said, it seems implied in his general treatment 
that there is no such wider field, but that existence is co-exten- 
sive with reality, in which case any attempt to apply the 
dialectic beyond existence is obviously mistaken. 

8. Another general cause of error may be found in a desire 
to introduce into the dialectic process as many as possible of the 
conceptions which are fundamentally important in the various 
sciences. It is, doubtless, a fortunate circumstance when a con- 
ception which is important in this way does occupy a place 
among the categories of the dialectic. For then the dialectic 
will assure us that such a conception is neither completely valid 
of reality, nor completely devoid of validity — an important 
result. Moreover, its place in the dialectic process shows us 
how much, and in what respects, its validity falls short of the 
validity of the Absolute Idea, and whether it is more or less 
valid than those other conceptions which are also categories of 
the dialectic. And this also may be of much importance. 

But there is no reason to believe that this fortunate state of 
things will always occur. We have no right to anticipate that 
every category of the dialectic will be a conception of funda- 
mental importance in one or more of the particular sciences. 
Nor have we any right to anticipate that every conception of 
fundamental importance in a science will be a category of the 
dialectic. In several cases I think that Hegel has distorted the 
course of his argument, and made an invalid transition, moved 
by an unconscious desire to bring into the process some concep- 
tion of great scientific importance \ 

9. This is connected with another source of error, which 
arises from Hegel's practice of designating many of his cate- 
gories by the names of concrete states which are known to us 
by empirical experience. Thus we find a category of Attraction 

1 It has lately been objected to Hegel's treatment of Quantity that it does 
not include the conception of Series, which is of such great importance in 
mathematics. If the dialectic process can go from Being to the Absolute Idea 
without passing through the conception of Series, then the omission of that 
conception is no defect in the dialectic. But this truth is obscured by Hegel's 
- anxiety to bring all important scientific conceptions into the dialectic process. 


and Repulsion, and categories of Force, Mechanism, Chemism, 
Life, and Cognition^. 

This practice does not necessarily involve any error in the 
dialectic process. For when Hegel names a category in this 
way, he does not suppose that he has deduced, by the pure 
thought of the dialectic, all the empirical details which can be 
determined with reference to the corresponding concrete state. 
He merely expresses his belief that the category is manifested 
- in a special manner by the concrete state whose name it bears. 
For example, in giving a category the name of Mechanism he 
does not assert that it is possible to determine by the dialectic 
process any of the laws of the finite science of Mechanics. All 
that the use of the name implies is that, when we perceive the 
existent in such a way that it appears^ to include bodies 
obeying the laws of Mechanics, then the category in question 
will be manifested with special clearness in the facts as they 
appear to us. 

There is thus nothing unjustifiable in the use of such a 
nomenclature, and it has the advantage of making the meaning 
of the category clearer, by informing us where we may look for ' 
clear examples of it. But in practice it turns out to be ex- 
tremely difficult to use such names without being led by them 
into error. 

There is, in the first place, the possibility of choosing a 
wrong name — of taking a concrete state which manifests the 
particular category less clearly than another state would, or 
which itself manifests more clearly some other category. But 
this is a mistake which, so far as I can see, Hegel never makes. 

But there is a second possibility. The concrete states which 
give their names to the categories contain, as has been said, 
much other content beside the categories in question. Hegel 
does not suppose that the dialectic process could help him to 

1 The use of logical terms as names for the categories of Subjectivity is an 
example of the same practice, though in this case the conceptions are not 
borrowed from empirical knowledge. But, relatively to the dialectic process, 
they are concrete, for the logical processes, which give the names, have charac- 
teristics not to be found in the categories which they exemplify. Cp. 
Chapter VIII. 

2 Such a perception would, of course, be held by Hegel to be more or less 
erroneous. Nothing really exists, according to his system, but Spirits. Bodies 
only appear to exist. 


deduce this other content. But in practice he sometimes con- 
fuses the two sides — the pure conception which he had deduced, 
and the remaining content which he had not. And thus he 
introduces into the dialectic process, in connection with certain 
categories, some characteristics illegitimately transferred from 
the concrete states after which they are named. In Judgment, 
in Syllogism, in Life, in Cognition, we find sub-divisions intro- 
duced and transitions made, which rest on characteristics which 
are found in the judgments and syllogisms of ordinary logic, in 
the life of biology, or in the cognition of psychology, but which 
have no justification as applied to the categories of the 

These cases, of course, lend support to the theory, which I 
have discussed elsewhere \ that the dialectic process, while pro- 
fessing to be a process of pure thought, does, in fact, always 
rest on empirical elements illegitimately introduced. But the 
categories of the process which are named after concrete states 
are comparatively few, and it is not in all of them that an 
illegitimate element has been transferred to the category. 

In several of those cases where the illegitimate transference 
has taken place, it seems to me that the process, so far from 
being dependent on the transference, would have gone better 
without it. The transition Hegel does make, with the aid of 
the element illegitimately introduced, is in these cases one 
which would be invalid even if the element it was based on had 
itself been legitimately deduced. And sometimes, I think, a 
perfectly valid transition was available, which was only obscured 
by the intrusion of the illegitimate element. 

Whenever a particular transition seems to be invalid, I have 
given the reasons which prevent me from accepting it. In 
some cases I venture to think that I could suggest a valid 
substitute. When this does not involve a reconstruction of 
more than a single category I have generally made the sugges- 
tion, but any more extensive alteration would, I think, be 
beyond the scope of a commentary. 

10. I wish to take this opportunity of correcting some 
errors as to Hegel's method in my Studies in the Hegelian 

^ Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, Sections 41 — 43. 


Dialectic. (The correction of errors on other points would 
be irrelevant here.) In Section 19 of that book, after giving an 
account of the method which I still think correct, I added " It 
will be seen that this argument is strictly of a transcendental 
nature. A proposition denied by the adversary. ,, is shown to be 
involved in the truth of some other proposition which he is not 
prepared to attack." But this is not a description confined to 
a transcendental argument, but applies to all attempts to 
convince an adversary. I failed to see that the proposition with 
which a transcendental argument, in Kant's sense of the term, 
starts, is always a proposition which asserts that some other 
proposition is hnoiun to be true. (For example, Kant's tran- 
scendental argument on Space does not start from the truths of 
geometry, but from the truth that we know the truths of 
geometry a priori.) Hegel's argument does not start from a 
proposition of this kind, and I was wrong in supposing it to be 
of the class which Kant calls transcendental. 

11. In Section 109, I pointed out two characteristics in 
which the method in the later part of the dialectic process 
differed from the method at the beginning. Firstly, at the 
beginning the Antithesis is the direct contrary of the Thesis. 
It is not more advanced than the Thesis, nor does it in any way 
transcend it. But, as the process continues, the Antithesis, 
while still presenting an element of contrariety to the Thesis, is 
found to be also an advance on it. It does, to a certain extent, 
transcend the inadequacy of the Thesis, and thus shares with 
the Synthesis that character which, in the earlier type, belonged 
to the Synthesis only. 

The second change follows as a consequence of the first. In 
the first triad of the dialectic the movement to the Synthesis 
comes from the Thesis and Antithesis together, and could not 
have been made firom the Antithesis alone. But later on, when 
the Antithesis has transcended the Thesis, and has the truth of 
it within itself, it is possible to make the transition to the "H 
Synthesis from the Antithesis alone, without any distinct _; 
reference to the Thesis. 

12. In Sections 112 — 114 I enquired whether these 
changes were sudden or continuous, and came to the conclusion 
that they were both continuous. And here I think I was partly 


wrong. The first change is continuous. As we proceed through 
the dialectic there is on the whole (there are a few exceptions) 
a steady diminution in the element of contrariety to be found in 
the Antitheses, and an increase in their synthetic functions. 
But the second change cannot be continuous. For the direct 
transition must either be from both the Thesis and Antithesis, 
or from the Antithesis only. There is no intermediate 

The truth seems to be that the direct transition is from the 
Antithesis alone whenever the Antithesis is at all higher than 
the Thesis — that is, in every triad after the first. (The 
Particular Notion, and the Negative Judgment of Inherence, 
seem, however, to be exceptions to this rule, since, contrary 
to the general character of the dialectic, they are not higher 
than their respective Theses.) 

13. In Section 80 I said of the transition from the 
Synthesis of one triad to the Thesis of the next. " It is, in fact, 
scarcely a transition at all. It is... rather a contemplation of 
the same truth from a fresh point of view — immediacy in the 
place of reconciling mediation — than an advance to a fresh 
truth." This needs some qualification. In the first place, it is 
only true when the Synthesis and new Thesis are categories of 
the same order of subdivision. Thus, in Essence as Reflection 
into Self, we have Determining Reflection as a Synthesis, to 
which Identity, which is a Thesis, immediately succeeds. But 
Determining Reflection is a category of the fifth order, while 
Identity is only of the fourth order — produced by four succes- 
sive processes of analysis instead of five. And the content in 
these two categories is not an identical content looked at from 
two different points of view. 

In the second place, the identity of content is only to be 
found when the two categories are not further divided. Thus 
Actuality is the Synthesis of Essence, and Subjectivity the 
Thesis of the Notion. They are contiguous categories of the 
same order — the third. But each is subdivided, and the content 
of the two is not identical. 

Finally, although with these two qualifications the statement 
is generally true of the dialectic, there are several cases, which 
I have noted when they occur, in which it does not apply. 



14. The Logic is divided into Being (Sein), Essence 
(Wesen), and Notion (Begriff). Being is divided into Quality 
(Qiialitat), Quantity (Quantitat), and Measure (Maass). The 
divisions of Quality are as follows : 

I. Being. (Sein.) 

A. Being. (Sein.) 

B. Nothing. (Nichts.) 

C. Becoming. (Werden.) 

II. Being Determinate. (Dasein.) 

A. Being Determinate as Such. (Dasein als solches.) 

(a) Being Determinate in General. (Dasein iiber- 

(6) Quality. (Qualitat.) 
(c) Something. (Etwas.) 

B. Finitude. (Die Endlichkeit.) 

(a) Something and an Other. (Etwas und ein 


(b) Determination, Modification and Limit. (Bestim- 

mung, Beschaffenheit und Grenze.) 

(c) Finitude. (Die Endlichkeit.) 


C. Infinity. (Die Unendlichkeit.) 

(a) Infinity in General. (Die Unendlichkeit iiber- 


(b) Reciprocal Determination of the Finite and In- 

finite. (Wechselbestimmung des Endlichen 
und Unendlichen.) 

(c) Affirmative Infinity. (Die affirmative Unendlich- 


III. Being for Self. (Das Flirsichsein.) 

A. Being for Self as Such. (Das Ftlrsichsein als solches.) 

(a) Being Determinate and Being for Self. (Dasein 

und Flirsichsein.) 

(b) Being for One. (Sein ftir Fines.) 

(c) One. (Fins.) 

B. The One and the Many. (Fines und Vieles.) 

(a) The One in Itself (Das Fins an ihm selbst.) 

(6) The One and the Void. (Das Fins und das Leere.) 

(c) Many Ones. Repulsion. (Viele Fins. Repulsion.) 

C. Repulsion and Attraction. (Repulsion und Attrak- 


(a) Fxclusion of the One. (Ausschliessen des Fins.) 
(6) The one One of Attraction. (Das Fine Fins der 

(c) The Relation of Repulsion and Attraction. (Die 

Beziehung der Repulsion und Attraktion.) 

We must notice the ambiguity with which Hegel uses the 
word Being. It is used (i) for one of the three primary divisions 
into which the whole Logic is divided ; (ii) for one of the three 
tertiary divisions into which Quality is divided ; and (iii) for 
one of the three divisions of the fourth order into which Being, 
as a tertiary division, is divided. In the same way Quality, 
besides being the general name for the secondary division 
which forms the subject of this Chapter, is also the name for 
a division of the fifth order, which falls within Being Determi- 
nate as Such. And Finitude, again, is the name of a division 
of the fourth order, and also of a division of the fifth order. 


I. Being. 
A. Being. 

15. (G. L.'i. 77. Enc. 86.) I do not propose to discuss here 
the validity of the category of Being. Since the dialectic 
process starts with this category, its validity is rather a question 
affecting the whole nature of the process than a detail of the 
earliest stage, and I have treated it elsewhere^ If, then, we 
begin with the category of Being, what follows ? 

It must be remembered that the position is not merely that 
we are affirming Being, but that, so far, we are affirming nothing \ ^ 
else. It is to indicate this absence of anything else that Hegel 
speaks of Being in this division as Pure Being (reines Sein), 
though the adjective does not appear in the headings. 

Pure Being, says Hegel {G. L. i. 78. Enc. 87) has no 
determination of any sort. Any determination would give 
it some particular nature, as against some other particular 
nature — would make it X rather than not-X. It has therefore 
no determination whatever. But to be completely free of any 
determination is just what we mean by Nothing. Accordingly, 
when we predicate Being as an adequate expression of existence, 
we find that in doing so we are also predicating Nothing as 
an adequate expression of existence. And thus we pass over to 
the second category. ^ 

B. Xothing. 

16. {G. L. i. 78. Enc. 87.) This transition, which has 
been the object of so much wit, and of so many indignant 
denials, is really a very plain and simple matter. Wit and 
indignation both depend, as Hegel remarks {G. L. i. 82. Enc. 
88), on the mistaken view that the Logic asserts the identity 
of a concrete object which has a certain definite quality with 
another concrete object which has not that quality — of a white 
table with a black table, or of a table with courage. This is 
a mere parody of Hegel's meaning. Whiteness is not Pure 
Being, When we speak of a thing as white, we apply to it 

Cp. Section 6. Also Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, Sections 17, 18, 79. 


Tukny categories besides Pure Being — Being Determinate, for 
example. Thus the fact that the presence of whiteness is not 
equivalent to its absence is quite consistent with the identity 
of Pure Being and Nothing. 

When the dialectic process moves from an idea to its 
Antithesis, that Antithesis is never the mere logical contra- 
dictory of the first, but is some ^ew idea which stands to the 
first in the relation of a contrary. No reconciling Synthesis 
could possibly spring from two contradictory ideas — that is, 
from the simple affirmation and denial of the same idea. In 
most parts of the dialectic, the relation is too clear to be 
doubted. But at first sight it might be supposed that Nothing 
was the contradictory of Being. This, however, is not the case. 
If we affirmed not-Being, in the sense in which it is the mere 
contradictory of Being, we should only affirm that, whatever 
reality might be, it had not the attribute of Being.( And this 
is clearly not the same as to say that it has the attribute of 
Nothing. It may be the case that wherever the predicate 
' Being can be denied, the predicate Nothing can be asserted, 
but still the denial of the one is not the affirmation of the 

Hegel says, indeed {G. L. i. 79) that we could as well say 
Not-being (Nichtsein) as Nothing (Nichts). But it is clear 
that he means by Not-Being, as he meant by Nothing, not the 
mere denial of Being, but the assertion- of the absence of all 

If the identity of Being and Nothing were all that could be 

said about them, the dialectic process would stop with its 

second term. There would be no contradiction, and therefore 

no ground for a further advance. But this is not the whole 

truth {G. L. i. 89. E71C. 88). For the two terms originally 

I meant different things. By Being was intended a pure 

"* positive — reality without unreality. By Nothing was intended 

\ a pure negative — unreality without reality. If each of these 

is now found to be equivalent to the other, a contradiction has 

arisen. Two terms, defined so as to be incompatible, have 

turned out to be equivalent. Nor have we got rid of the 

original meaning. For it is that same characteristic which 

made the completeness of their opposition which determines 


I. BEING 17 

their equivalence. A reconciliation must be found for this 
contradiction^ and Hegel finds it in 

C. Becoming. 

17. The reconciliation- which this category affords appears 
to consist in the recognition of the intrinsic connexion of 
Being and Nothing {G. L. i. 78. Enc. 88). When we had 
these two as separate categories, each of these asserted itself 
to be an independent and stable expression of the nature of 
reality. By the affirmation of either its identity with the 
other was denied, and when it was found, nevertheless, to be 
the same as the other, there was a contradiction. But Becom- 
ing, according to Hegel, while it recognises Being and Nothing, 
recognises them only as united, and not as claiming to be 
independent of one another. It recognises them, for Becoming 
is always the passage of Being into Nothing, or of Nothing into 
Being. But, since they only exist in Becoming in so far as 
they pass away into their contraries, they are only affirmed as './ 
connected, not as separate, and therefore there is no longer any 
opposition between their connexion and their separation. 

But, Hegel continues, this is not the end of the matter. 
Being and Nothing only exist in Becoming as disappearing 
moments. But Becoming only exists in so far as they are 
separate, for, if they are not separate, how can they pass into 
one another ? As they vanish, therefore, Becoming ceases to 
be Becoming, and collapses into a state of rest, which Hegel 
calls Being Dete rminat e {G. L. i. 109. Enc. 89). 

18. T" confess that I regret the choice of Be_coming as 
a name for this category. What Hegel meant seems to me to 
be quite valid. But the name of the category suggests some- 
thing else which seems to me not to be valid at all. 

All that Hegel means is, as I have maintained above, that 
Being is dependent on Nothing in order that it should be 
Being, and that Nothing is dependent on Being in order that 
it should be Nothing. In other words, a category of Being / / 
without Nothing, or of Nothing without Being, is inadequate 
and leads to contradictions which prove its felsity. The only 
truth of the two is a category which expresses the relation of 
the two. And this removes the contradiction. For there is 



no contradiction in the union of Being and Nothing. The 
previous contradiction was between their identity and their 

Hegel seems to have thought it desirable to name the new 
category after a concrete fact. But, as I have said above 
(Section 9), the use of the names of concrete facts to designate 
abstract categories is always dangerous. In the present case, 
the concrete state of becoming contains, no doubt, the union 
of Being and Nothing, as everj^thing must, except abstract 
Being and Nothing. But the concrete state of becoming 
contains a great deal more — a great deal which Hegel had 
not deduced, and would have had no right to include in this 
category. I do not believe that he meant to include it, but his 
language almost inevitably gives a false impression. 

When we speak of Becoming we naturally think of a process 
of change. For the most striking characteristic of the concrete 
state of becoming is that it is a change from something to 
something else. Now Hegel's category of Becoming cannot be 
intended to include the idea of change. 

Change involves the existence of some permanent element 
in what changes — an element which itself does not change. 
For, if there were nothing common to the two states, there 
would be no reason to say that the one had changed into the 
other. Thus, in order that anything should be capable of 
change, it must be analysable into two elements, one of which 
does not change. ^ This is impossible under the categories of 
Quality. Under them each thing — if the word thing could 
properly be used of what is so elementary — is just one simple 
undifferentiated quality. Either it is itself — and then it is 
completely the same — or its complete sameness vanishes, and 
then the thing also vanishes, since its undifferentiated nature 
admits no partial identity of content. Its absolute shallowness 
leaves no room for distinction between a changing and an 
unchanging layer of reality. 

This was recognised by Hegel, who says that it is the 
characteristic of Quantity that in it, for the first time, a thing 
can change, and yet remain the same (G. L. i. 211. Enc. 99). 
He cannot therefore have considered his category of Becoming, 
which comes before Quantity, as including change. 

I. BEING 19 

But, it may be objected, although Hegel's category of 
Becoming is incompatible with fully developed change, may 
it not be compatible with change in a more rudimentary form ? 
Is it not possible that, even among the categories of Quality, 
a place may be found for a category which involves, not the 
change of A into B, but the disappearance of A and the 

r appearance of B instead of it ? To this I should reply, in the 
first place, that if such replacement of ^ by 5 was carefully 
analysed, it would be found to involve the presence of some 
element which persisted unchanged in connexion first with 

[^A and then with B. The case would then resolve itself into 
an example of change proper. To defend this view would, 
however, be an unnecessary digression here. For it is clear 

' that, if such a replacement could exist without being a change 
of A into B, then A would be quite disconnected with B. But 
in Hegel's category of Becoming the whole point lies in the 
intrinsic and essential connexion of Being and Nothing. The 
category could not, therefore, be an example of such replace- 
' ment. 

19. Thus Becoming, as a category of the Logic, cannot j 
consistently involve change. And when we look at the transi- 
tion by which Hegel reaches it, we see, as I said above, that 
the essence of the new category lies in the necessary implication ^ 
of Being and Nothing, and not in any change taking place 
between them. 

But the name of Becoming is deceptive in itself, and so is 
Hegel's remark that the category can be analysed into the 
moments of Beginning (Entstehen) and Ceasing (Vergehen) 
(G. L. i. 109). If the implication of the two terms is to be 
called Becoming, there is, indeed, no reason why these names 
should not be given to the implication of Being in Nothing, 
and of Nothing in Being. It all tends, however, to strengthen 
the belief that we have here a category of change. The same 
result is produced by the mention of the philosophy of 
Heraclitus in connexion with the category of Becoming. Of 
course a philosophy which reduced everything to a perpetual 
flow of changes would involve the principle of the implication 
of Being and Nothing. But it would also involve a great deal 
more, and once again, therefore, we meet the misleading 



suggestion that this great deal more is to be found in the 

I category of Becoming, 

P 20. For these reasons I believe that the course of the 
dialectic would become clearer if the name of Becoming were 
given up, and the Synthesis of Being and Nothing were called 
J Transition to Being Determinate (Uebergang in das Dasein). 

This follows the precedent set by Hegel in the case of the last 
category of Measure, which he calls Transition to Essence 

/ (Uebergang in das Wesen) {Q. L. i. 466). 

When we have taken this view of the category, the transi- 
tion to the next triad becomes easy. So long as the third 
category was regarded as involving change, it might well be 
doubted whether Hegel had succeeded in eliminating, in Being 
Determinate, the change he had introduced in Becoming. 
And to do this was necessary, since Being Determinate is 
certainly not a category of change. But on the new interpre- 

. tation change has never been introduced, and does not require 
to be eliminated. 
v( The assertion that Being Determinate contains Being as 

an element is simple enough. But to say that it contains 
Nothing as an element seems strange. The difficulty is, 
however, merely verbal. The Antithesis to Being should 

• rather have been called Negation than Nothing. The word 
Being involves a positive element, but does not exclude 
a negative element — unless we expressly say Pure Being. But 
Nothing is commonly used to designate a negative element 
combined with the absence of any positive element. It 
corresponds to Pure Being, while Being corresponds to 

Now Being Determinate contains Being as a moment, but 
not Pure Being, since Pure Being means " Being and nothing 
else." In the same way, then, we must say that Being Deter- 
minate contains as an element, not Nothing, but Negation. 
Hegel recognises this, for he says {0. L. i. 81) that in Being 
Determinate we have as moments Positive and Negative, 
rather than Being and Nothing. But he fails to see that 

I I Being and Nothing are not in ordinary usage correlative terms, 
and that, while, when he came to the Synthesis, he had to 
substitute Negative for Nothing, he could just as well have 

I. BEING 21 

kept Being instead of Positive. It seems to me that it would 
have been better if he had spoken of the Thesis and Anti- 
thesis as Being and Negation. He could then have said in 
this triad, as he does in other cases, that it was the Thesis and 
Antithesis themselves which are the moments of the Synthesis. 
21. It is easy to see that in Being Determinate, Being and 
Negation are synthesised. If anything has a definite quality, 
this involves that it has not other definite qualities, inconsistent 
with the first. A thing cannot be green unless it is not red, . 
and thus its greenness has a negative aspect, as well as a 
positive one. 

II. Being Determinate. 

A. Being Determinate as Such, 
(a) Being Determinate in General, 

(G. L. i. 112. Enc. 89.) This, as the first subdivision of 
the first division of Being Determinate, has, as its name 
implies, no other meaning except the general meaning of 
Being Determinate, namely, that in all existence Being and »/ 
Nothing are united. 

And now, for the first time, we get the possibility of 
differentiation and plurality. Being and Nothing did not 
admit of this. Whatever simply Is is exactly the same. And 
this is also true of whatever simply Is Not. But under the 
category of Being Determinate, it is possible to have an 
a which is not b, and is thus distinguished from b, which is 
not a. And not only the possibility of such differentiation, 
but also its necessity is now established. For whatever is 
anything must also not be something, and cannot be what it is 
not. It must therefore not be something else than what it is. 
And thus the reality of anything implies the reality of some- 
thing else. (The validity of this will be discussed in Section 25.) 
Hegel calls the various differentiations by the name of Qualities, 
and so we reach the second subdivision of Being Determinate as 
Such, namely 


(b) Quality. 

22. (G. L. i. 114.) We must not be misled by the ordinary 
use of the phrase " a Quality." As a rule, when we speak of 
a Quality or of Qualities, we mean characteristics which inhere 
in a Thing, and of which one Thing may possess many. Hegel 
calls these, when he comes to treat of Essence, by the name of 
Eigenschaften. We have not yet got any idea so advanced as 
this. It is not until Essence has been reached that we shall 
be able to make a distinction between a Thing and its charac- 
teristics. And, although we have now attained a plurality, we 
have not yet acquired the idea of plurality in unity, which 
would be necessary before we could conceive one Thing as 
having many characteristics. 

The Qualities of which Hegel speaks here are simply the 
immediate differentiations of Being Determinate. They do not 
inhere in anything more substantial than themselves ; they, in 
their immediacy, are the reality. Consequently they are not 
anything separate from the Being Determinate. Each Quality 
has Determinate Being, and the universe is nothing but the 
aggregate of the Qualities. There is not one Being Determi- 
nate with many Qualities, but there are many Determinate 
Beings. These may be called, not inappropriately, Some- 
things. And this is the transition to the third division of 
Being Determinate as Such, namely, 

(c) Something. 

23. {G. L. i. 119.) At this point, says Hegel, we first get 
the Real (G. L. i. 120. Enc. 91). The reason for this is not 
very obvious. Reality seems to be taken as a matter of degree 
— a thing is more or less Real in proportion as it is regarded 
under a more or less true category. Something is, no doubt, 
a truer category than those which preceded it, but it is less 
true than those that follow it, and I cannot see why Reality 
comes in here, if it did not come in before. Something is not 
even the first Synthesis. 

24. Looking back on the two last transitions — from Being 
Determinate in General to Quality, and from Quality to Some- 



thing — they must, I think, be pronounced to be valid. A doubt 
might perhaps arise as to the necessity of passing through them. 
Is it not clear, it might be asked, that the differentiations cannot 
lie on the surface of Being Determinate (since that would 
involve a distinction between Essence and Appearance) but 
must be in it ? And in that case could we not have simplified 
the process by taking Something as the immediate form of 
Being Determinate, and so forming the undivided first moment 

But between simple Being Determinate and Something 
there is a difference — namely the explicit introduction of 
plura lity. The fact that the name Something is in the singular 
number (inevitable with the German word Etwas) may obscure 
this if we confine ourselves to the titles, but in reading the 
demonstrations it soon becomes evident that, between Being 
Determinate in General and Something, plurality has been 
introduced. In the idea of Something, therefore, we have more 
than is in the simple idea of Being Determinate, and a transi- 
tion between them is required. 

We can also see why there should be two steps between 
Being Determinate in General and Something, and why the 
road from the one to the other should lie through the category 
of Quality. The transition to plurality takes place in the 
transition to Quality, since Hegel speaks of one Being Deter- 
minate in General, but of many Qualities. Now we can see, 
I think, that it is natural that, in passing from what is singular 
to a plurality, we should first think that what is plural is some- 
thing different from that which had previously been before us 
(and in Quality the suggestion is that they are different) and 
that we should require a fresh step of the process to show us that 

^ This objection may be made clearer by a table. 

Hegel's division of Being Deter- 

A. Being Determinate as Such. 
(a) Being Determinate 

{b) Quality, 
(c) Something. 

B. Finitude. 

(et cetera.) 


II. Division proposed by Objection. 

(without any sub-divisions). 

B. Finitude. 

(et cetera.) 


24 CH. 11. QUALITY 

the plurality is the true form of what we had previously taken 
not to be plural (and this is what is gained by the transition to 

We have, then, a plurality, and a plurality which does not 
inhere in anything else. It must therefore be regarded as 
a rudimentary form of plurality of substance, rather than of 
plurality of attributes. Now the categories are assertions about 
the nature of existence. So, when we have got a plurality of 
Somethings, we have got a plurality of existence. Is this 
justified ? 

25. It may be objected that we are not entitled to argue in 
this way from the existence of one Something to the existence 
of others. No doubt, it may be said, if this Something is x, 
there must, by the results we have already reached, be some y, 
which X is not, but it does not follow that y exists. If (to take 
an example from a more complex sphere than that of Some- 
thing) an existent object is red, it must be not-green, but it 
does not follow that any green object exists. Thus, it is urged, 
there might, for anything we have proved to the contrary, be 
only one existent Something, whose definite nature consisted in 
the fact that it was x, and was not y, z, etc. 

I do not, however, think that this is valid. For if we get 
the definiteness of the Something out of the fact that it is x and 
not y, not z, etc., then it will have a plurality of qualities, x, not- 
y, not-0, etc. This requires the conception of a thing as a unity 
which holds together a plurality of attributes, and is not 
identical with any one of them. And this is a conception which 
we have not yet reached, and have no right to use. Thus the 
negative element in each Something cannot fall within it, and 
must fall outside it, and so we are compelled to follow Hegel in 
asserting the plurality of existent Somethings. 

It may be replied that what belongs to the nature of any- 
thing cannot be wholly outside it, and that if two existent 
Somethings are distinguished from each other by being respec- 
tively X and y, then after all it must be true of x that it is not- 
7/, and of y that it is not-a;, and so that there will be the plurality 
of attributes in each Something, in which case the possibility 
that there is only one Something has not been effectively 


It is quite true, no doubt, that the existence of a plurality 
of substantial beings does involve a plurality of attributes in 
each of them. But the recognition of this forms a further stage 
of the dialectic, in which we shall have passed beyond the 
category of Something. We have not yet reached this stage, 
and at present, since there is no plurality of attributes in a 
Something, each Something can only find its determinateness in 
another existent Something. 

When we do reach to the conception of a thing with a 
plurality of attributes, we shall no louger have our present 
reason to believe in a substantial plurality. For that reason, 
as we have seen, is that plurality is necessary, and that no other 
plurality is possible, and this becomes invalid when a plurality 
of attributes in one thing has been established. If the concep- 
tion of a substantial plurality is finally retained, it must rest on 
considerations not yet before us^ 

Thus we have a plurality of Somethings. Each of these is 
' dependent for its nature on not being the others. It may thus 
be said, in a general sense, to be limited by them. (Limit, as a 
technical term in the dialectic, denotes a particular species of 
limitation in the more general sense.) With this we pass to the 
second division of Being Determinate, which is 

B. Finitude. 

(a) Something and an Other. 

26. {G. L. i. 122.) This category should be a restatement, 
in a more immediate form, of the category of Something. This 
is exactly what it is. For the category of Something, as I have 
said, included the idea of a plurality of such Somethings. And, 
from the point of view of any one of these, the other Somethings 
will be primarily not itself. So we get the idea of Something 
and an Other. 

Since each Something is dependent for its own nature on an 
Other, its nature may be called a Being- for-Other. (Sein fur 
Anderes.) But this is not the only aspect of its nature. The 
relation to an Other is what makes it what it is. And thus 

1 Cp. Sections 101—102. 


this relation is also what it is By Itself or implicitly (An Sich^). 
And thus this relation is also a quality of the Something itself. 
{G. L. i. 129. Cp. also Enc. 91, though the explanation is here 
so condensed as scarcely to be recognisable.) This takes us to 
the next subdivision, Determination, Modification and Limit. 
(I admit that Modification is not a very happy translation of 
Beschaffenheit, but it is impossible to get really good names for 
so many meanings which differ so slightly.) 

(6) Determination, Modification and Limit. 

27. {G. L. i. 129.) Not content with the analysis of his 
subject-matter by five successive trichotomies, Hegel further 
analyses this category into a triad of the sixth order, the terms 
of which are Determination, Modification, and Limit. The 
subtlety of the distinctions at this point is so great that I must 
confess to having only a very vague idea of what is meant. So 
far as I can see, Determination is the character of the Something 
viewed as its inner nature, and Modification is that character 
viewed as something received by it from outside — is, in fact, the 
Being for Other come back again. It follows then, naturally 
enough, that Determination and Modification are identical. 
And from this again it follows that, as the Something was con- 
ceived as having a nature which was both a characteristic of 
itself and of its Other, that nature should be conceived as a 
Limit. In such a sense a meadow is limited by the fact that it 
is not a wood, nor a pond. (Eiic. 92.) Now it is clear that we 
only get such a Limit when the nature of the Something is seen 
to b e bot h in itself and in its relation to an Other. The con- 
ception of a Limit Implies thaTttTnalreS'the^Bomething what it 
ris — no more and no less. That it should be no less than itself 
requires that its nature should be in itself, so that it should 
maintain itself against the Other. That it should be no more 
than itself requires, at the present stage of the dialectic, that its 
nature should also be outside itself, that the Other should 
maintain itself against it. 

^ It is, so far as I know, impossible to find any one English phrase which 
will adequately render An Sieh. I have followed Prof. Wallace's example in 
using either By Itself or Imphcitly, according to the context.- 


The correctness of this interpretation is, no doubt, very 
problematic. But whatever Hegel's meaning may have been 
in this obscure passage, we can see for ourselves that the 

' category of Limit would necessarily have come in at this point. 
For, in the category of Something and an Other, the nature of 
each Something lay in the Other. But it is also true, as Hegel 
points out without any obscurity, that the nature of Something 
must also lie in itself. And, since the nature of Something lies 
both in itself and in its Other, we have the idea of a Limit — of 
a characteristic which, while it belongs both to Something and 
to its Other, keeps them apart. 
r Here, as Hegel remarks {G. L. i. 133), we get for the first 
time the conception of Not-being for Other. In the category 
of Something and an Other we had the conception of Being for 
Other, but now in Limit the Something has its nature in itself 
as well as in the Other, and so it has a certain stability and 

At this point, therefore, we may be said to get the first 
glimpse of the conception of Being for Self But it is not yet 
seen to be the truth of Being for Other. On the contrary it 
appears to be in opposition to it, and this opposition produces 
fresh contradictions, which cannot be solved until the true 
nature of Being for Self is discovered in the category which 
bears that name. 
r We now come to Finitude in the narrower sense. That this 
conception should only be reached at this point will not seem 
strange if we realise the meaning which Hegel always gives to 
this term. For him the Finite is not simply that which has 
something outside it, and the Infinite is not simply that which 

r has nothing: outside it. The Infinite for him is that whose 
nature and, consequently, whose limits, are self-determined. 

' The Finite, on the other hand, is that whose nature is limited 
by something outside itself. The essential feature of the 
Infinite is free self-determination. The essential feature of 
-^the Finite is subjection to an Other. 

This explains why Finitude only becomes explicit at this 
point. Two things are necessary for subjection to an Other — 
the Other, and a definite nature in the Something to be sub- 
ejected to it. The conception of plurality was onl}^ reached at 


the end of Being Determinate as Such, and till then there could 
be no question of Finitude, When this point was reached, 
Finitude began to appear, and accordingly the second division 
of Being Determinate, which we are now considering, is, as we 
have seen, called Finitude. But Finitude does not become fully 
explicit till the Something's nature is seen to be also in itself, 
and not only in the Other. For till then there can scarcely be 
said to be anything to be subjected to the Other. Only with 
the conception of Limit does Finitude become fully explicit. 
And therefore the next category — the last subdivision of 
Finitude in the wider sense — is called in a special sense 

(c) Finitude. 

I ' 28. {G. L. i. 137.) This category is merely a restatement of 
the last moment of the previous subdivision — that is to say, of 
Limit. The idea of a Limit is, as has already been said, the 
idea of Finitude, since they both mean that the limited thing 
has a nature of its own, and that its nature is in subjection to 
an Other. This conception takes the form of Limit when we 
view it as overcoming the difficulties which arise from the 
opposition between the nature as in an Other and the nature as 
in the object itself When the conception is taken as a more 
immediate statement of the truth, it takes the form of Finitude. 

Finitude is the Synthesis of a triad of which Something and 
an Other is Thesis, and Determination Modification and Limit 
is the Antithesis. The Thesis asserted that the nature of the 
Something lay in its Other, the Antithesis asserted that the 
nature of the Something lay in itself These assertions are 
reconciled in Finitude. 

29. On looking back we can see, I think, that the sub- 
divisions found within the category of Determination Modifica- 
tion and Limit are useless. Modification is only a repetition 
of Something and an Other\ while Limit is identical with 
Finitude. The only idea remaining is Determination. It 
would have been better, therefore, if Determination by itself 
had been the Antithesis of Something and an Other. The 

^ Hegel denies this, but I cannot see that he has shown any difference 
between them. 


name of Limit, not being wanted for a subdivision of the 
^Antithesis, would be set free, and could be used, instead of 
Finitude, as the name of the Synthesis, and this would avoid the 
inconvenience of using Finitude here, for a division of the fifth 
order, when it is also used for a division of the fourth order. 

30. In Finitude, as was said above, there are two sides — 
the internal nature of the finite Something and the relation in 
which it stands to the Other. These Hegel calls respectively 
the Ought and the Barrier. (Das Sollen und die Schranke.) 
{G. L. i. 140.) The Barrier seems an appropriate name. But 
why the internal nature of the Something should be called the 
Ought is not so clear. It may be said that a conscious being, 
when he feels himself limited by something, says that the limit 
ought to be removed, and that he ought to have room to 
develop freely. But the resemblance between such a conscious 
being and a limited Something is very slight, and far less 
important than the difference. When a man says that he ought 
to be able to do what, in point of fact, external circumstances 
do not allow him to do, he has an ideal of some course of action 
different from the one which he is forced to take, and he judges 
that his ideal course would fulfil his true nature more completely 
than the other. The position here is entirely different. The 
content of the two opposed sides is here the same, for the 
Something has only one nature, which may be looked at either 
as in itself or in the Other, and the opposition is only between 
the two ways of looking at it. 

Why then did Hegel use the word Ought ? I believe he 
did so because it gave him a chance of introducing an attack on 
the ethics of Kant and Fichte {G. L. i. 142 ; Enc. 94). This 
was a temptation which he was never able to resist. 

31. But the inner nature of the Something now bursts its 
Barrier. The Other which limits it has no nature which is not 
expressed in the limitation itself. And the limitation belongs 
to the nature of the Something. So that it now finds its own 
nature beyond the Barrier, which it has, therefore, passed. 
{G. L. i. 147. The line of the argument in the Encyclopaedia 
is different, and will be considered later on.) To go back to 
Hegel's own example, a meadow is limited by the fact that it is 
not a wood. Not to be a wood is a part, and an essential part, 


of the nature of the meadow. Thus the nature of the meadow 
is to be found in the nature of the wood, and is thus no longer 
something bounded and confined by the wood's nature — for 
what is left to be bound ? 
We thus pass to 

G. Infinity 

the third division of Being Determinate {G. L. i. 147). For, the 
Barrier being abolished, the Something is no longer determined 
by anything outside itself. Thus we have got rid of Finitude, 
and so attained Infinity, though only, so far, in a very rudi- 
mentary form. 

The transition here, it will be noticed, is a distinct advance. 
Infinity is a fresh conception from Finitude. This is not what 
might have been expected, for Finitude (in the narrower sense 
of the word) is a division of the fifth order, and stands to the 
next division of the fifth order (Infinity in general) as the 
ISynthesis of one triad to the Thesis of the next. According to 
bhe general scheme of the dialectic, therefore, their content 
should have been the same. 

And the transition seems to me to be invalid. I cannot see 
that anything which Hegel has said entitles him to conclude, as 
apparently he does, that in this category we have got rid of 
Limit and Barrier. The nature of the meadow is determined 
by that of the wood — but it is determined negatively. It is its 
nature not to be the wood. And this determination, while it 
relates the two, does not in any way destroy the difference 
between them, so that there is no justification for concluding 
that the second of them has ceased to limit the first, or to act as 
its Barrier. For the proper transition at this point, we must, I 
believe, adopt the view of the Encyclopaedia, rather than that 
of the Greater Logic. 

Continuing the treatment of the subject in the Greater 
Logic, we find that when, in the first place, the Something 
passes over its Barrier, it finds itself outside the Barrier, and so 
unlimited. Thus the first stage is 


(a) Infinity in General. 

32. {G. L. i. 148.) And now Hegel proceeds to restore the 
limitations which, if I am right, he ought never to have dis- 
carded. What, he asks {G. L. i. 153), is this Infinity ? It has 
been gained by negating Finitude, and passing beyond it. Now 
nothing can negate anything definite, except by being definite 
itself. But we have seen that a thing can only be definite if it 
has a limit and is finite. And thus the Infinite which we 
seemed to have reached turns out to be another Finite. A 
meadow, for example, cannot be negated by pure Being, or by 
Nothing. It must be by some other Being Determinate. And 
this must be finite. 

The Infinity, which had been reached, thus turns out to be 
finite. But, being finite, it will have its nature outside itself, 
and so again passes the Barrier, and becomes infinite — only 
once more to become finite. This process goes on without end, 
and thus we have the second subdivision {G. L. i. 149) 

33, (h) Reciprocal Determination of the Finite and Infinite 

which may be called more briefly Negative Infinity (cp. Enc. 94). 

r It must be noted that this is not a category of change. A 
category of change would assert that the reality, when viewed 
under that category, is viewed as changing its nature. This is 
not the case here. The reality — the nature of the Something — 

"is not conceived as changing. All that changes is the way in 
which we judge it. We conceive its nature, first as being 
generally outside itself, then as being in another Something, 
then as generally outside that other Something again. We 
oscillate endlessly between these two views. But this does not 
involve any judgment that the reality changes. It is only a 
{^change of judgment about the reality. 

This involves a contradiction. The nature of the Something 
is first seen not to be Finite, but Infinite. But it is then seen 
to be, not Infinite, but Finite again. And the second step does 
not transcend the first, for the second leads back again to the 


first. Therefore a part of the nature of the Something — that 
part which lies outside the Something — cannot be pronounced 
either Finite or Infinite. Thus it can be found nowhere — for 
the category recognises no third alternative. And since this part 
of the nature of the Something has been shown to be essential 
to the Something, there can be no Something, and so (so far as 
can be seen under this category) no Determinate Being at all. 
And so there is a contradiction. 

^ It is sometimes said that Hegel holds that an Infinite Series 
is as such contradictory. But this is a mistake. He denies that 
there is anything sublime in endless repetition, and asserts that 
its only important feature is its tediousness (Enc. 94), but he 
does not assert it to be intrinsically impossible. It is only 
Infinite Series of particular kinds which are contradictory, and 
then only for some reason other than their infinity. In the case 
of the present series, as we have seen, there is such a reason. 

34. How do we get rid of this contradiction ? Hegel points 
out (G. L. i. 155) that the same fact which produced the con- 
tradiction has only to be looked at in a rather different light to 
give the solution. That fact is the unity of the Finite and 
Infinite — or, in other words, of what is within any finite Some- 
thing and of what is outside it. It was this which produced the 
contradictory infinite series, for it was this which made the 
content of the Something first overstep its Barrier. But if we 
put it in another way — that the content of the Something is in 
part its relation to what is outside it, then the Something has an 
internal nature which is stable through its relation to what is 
outside it, and the contradictory infinite series never begins. 
Instead of saying that the nature of the Something must be 
found in what is outside it, we must now say that it has its 
nature through what is outside it. The conception of relatively 
self-centred reality thus reached is called by Hegel {G. L. i. 155) 

(c) Affirmative Infinity, 

35. The treatment of the subject in the Encyclopaedia is 
different. After establishing the category of Limit, Hegel 
continues {Enc. 93) " Something becomes an Other : this Other 
is itself Something: therefore it likewise becomes an Other, 


and so on ad infinitum!' The transition here is not alternately 
from Finite to Finite. The only Infinite is the infinite number 
of such Finites. 

This seems to me to be better than the argument in the 
Greater Logic. In the first place, the categories are so arranged 
in the Encyclopaedia as to avoid the difference of content 
between a Synthesis and the succeeding Thesis — which, as we 
saw above, occurs in the Greater Logic. 

In the second place, the Encyclopaedia avoids the transition 
from the limited to the unlimited, which I have maintained 
above to be invalid. And the transition which it substitutes is, 
I think, valid. Part of the nature of A is found in its Other, 
B, since it is part of its nature not to be B. But this can only 
be a definite characteristic of A, if B is definite. Now part of 
jB's nature, on the same principle, must be found in its Other G. 
Thus the nature of A will be partly found in G, since it is part 
of its nature to be not-B, while 5's nature includes being not-(7. 
A similar argument will prove that the nature of A is partly in 
C"s Other, D, and so on without end. 

Here, again, we get an infinite series which is a contradic- 
tion. ^, as a Something, must have a definite nature. But 
part of this nature is not to be found in itself It must, 
according to the category, be found in one of the series of 
Others. But it cannot be found in any one of them, for which- 
ever we take proves to have part of its own nature, and 
therefore of J.'s nature, in yet another. Thus this indispensable 
part of J-'s nature is to be found in none of the series of Others, 
and therefore, according to this category, can be found nowhere. 
Thus A has no definite nature, though it is a Something. And 
this is a contradiction. 

Nor can we escape from this contradiction by saying that 
the part of ^'s nature which is external to itself is found in the 
whol§ series, though it is not found in any one term of it. For 
nothing which we have yet reached entitles us to regard the 
series as a unity with which A can enter into relations. Its 
relations can only be to some particular Something which forms 
part of the series. 

It will be seen that the contradiction does not rest on the 
impossibility that a mind working in time should ever reach the 



end of an infinite series. This impossibility might prove that 
the full nature of any Something could never be known to any 
mind working in this way, but in this there would be no 

36. From this contradiction we are freed by passing to the 
category of True Infinity. Hegel says that the Something 
stands in the same position to its Other, as the Other stands 
to the Something. The Something is the Other of its own 
Other, and, therefore, " Something in its passage into Other only 
joins with itself" (Enc. 95). This means that, while the nature 
of A is partly to be found in B, and the nature of B is partly to 
be found in something other than B, this need not be a third 
Something, C, but can be A, which is after all other than B. So 
the infinite series, with its contradiction, is avoided. A and B 
are each determinate through the fact of not being the other. 
Thus we reach Being for Self, ^'s nature is now wholly in 
itself It no longer has part of its nature in its Other, but its 
nature within itself is what it is because of its relation to its 
Other. (The Encyclopaedia is very condensed here, but it 
seems to be certain that this is the meaning.) 

This position, Hegel says, is that of True Infinity, and it is 
identical with what was called, in the Greater Logic, Affirmative 
Infinity. The name of Infinity may appear inappropriate. For 
here all assertion of Infinity, in the ordinary sense of the word, 
has disappeared, since the necessity for an Infinite Series of 
Somethings has disappeared. According to the category we 
have just reached there must be at least two Somethings, and 
there may be any number, but, so far as I can see, there may be 
only two. 
P It is very characteristic of Hegel's thought that he should 
call this concept True or Affirmative Infinity. According to 
him the essence of Infinity lies in the fact that it is what is 
unconstrained, unthwarted, free. And freedom, according to him,, 
can only be found, not in being unbounded, but in being self- 
bounded. That is truly infinite whose boundaries are determined 
by the fact that it is itself, and not by mere limitation from 
outside. It is through applications of this principle that Hegel 
holds that a conscious spirit has more true infinity than endless 
space or endless time. Now in this category we have reached 


self-determination, though only as yet in a very rudimentary 
form. And therefore, in comparison with what has gone before, 
Hegel calls it True Infinity. 

37. From this point the Greater Logic and the Encyclopaedia 
again coincide in their treatment. It is here, says Hegel, that 
we first get Ideality (G. L. i. 164. Enc. 95) and that Idealism 
becomes possible {G. L. i. 171). Idealism, he says, consists in 
maintaining that the Finite is Ideal (das Ideelle, not das 
Ideal), and this, again, means that the Finite is recognised 
"not truly to be." For this it is necessary that the Finite 
should have been reached, and should have been transcended, 
and that we should recognise that what is merely Finite is 
impossible. (Finite is, of course, used in Hegel's own sense, 
and means, not that which is bounded, but that which is not 
self-bounded.) This is the first category in which such a recog- 
nition is involved. 

Affirmative Infinity gives us, as we saw when dealing with 
the Encyclopaedia, Being for Self. In the Greater Logic they 
form two separate categories, but the content of Affirmative 
Infinity — the final Synthesis of Being Determinate — is identical 
with the content with which the new division of Being for Self 
begins. The Something has now its whole nature inside itself 

III. Being for Self 

((t. L. i. 173. Enc. 96) is the last of the three tertiary 
divisions to be found in Quality. Its first subdivision is called 
by Hegel 

A. Being for Self as Such 

(6r. L. i, 174), while the first subdivision of this again is named 

(a) Being Determinate and Being for Self. 

{G. L. i. 175.) The position here is that a thing has both 
Being Determinate and Being for Self (This seems to me to be 
invalid, but the discussion of its validity had better be post- 
poned until we reach the end of Being for Self as Such.) Since 
it has both, it is qualitatively differentiated from its Other, 
while the Being for Self gives it stability and saves it from the 
infinite series of Others, in which Being Determinate, taken by 
itself, is compelled to seek the nature of each differentiation. 



But the position, Hegel continues {G. L. i. 176), cannot be 
maintained. For Being Determinate has, by the previous 
transition, been transcended in Being for Self, and is a moment 
of Being for Self In so far as it is valid at all, its validity is 
summed up in Being for Self In so far as it claims to be 
anything distinct from, and supplementary to, Being for Self, it 
Tis not valid. Therefore all Being for Other has now dis- 
(^ appeared, and Being for Self is not for an Other. Being for 
Self has not negation "an ihm" as a determinateness or limit, and 
therefore not as a relation to a Being Determinate other than 

We have no longer a Something, since Hegel confines that 
term to the sphere of Being Determinate. At the same time 
we are not yet entitled to speak of a One. Let us for the 
present call the reality, which was previously called the Some- 
thing, by the neutral name of X. The point of the present 
argument is that the relation of the X to the not-X has become 
more negative than before. 

We must not exaggerate the change. The relation of the 
Something to the Other was already, in a sense, negative, for 
the Something was limited by its Other, and was what the 
Other was not. And, again, X is still related to the not-X. 
For it is only by distinguishing itself from the not-X that it 
got Being for Self at all, and this distinction is itself a relation, 
as will appear more explicitly when we come to the categories 
of the Mauy and of Attraction. (When Hegel says that Being 
for Self does not contain negation "as a relation to a Being 
Determinate other than itself" {G. L. i. 176), the emphasis is, 
I believe, on the last five words. There is a relation, but it is 
not a relation to a Being Determinate, nor to anything which is, 
in the technical sense, the " Other " of the Being for Self) 

But the change is there, and is important. When the Some- 
thing was determined by its Other, the positive nature of the 
Other was essential to the determination. The Something was 
this quality, and not any other, and it was determined in this 
way because the Other was what it was, and nothing else. Now 
it is different. In Being for Self all that is essential is that 
there should be something else which is not X. Whatever this 
other thing may be, X can determine itself by means of a 


relation to it. It has no longer its own peculiar Other. This 
increased independence of X is the natural consequence of X 
being more individual and self-centred than before. 

The new category to which we now pass is called by Hegel 

(h) Being for One. 

38. {G. L. i. 176.) We ought, I think, to consider the 
significance of this category as mainly negative, in spite of its 
positive name. Its essence is that Being for Self is not also 
Being Determinate, and it might not unfairly have received the 
name of Not-Being for Other. 

Hegel has then no difficulty in proving that the One, for 
which the X is, can only be itself If it were anything else the 
Being for One would be Being for Other. And this is impossible, 
since Being for Other has already been transcended. The 
Being for One of X, then, is Being for Self 

This takes us to a new category which consists in the re- 
statement of Being for Self, but this time by itself without Being 
Determinate. To this Hegel {G. L. i. 181) gives the name of 

39. (c) One, 

which emphasises the negative and exclusive character of Being 
|_ for Self 

It seems to me that Hegel was wrong in subdividing Being 
for Self as Such. The category of Being Determinate and 
Being for Self is unjustified, for he only reached Being for Self 
by transcending Being Determinate. Being Determinate, 
therefore, in so far as it is true at all, is contained in Being for 
Self and cannot properly be put side by side with it. The 
Thesis of the triad must thus be rejected, and the Antithesis 
must go with it, since the only thing done in Being for One is 
to remove the Being Determinate which had been improperly 
introduced in the Thesis. There only remains the Synthesis of 
the triad — namely, One. Now Hegel's conception of One is just 
the same as his conception of Being for Self So the Thesis 
and Antithesis are removed, and the Synthesis is the same as 
the undivided category. Thus all the sub-divisions are re- 
moved. It would be convenient to call this undivided category 
One, rather than Being for Self as Such, as this distinguishes 



it more clearly from the wider tertiary category of Being for 
Self of which it is a subdivision. This is the course actually 
taken by Hegel in the Encyclopaedia (Enc. 96), where an 
undivided category of One is the Thesis in the triad of Being 
for Self. 

We now pass to the second division of Being for Self, 

40. B. The One and the Many 

(G. L. i. 182, Enc. 97) of which the first subdivision is 

(a) The One in Itself. 

[ (G. L. i. 183.) The first subdivision here is, as is to be 
expected, a restatement of the last subdivision of the previous 
division. The two bear, in this instance, almost the same name. 
Now the One, since it is Being for Self, has its nature by relating 
itself to, and distinguishing itself from, something other than 
itself. But this other is at first only determined negatively in 
reo^ard to the One. The relation of the other term to the One 
is simply that the other term is not the One, This other term 
has therefore, to begin with, a merely negative nature. The 
One is limited by the not-One, by which is meant, so far, 
not the Many, but only something which is not the One. Thus 
w^e get 

(6) The One and the Void. 

41. {G. L. i. 184,) The name of this category is appropriate 
enough as a metaphor, but we must remember that it is nothing 
but a metaphor. If it were a Void, in the literal sense of the 
term, which was thus related to the One, the One could only 
be an atom in space, which is not the case. 

But the One can only be negated by something like itself 
{G. L. i. 187). The One is definite, and its defiuiteness depends 
on a definite relation with the other term. And the relation 
between them cannot be a definite relation to a definite One, 
unless the other term is itself definite. Now it has been shown 
that nothing can be definite, unless it is for itself, and so is 
a One, Thus the One can only be negated by another One, 
which bring us to the category of 


42, (c) Many Ones 

' (G. L. i. 186), to which Hegel gives the additional name of 
Repulsion, since the relation of the Ones to each other is mainly 

Since the conception of the Many has laeen reached, the 
natural question to ask is How Many ? Hegel does not regard 
this, I think, as a question which can be answered by pure 
thought. Pure thought has proved the necessity for a plurail't^c-- 
has proved, that is, there must be at least two Ones, but not 
that there must be more than two. The proof of that would 
rest on the empirical fact that we are presented with more than 
two differentiations of our experience. So far as the dialectic 
can tell us, the number of Ones may be any number not less 
than two. There is no reason, that I can see, why the number 
should not be infinite, since the contradiction in the infinite 
series in Being Determinate did not depend on the infinity of 
the series but on the way in which its members wfere connected. 
This, of course, leaves the question undetermined whether, as we 
advance in the dialectic, we shall discover objections to an 
infinite number of differentiations^ 

Hegel says that the deduction of the Many Ones from the 
One must not be considered a Becoming " for Becoming is a 
transition from Being to Nothing ; One, on the other hand, 
only becomes One" {G. L. i. 187). And he also warns us 
{G. L. i. 188) that the plurality is not to be regarded as Other- 
being, for each One is only externally related to all the other 
Ones — while in Other-being the whole nature of the Something 
was found in its Other. 

The divisions of the One and the Many may perhaps be 
condemned as superfluous. If we start with the conception of a 
One determined by its relation to something else, it might be 
possible to conclude directly that this must be another One, and 
so reach the Many without the -intervening stage of the One 
and the Void. At the Avorst, however, the subdivisions here 
only are superfluous, and not, as in Being for Self as Such, 
positively erroneous. 

1 It might be said that any question of the number of Ones is improper, since 
Hegel does not introduce Number till he comes to Quantum. But it seems to 
me that what he introduces in Quantum is only the conception of a number of 
units less than the whole, and that therefore even before Quantum it is legitimate 
to enquire about the total number of Ones. (See below, Section 5-4.) 


We now pass to the last division cf Being for Self which is 

43. G. Repulsion and Attraction, 

(G. L. i. 190. Enc. 98) of ivhich the first subdivision is 

(a) Exclusion of the One. 

{G. L. i, 190.) This is a restatement of the category of 
Many Ones, which, as was said above, involves the Repulsion 
^ ^ oach One of the rest of the Many. But what is the nature 
of this Many which the One repels ? They are other Ones, 
and thus the One in Repulsion only relates itself to itself 
{G. L. i. 191). The Repulsion thereupon becomes Attraction, 
and the Many Ones come together in a single One. 

The new category thus obtained is called by Hegel 
{G. L. i. 194) 

(h) The one One of Attraction. 

44. It shows itself to be as untenable as its opposite. If 
there were only one One there could be no Attraction. For 
what would there be to attract it, or to be attracted by it ? 
And, again, that there should be only one One is impossible, 
because as has been shown already, One implies many Ones. 

The truth is, as we now see, that Attraction is only possible 
on condition of Repulsion, and Repulsion is only possible on 
condition of Attraction. They must be united, and so we reach 

45. (c) The Relation of Repulsion and Attraction 

(G. L. i. 195) which concludes the categories of Quality. 

It seems to me that the subdivisions of Repulsion and Attrac- 
tion, like those of Being for Self as Such, are positively erroneous. 
No doubt that which each One repels is other Ones, but this 
does not make them identical with it. Each One has Being 
for Self, each has its own nature, and the fact that they are all 
Ones does not destroy their plurality. If this is correct, we 
must reject the transition to the Antithesis, and therefore 
Hegel's deduction of the Synthesis must be invalid. 

The Relation of Repulsion and Attraction, which Hegel 
makes the Synthesis of the triad of Repulsion and Attraction, 
ought really, I think, to be the whole content of the undivided 
category of Repulsion and Attraction, And, if so, it may be 
very easily deduced. The previous category — the last in One 


and Many — was Repulsion. But Repulsion is impossible by 
itself. Two things cannot have merely negative relations to one 
another. If A is itself only on condition of not being B, then 
the existence of 5 is essential to A, and the relation is positive 
as well as negative. To take an example from a more concrete 
field, the relation of a combatant to his antagonist is negative. 
But it is also positive, for, if he had no one to fight, he could not 
be a combatant. Thus the relation of each One to the other 
One which it repels is positive as well as negative, and we have 
arrived at Hegel's conclusion, though in a simpler and more 
valid manner. 

We must, of course, here, as elsewhere, be on our guard 
against confusing Hegel's categories of Repulsion and Attraction 
with the far more concrete ideas of Physics after which he has 
named them. The Repulsion and Attraction of Physics may 
exemplify these categories, but they also contain empirical 
elements which Hegel has not deduced, and which he does not 
think that he has deduced. 
-^ 46. The dialectic has now reached Quantity. Quantity 
involves that the units should be so far indifferent to one another, 
as to be capable of combination or separation without any change 
in their nature. This is rendered possible by the equipoise 
between Repulsion and Attraction which has now been estab- 
lished. The Ones are sufficiently under the influence of 
Attraction to be brought together in aggregates. They are 
sufficiently under the influence of Repulsion to retain their 
separate existence in their aggregates, so that the quantity of 
the aggregate varies according to the number of its units. 

The dialectic thus regards it as an advance to pass from 
Quality to Quantity. This may seem to conflict with the 
ordinary view that quantitative determinations are more 
abstract and less profound than qualitative. But it must be 
remembered that this is said with reference to those qualitative 
relations which have transcended and absorbed Quantity, while 
Hegel, as we have seen, means by Quality only the simplest and 
most rudimentary form of what usually goes by the name. The 
most abstract Quantity may be an advance on this, although 
such Quantity may be very inadequate as compared with more 
complex qualitative determinations. 



47. Quantity is divided as follows : 

I. Quantity. (Die Quantitat.) 

A. Pure Quantit}^ (Die reine Quantitat.) 

B. Continuous and Discrete Magnitude. (Kontinuirliche 

und diskrete Grosse.) 

C. Limitation of Quantity. (Begrenzung der Quantitat.) 

II. Quantum. (Quantum.) 

A. Number. (Die Zahl.) 

B. Extensive and Intensive Quantum. (Exteusives und 

intensives Quantum.) 

(a) Their ditference. (Unterschied derselben.) 

(b) Identity of Extensive and Intensive Magnitude. 

(Identitat der extensiven und intensiven 

(c) The Alteration of Quantum. (Die Veranderung 

des Quantums.) 

C. The Quantitative Infinity. (Die quantitative Un- 


(a) Its Notion. (Begriff derselben.) 

(6) The Quantitative Infinite Progress. (Der quanti- 
tative unendliche Progress.) 

(c) The Infinity of Quantum. (Die Unendlichkeit des 

I. (undivided) quantity 43 

III. The Quantitative Ratio, (Das quantitative Verhaltniss.) 

A. The Direct Ratio. (Das direkte Verhaltniss.) 

B. The Inverse Ratio. (Das umgekehrte Verhaltniss.) 

C. The Ratio of Powers. (Potenzen verhaltniss.) 

It will be noticed that Quantity is used in an ambiguous 
manner, since it is the name both of the whole secondary 
division, and of the first of the tertiary divisions contained in it. 
The tertiary division might be distinguished if we gave it the 
name of Undivided Quantity, which, as we shall see, would be 
appropriate to it. 

The treatment of Quantity is not one of the most successful 
parts of the Greater Logic. It occupies a greater space than 
any of the other eight secondary divisions. Yet the transitions 
are frequently obscure, and often appear to owe their obscurity 
to excessive compression. By far the greater part of the 
186 pages which are employed on Quantity are occupied with 
Notes on collateral points. Some of these, indeed, throw 
additional light on the main argument, but the rest only con- 
tain criticisms of Kant's views on Quantity, and of certain 
mathematical doctrines. Hegel is never at his best when 
criticising Kant, and the mathematical discussions are too 
purely technical to give us much assistance in comprehending 
the course of the dialectic. 

48. Again, were Hegel's mathematics correct ? Was he 
right about the mathematics of his own time, and, if so, would 
he be right about the mathematics of the present day ? To 
answer these questions requires a knowledge of mathematics 
which I am very far from possessing. Mr Bertrand Russell — 

^one of the few philosophers who are also mathematicians — says : 
" In Hegel's day, the procedure of mathematicians was full of 
errors, which Hegel did not condemn as errors but welcomed as 
antinomies ; the mathematicians, more patient than the philoso- 
phers, have removed the errors by careful detailed work on 
every doubtful point. A criticism of mathematics based on 
Hegel can, therefore, no longer be regarded as applicable to the 

^existing state of the subjects" 

1 Mind, 1908, p. 242, 


But the value of Hegel's treatment of Quantity would only 
be slightly affected by the fact that his criticisms of mathematics 
were based on ignorance or by the fact that they had been 
invalidated by the progress of that science. The main object of 
the dialectic, after all, is to reach the Absolute Idea, and so to 
demonstrate what is the true nature of reality. Thus the 
principal function of the lower categories is to lead on to the 
Absolute Idea. And for this it is only requisite that each of 
them should logically follow from the one before it, and lead on 
to the one after it. 

Now the question whether Hegel's various categories of 
Quantity do perform this function is not affected by any mathe- 
matical mistakes which he may have made, nor can it be settled 
in the negative by any mathematical criticisms. The only 
question is whether Hegel was justified in starting the dialectic 
with the category of Pure Being, and whether the validity of 
the Hegelian categories of Quantity can be shown to be involved 
in the validity of the category of Pure Being. And this is 
a question for metaphysics and not for mathematics. 

It is true that Hegel's main aim in the dialectic was not his 
only aim. He wished, not merely to deduce an absolutely valid 
conception of reality, but to account for other less valid con- 
ceptions, and to range them in the order of their relative 
validity. He probably believed that the categories with which 
he deals in the sphere of Quantity were identical with the 
fundamental notions of mathematics. In so far as they were 
not so, he must be considered to have failed in his subordinate 
purpose, and, in so far as he has failed, to have introduced 
additional obscurity by the fact that he has called his categories 
by the names of the mathematical notions. 

But the purpose in which he may have failed is, as I have 
said, only of subordinate importance for him. And his failure 
if there is one\ would not be a sign of any metaphysical flaw in 
his system, but only of mathematical ignorance. If the dialectic 
process is correct, it will be true of all mathematical conceptions, 
as of all others, that the way in which we can judge of the 

1 Whether there is such a failure or not is left undetermined by Mr Russell's 
criticisms, since these do not deal with the main course of the argument but 
with one of the mathematical Notes. 

I. (undivided) quantity 45 

degree of their validity will be by means of the dialectic process. 
If the ideas are themselves stages in that process, the place 
which they occupy in it will give us their relative validity. If 
they are not stages in the process, their relative validity can be 
found by ascertaining the point in the dialectic at which it 
becomes clear that they are not absolutely valid. For example, 
if the absolute validity of mathematical ideas implied the 
absolute validity of the general conception of Quantum, as given 
in the dialectic, then, as the dialectic transcended Quantum, it 
would become evident that the mathematical ideas could not 
be absolutely valid. Thus, even if Hegel's judgments about 
mathematics were all wrong, that would not prevent his 
dialectic from being the foundation of right judgments on the 
same subject to a person more skilled in mathematics. 

I. (Undivided) Quantity. 
A. Pure Quantity. 

49. This stage (G. L. i. 212. Enc. 99) appears to be 
identical in content with the last stage of Quality, though ex- 
pressed with greater immediacy. The two elements, Repulsion 
and Attraction, which were recognised as inseparable in the 
final category of Quality, here receive the names of Discrete- 
ness and Continuity. 

Pure Quantity is a category of the fourth order, while the 
category immediately preceding it (Relation of Repulsion and 
Attraction) is of the fifth order. Thus, according to the general 
method of the dialectic they should not be identical in content. 
If, however, the subdivision which produced categories of the 
fifth order at this point is excessive, as I have maintained above 
(Section 45), this objection would disappear in an amended 

But, although Discreteness and Continuity are recognised as 
inseparable, it is still possible to lay a greater emphasis on one 
of them than on the other. And we begin, Hegel tells us 
{G. L. i. 213), by laying the greater emphasis on Continuity. 
The reason appears to be that this element is more character- 
istic of Quantity, though not more essential to it, than Dis- 
creteness. For as long as we had only Repulsion the process 


remained within Quality, but, as soon as Attraction was added, 
the transition to Quantity took place. And there is always a 
tendency to put most emphasis on the element last reached. 

B. Continuous and Discrete Magnitude. 

50. {G. L. i. 229.) By a somewhat abrupt transition we 
come to this category, in which Magnitude is to be taken 
first as Continuous. Here there is as yet no plurality of 
Quantities, and the one .Quantity is indefinite. A plurality of 
Quantities would require that they should be Discrete from one 
another. And, again, no Quantity can be definite unless by 
its having fixed boundaries — that is to say by being Discrete 
from the Quantity beyond those boundaries. It is true that, 
as was said above, all Quantity has an element of Discreteness. 
But, so far, the only things which are Discrete from one another 
are the units — the Ones — which are alike Discrete from and 
Continuous with one another. 
P Now a One, taken by itself, is not a Quantity at all. For it 
' has no plurality in it. And Ones have no possibility of varying 
in magnitude. All variations of magnitude are only variations 
in the number of the Ones. These characteristics are essential 
to Quantity, and they are not possessed by isolated Ones. And 
the isolated Ones being, so far, the only Discrete things, we 
have as yet no definite Quantity, and no pluralit}^ of Quantities. 
C (It may aj)pear incorrect to sa}'^ that a One admits of no 

plurality. Can we not, it may be asked, conceive an isolated 
One as consisting of two halves, four quarters, and so on ? But 
a One which consists of parts is no longer a mere One, which is 
all that the dialectic has got at present. It is something which, 
while from one point of view a unit, is, from another point of 
view, an aggregate of two or four units. And this involves the 
higher conception of Discrete Magnitude, which has not yet 
been reached. 

In the same way, we may conceive the units of which an 
aggregate is made up as having magnitude, and as being 
capable of having different magnitudes, and of varying in 
magnitude. But we can only do this in so far as we conceive 
each of them as made up in its turn of parts, and so as not being 
mere Ones.) 


I. (undivided) quantity 47 

The position at present is that we have a plurality of Ones — 
of the number of which we know nothing — which form a single 
Quantity. But within this single all-embracing Quantity there 
are as yet no minor Quantities. Each One is qualitatively 
different from each of the others, but all these qualitative 
differences are as yet unique. There are no qualities common 
to more than one One — except, indeed, the quality, if it may be 
called a quality, of being a One. And this is common to all 

Continuous Magnitude was formed by passing from One to 
One in virtue of their Continuity, (Continuity, it will be 
remembered, is what was previously called Attraction. It is the 
capability, possessed by Ones, of being united in an aggregate.) 
We now pass to Discrete Magnitude {G. L. i. 229). Each One 
is as really Discrete from all the others as it is continuous with 
them. Thus a Quantity, less than the whole, can be formed by 
taking certain Ones together, in virtue of their Continuity, and 
cutting them off from all others in virtue of their Discreteness. 
And this Quantity, being cut off by its Discreteness from the 
indefinite Quantity beyond it, will be a finite Quantity. In the 
indefinite Quantity, again, other finite Quantities can be formed, 
and thus we get a plurality of finite Quantities. 

51. In the form of this stage, as presented by Hegel, there 
appear to be two defects. The first is that no reason is given 
why we should pass from Pure Quantity to the new stage. The 
second is that, although Continuous and Discrete Magnitude is 
not divided into a subordinate triad, yet there is a distinct 
dialectic advance within it — namely from Continuous to Discrete 

These defects seem to me to be merely a matter of arrange- 
ment. Continuous Magnitude is not really a fresh stage, or 
part of a fresh stage, at all. It is nothing but Pure Quantity, 
since, as we have seen, it does not permit of definite Quantity, 
or of a plurality of Quantities, 

On the other hand Discrete Magnitude is not merely corre- 
lative with Continuous Magnitude. It is distinctly a more 
advanced conception. It gives us the distinctness and plurality 
which were lacking before, and it gives them to us by differen- 
tiating the relation between Ones — by joining some of them to 


others, and disjoining them from others again, instead of making 
the relation uniform. 

It is, then, in reality, to Discrete Magnitude that the 
advance from Pure Quantity is made. This is evident in 
Hegel's text, but is misrepresented by his headings. In order 
that these should correspond with his argument, he should have 
dealt with Continuous Magnitude under the head of Pure 
Quantity, and should have made his second stage simply 
Discrete Magnitude, instead of Continuous and Discrete. 

It should be remarked that, although the transition to 
Discrete Magnitude lies in the possibility of breaking off the 
Quantity at any One, this does not mean that it is merely 
a possible transition. Continuous Magnitude is that which 
cannot be broken off at any point. Discrete Magnitude is that 
which can be broken off at any point. When we are forced to 
admit the possibility of breaking Magnitude off at any point, 
this is a necessary transition to the category of Discrete 

We can break it off, then, at any point we like. But no 
reason has been given why we should break it off at one point 
rather than at another. Nor can any such reason be given 
until we have passed out of the sphere of Quantity into 
Measure. To this point we shall recur later on. 

C. Limitation of Quantity. 

52. (G. L. i. 231.) Hegel says that Discrete Magnitude as 
such is not limited. It is only limited as separated from the 
Continuous. By this, I conceive, he means that, if the Discrete 
Magnitude were taken in isolation, its final One would not be 
a Limit, because it would not divide the Discrete Magnitude 
from anything else. It is only in so far as it is regarded as in 
connexion with the indefinite Continuous Magnitude from which 
it has been carved out, that its final term is to be considered 
a Limit. (On Hegel's use of Limit cp. above, Section 27.) 

The Discrete Magnitude, then, shares its Limit with the 
Continuous Magnitude outside it. It is thus in a definite relation 
to that which bounds it, and has itself a definite amount. To 
definite Quantities Hegel gives the name of Quanta, and so we 
pass to the second main division of Quantity. 


II. Quantum. 

A, Number. 

'~' 53. {G. L. i. 232, Enc. 101.) In reaching the conception of 
a limited and definite Quantity we have, according to Hegel, 
reached for the first time the possibility of Number. While 
Quantity is merely continuous it cannot be numbered. For 
then there is no intermediate term between the separate Ones 
and the whole indefinite Quantity. And the separate Ones in 
their separateness cannot have any Number, since each of them 
is only One. But now that we have a definite Quantum, it 
consists of those Ones which are included between certain 
I Limits, and can therefore be numbered. 

54. It may be admitted that, up to this point, there could 
be no Number of anything less than the whole Quantity. But 
why could not this have a Number? We do not know how 
many Ones there are. But this does not prevent them from 
having a Number, though the dialectic cannot tell us what it is. 

Hegel would probably have said that what was infinite 
could have no Number, and he does not seem to have con- 
sidered the possibility that there should be a finite number of 
Ones. But I cannot see that this possibility can be neglected. 
Each One has — or rather is — a separate Quality. I cannot see 
anything in the dialectic to exclude the possibility that there 
should be just twenty such Qualities, and so twenty such Ones, 
no more and no less. 

We must remember that the Ones are not Somethings. The 
latter had to be infinite in number, since each of them required 
a fresh Something beyond it. But the Ones have Being for 
Self, and so avoided, as we saw, this infinite series. Again, if 
Ones were always divisible into other Ones, their number would 
necessarily be infinite, but each One is a simple Quality, which 
is not divisible. Nor does each One involve an endless chain 
of derivative Ones in the same way, e.g., that every relation is 
related, so that the number of relations is infinite. 

It is true that the Number of the whole Quantity of Ones 
could not have a Limit, in the Hegelian sense, since there 
would be nothing outside it. But a Limit, in this sense, does 
not seem necessary, since the Ones which are numbered have 


Being for Self. They can reciprocally determine each other, 
and when their natures are given, the number of them is given 

Thus it seems quite possible that all the Ones, taken together, 
should have a definite and finite Number. That this possibility 
should have escaped Hegel may very well, I think, be due to 
the fact that he did not keep sufficiently in his mind the precise 
significance of his categories of Quantity. 

These categories, like all others in the dialectic, refer only 
to what is existent. (Cp. above, Section 6.) He is not dealing 
with the purely abstract conception of quantity, which can be 
applied to anything which can be thought of at all. His 
categories of Quantity are attempts to explain the nature of 
what is existent by the conception of quantities of existent 
Ones — the nature of each One being, as we saw in the last 
chapter, a simple and unique Quality. 

So far as I can see, he never definitely asserts anything 
inconsistent with this view of the categories of Quantity — the 
only view which he is entitled to take — except when he deals 
with Quantitative Ratio. (Cp. below, Section 66.) But his 
expressions often suggest that he is thinking rather of abstract 
quantity than of a Quantity of existent Ones. This may 
account for his failing to see the possibility of the total number, 
under the categories of Undivided Quantity, being limited. For 
of course there is no limit to a purely abstract quantity. 

What Hegel says, however, in reaching his category of 
Number, only requires a verbal correction. For it is true that 
Hegel's category of Number is the first point at which any 
Quantity, less than the whole Quantity of Ones, could have 
a number. 

55. " Quantity is Quantum " says Hegel, " or has a Limit, 
both as Continuous and as Discrete Magnitude. The difference 
of these species has here no meaning" (G. L. i. 232). This 
must not be taken as an as.sertion that Continuity and Dis- 
creteness have no longer meaning as different moments in any 
Quantity. It is only the distinction between Continuous and 
Discrete Magnitudes which has no longer any meaning. And 
this result was brought about in Limitation of Quantity. For 
there we saw that a Discrete Magnitude could only be Discrete 


in so far as it was positively related to that which was outside 
it. And this positive relation is what Hegel calls Continuity. 

Quantity is now indifferent to its Limit, but not indifferent 
to having a Limit, for to have a Limit is identical with being a 
Quantum {G. L. i. 232). The distinction seems to be that it 
is always essential to a Quantum to have a Limit, but never 
essential to it to have a particular Limit. Of course, if it had 
a different Limit, it would be a different Quantum. But then 
there is no reason why it should not be different. This will be 
explained when we reach the Quantitative Infinite Progress. 

Hegel further says that the Ones which make up any 
Quantum are indifferent to the Limit, but that the Limit is 
not indifferent to the Ones {G. L. i. 234). As the Limit is 
that which determines the Quantum to be what it is, it follows 
that the Ones in a Quantum are indifferent to the Quantum, 
while the Quantum is not indifferent to them. 

This superiority of the units to the aggregate is essential to 
Quantity, and is implied in all quantitative statements. When 
we say, for example, 7 = 5 + 2, we assume that each of the 
units dealt with will remain unchanged, whether it is combined 
with more or fewer others. If not, the proposition would not 
be true. But the aggregates do not remain the same, regard- 
less of the units. If, for example, we take one unit away from 
7, what remains is no longer equal to 5 + 2. 

B. Extensive and Intensive Quantum. 
(a) Their Difference. 

56. {G. L. i. 252.) Extensive and Intensive Quanta differ 
from each other in a manner analogous to the difference between 
Continuous and Discrete Quantity. The distinction between 
the two pairs of terms is that Extensive and Intensive refer to 
Quantitative Limits only, and, as the Quantum is identical with 
its Limit, they apply to Quanta, while, since no Quantities 
except Quanta have Limits, they apply to no Quantities except 
Quanta. Continuous and Discrete, on the other hand, apply to 
all Quantities. 

We have first Extensive Quantum. This conception is 
identical with that of Number, except that its determination is 
now explicitly posited as a plurality (Vielheit) {G. L. i. 253), 



I do not see why plurality is more explicitly posited in the 
conception of Extensive Quantum than in that of Number, nor 
does Hegel give any reason why it should be so. The idea of 
Extensive Quantum has the same content with the idea of 
Number. The Extensive Quantum is looked on as primarily a 
plurality. It is not exclusively a plurality, for, since it is 
a Quantum, it must be definite, and, being definite, must be 
Discrete. It is therefore a unity as well as a plurality, but its 
distinctive mark is plurality. Now this is also the case with 
Number. A Number is a unity, or it could not be definite. 
But it is conceived as more essentially a plurality. In 
Number, as we saw above, the Ones are indifferent to the 
Quantum, but the Quantum is not indifferent to them. The 
plurality is thus more essential than the unity. 

But since the Quantum is a unity it can also be taken with 
the greater emphasis on the unity, and when this is done we get 
the conception of Intensive Quantum {G. L. i. 253. Enc. 103). 

The difference between Intensive and Extensive Quantum 
is thus one of comparative emphasis ^ Extensive Quantum has 
a certain unity, but its unity is subordinate to its plurality. It 
is comparatively Continuous with what is outside it, and com- 
paratively Discrete within itself Intensive Quantum is more 
Discrete from the external, more Continuous within, and its 
unity is therefore greater than that of Extensive Quantum. 
The Limit of an Intensive Quantum is called its Degree 
{Q. L. i. 254. Enc. 103). The Degree of such a Quantum is 
rather Mehrheit than Mehreres, and while it may be spoken of 
as a Number (Zahl), it must not, since it is simple, be regarded 
as a Sum (Anzahl) {G. L. i. 254). 

(6) Identity of Extensive and Intensive Magnitude. 

57. {G. L. i. 255.) The treatment of this point is rather 
obscure. Hegel says " Extensive and Intensive Magnitudes are 
thus one and the same determination of Quantum ; they are 
only separated by the fact that one has its Sum inside itself, 
the other has its Sum outside itself Extensive Magnitude 
passes over into Intensive Magnitude, since its plurality falls 

1 Hegel's use of the term Intensive Quantum differs considerably from that 
of most other writers. 


inherently into a unity, outside which plurality is found. But 
on the other hand this unity only finds its determination in 
a Sum, and in a Sum which is regarded as its own ; as some- 
thing which is indifferent to Intensities otherwise determined, 
it has the externality of the Sum in itself; and thus Intensive 
Magnitude is as essentially Extensive Magnitude" {G.L. i. 256). 

Does this mean that the two terms are strictly correlative — 
that they stand side by side in the dialectic process, and that 
the transition from Intensive to Extensive is of precisely similar 
nature to the transition from Extensive to Intensive ? Or does 
it mean that Intensive Quantum stands higher on the scale 
than Extensive, and that the transition from Extensive to 
Intensive is the transition of the dialectic process, while the 
transition from Intensive to Extensive only means that what is 
seen under a higher category can, if we choose, also be regarded 
under a lower one ? 

The words quoted above suggest the first of these alterna- 
tives. And this is supported by the passage which immediately 
follows them {G. L. i. 257). In this we are told that with 
this identity we gain a Qualitative Something, since the 
identity is a unity which is formed by the negation of its 
differences. This on the whole suggests that the two terms are 
to be taken as on an absolute equality. 

Nevertheless it seems to me that the weight of the evidence 
is on the whole in favour of the view which finds Intensive 
Magnitude a more advanced stage of the dialectic process than 
Extensive Magnitude. To this conclusion I am led by three 

In the first place we cannot safely lay much weight on 
Hegel's expressions about the Qualitative Something. For the 
mention of a Qualitative element here seems very casual. It is 
dropped as soon as it has been made. We hear nothing more 
of it while we remain in the division of Quantum. The next 
mention of a Qualitative element comes in the division which 
succeeds Quantum — namely Quantitative Relation. And when 
it comes in there, it is introduced quite independently, with no 
reference to the passage on p. 257, and in quite a different 
way. That passage cannot therefore be considered as of much 


In the second place, the transition to the next category 
(Alteration of Quantum) does not start from the identity of 
Extensive and Intensive Magnitudes, but from the consideration 
of Intensive Magnitude taken by itself. This will, I think, be 
evident when we come to consider the transition, and it would 
follow that Intensive Magnitude must be above Extensive in 
the scale of categories, since the possibility of advancing from 
the Intensive alone implies that the Intensive has absorbed the 

In the third place, this view is supported by several passages. 
Hegel says (G. L. i. 279, 280) that the notion of Quantum 
reaches its reality as Intensive Magnitude, and is now posited 
in its Determinate Being as it is in its Notion. This agrees 
with the Encyclopaedia, where he says {Enc. 104) that in 
Degree the notion of Quantum is explicitly posited. Also there 
is not the slightest doubt that, in the Encyclopaedia, Intensive 
Quantum is higher than Extensive Quantum, since it falls in 
the third subdivision of Quantity, while Extensive Quantum 
falls in the second. 

58. On the whole, therefore, although the evidence is 
certainly conflicting, I think that the Greater Logic regards 
Intensive Quantum as higher than Extensive Quantum. We 
can see why this should be so. .Intensive Quantum empha- 
sises the unity of the Quantum rather than its plurality. 
In other words, it emphasises the Limit. This carries us 
further away from the indefinite Quantity with which the 
treatment of Quantity began. Intensive Quantum is thus 
the more developed idea of the two. 

The necessity of the transition does not lie in any contra- 
diction in Extensive Quantum which forces us to pass to 
Intensive. The contradiction would lie in denying that a 
Quantum which was Extensive was also Intensive. For any 
Quantum must be Continuous within itself, and Discrete from 
what is outside it. In virtue of this it is a unity, and so is 
Intensive. Thus the previous conclusion that the universe is 
such that the conception of Extensive Quantum is applicable 
to it, involves that the conception of Intensive Quantum is 
likewise applicable, and anything else which is involved in the 
conception of Intensive Quantum. 


Hegel's titles, then, do injustice to the course of his 
arofument. The real advance is not from the difference between 
Extensive Quantum and Intensive Quantum to the identity 
between them. It is rather from Extensive Quantum to 
Intensive Quantum. And thus the two first subdivisions 
of Extensive and Intensive Quantum should have been 
(a) Extensive Quantum, (b) Intensive Quantum. 

Thus, for the second time in this chapter, we find that 
Hegel's titles are misleading. In each case the defect arose 
from the titles taking as correlative two conceptions, of which 
his argument shows one to be superior to the other. In the 
fii-st case it was the Continuous and Discrete; in the second 
case it was the Extensive and Intensive. It may perhaps be 
the case that the confusion arose from following in the titles 
the usage of mathematics, for which each of these pairs is a 
pair of two correlatives which are strictly on an equality with 
one another. Should this be the true explanation, it would 
add another to the cases in which the consideration of the 
finite sciences, so far from rendering assistance to the dialectic, 
has distorted it, and injured its cogency. 

59. We now come to the transition to the next category. 
Of this Hegel says: "The Quantum is the determination 
posited as transcended, the indifferent limit, the determination 
which is equally the negation of itself. This discrepancy is 
developed in Extensive Magnitude, but it is Intensive Magni- 
tude which is the determinate being of this externality, which 
constitutes the intrinsic nature of the Quantum. It is posited 
as its own cpntradiction, as being the simple determination 
relating itself to itself, which is the negation of itself, as having 
its determination, not in itself, but in another Quantum. 

" A Quantum is therefore posited as in absolute Continuity, 
in respect of its Quality, with what is external to it, with its 
Other. It is therefore not only possible that it should go 
beyond any determination of Magnitude, it is not only possible 
that it should be altered, but it is posited as necessarily alter- 
able. The determination of Magnitude continues itself in its 
Other being in such a way that it has its being only in its 
Continuity with an Other; it is a limit which is not, but 
becomes" {G. L. i. 261. Cp. also Enc. 104). 


That is to say, there is nothing to decide why, when there 
is a Quantum, it should be one Quantum, with one Magnitude, 
rather than another Quantum, with another Magnitude. Magni- 
tudes can only be fixed by non-quantitative considerations. 
There is an db priori reason why a triangle has three sides, 
rather than two or four. There is an empirical reason why there 
are seven apples on this dish, rather than six or eight. But these 
reasons are not to be found in the nature of three or seven, 
but in the nature of triangles, or of the distribution of apples. 

Now there are no non-quantitative considerations to deter- 
mine the Quanta under this category. The only non-quantitative 
feature that the Quanta have at all is that each One is a 
separate and unique Quality. And this obviously can give 
no reason why some of the Ones should be conjoined in a 
particular Quantum and others left out. This could only be 
determined by some general quality, shared by some of the 
Ones, and not by Others. And this is a conception which the 
dialectic has not yet reached. 

But, it may be objected, why should a reason be wanted 
at all ? Why should it not be an ultimate fact — since some 
facts must be ultimate — that these seventeen Ones, for example, 
should be parts of the same Quantum, and that no others 
should be ? This would give a definite Quantum. 

I do not think this objection is valid. If this Quantum 
was an ultimate fact, it would imply that there was some 
difference between any One inside the Quantum and any One 
outside it, of a different nature from any ditference which could 
occur between any two Ones inside the Quantum. A, inside 
the Quantum, cannot differ in the same way from B inside it 
and from G outside it. Now, with the category at present 
before us, it is impossible that there should be such a difference 
between differences. Each One differs from every other One 
precisely in the same way. Each is a separate numerical One, 
and each is a unique Quality. And there is no other way in 
which any One can differ from another One^ Thus, not only 

1 This argument assumes the principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles, 
since it would be invalid if Ones could differ in their relations without differing 
in their nature. But Hegel habitually assumes the truth of this principle. 
(Cp. Section 6.) 


can no reason be given for stopping at one point rather than 
another, but to stop at one point rather than another would 
introduce a conception (that of different sorts of differences 
between Ones) positively incompatible with the present 

60. Hegel expresses this by saying that, while each 
Quantum has its determination in another Quantum \ and 
stops where the other begins, it is at the same time continuous 
with this other Quantum — the Ones are just the same on each 
side of the Limit, and there can be no reason why the Limit 
should not be put elsewhere, and so add to the Quantum or 
diminish it. And so we come to 

(c) The Alteration of Quantum. 

{G. L. 261.) Why, it may be asked, did not this conception 
of the necessary variation of Quantity come before ? Surely 
it is as true of an Extensive Quantum as of an Intensive 
Quantum that it is essentially alterable. 

I think it is true that, if we had stopped at Extensive 
Quantum, without going on to Intensive, this conception of 
Alteration would have necessarily followed from Extensive 
Quantum. But the more immediately obvious transition — 
and therefore the one to take first — was the transition to 
Intensive Quantum. And, if Intensive Quantum was to come 
in at all, the transition to Alteration of Quantum comes better 
after it, for the necessity of that transition then becomes far 
more obvious. As was said in the passage quoted above, it 
was developed in Extensive Magnitude, but finds its determi- 
nate being in Intensive Magnitude. 

When we regard a Quantum as Extensive, we regard the 
plurality of Ones as the element which is logically prior, and 
the Quantum as a whole is regarded as dependent on the Ones. 
Now so long as we refer the Quantum to the Ones, there is 
a reason for the Quantum being the size it is, and no other, 
namely that it includes those Ones, and no others. If we go 
further, and ask why those Ones and no others should be 

1 The transition from the Quantum is taken by Hegel as being first to an 
indefinite Quantity. (Cp. below, Section 61.) It would therefore have been 
better if he had said here that each Quantum was bounded by another Quantity. 


included, no answer could be given, and the conception of 
Alteration would arise, but so long as we regard the Ones 
as ultimate in reference to the Quantum, the necessity of 
Alteration remains in the background. 

But with Intensive Quantum it comes at once to the front. 
For then the unity of the Quantum is the prominent element. 
And therefore our question — why is it this Quantum, and not 
a larger or smaller one — cannot be referred back to the Ones 
which it contains. And therefore the necessity of Alteration, 
which is due to the impossibility of answering this question, 
follows more obviously and naturally from Intensive Quantum. 

This is what Hegel means when he says {G. L. i. 253) that 
a determination of a Quantum through Number (which is a 
category previous to Intensive Quantum) does not need another 
Magnitude, because in Number Quantum has its externality, 
and its relation to another, inside itself (If this passage seems 
to deny all tendency to Alteration in the case of an Extensive 
Quantum, we must remember the explicit assertion on page 261 
tliat the difference in this respect between Extensive and In- 
tensive is merely a matter of degree.) And again (G. L. i. 254) 
" Degree, tlierefore, which is simple and in itself, and so has its 
external Otherbeing no longer in itself, has that Otherbeing 
outside itself, and relates itself to it as to its determination." 

61. We have now come to the end of Extensive and In- 
tensive Quantum, and pass on to the third subdivision of 
Quantum, which is called 

C. The Quantitative Infinity, 
(a) Its Notion. 

(G. L. i. 263.) The first subdivision of Quantitative Infinity, 
is, as it should be, the restatement of the last subdivision of the 
preceding triad. The first movement of the Quantum when it 
passes its Limit is into a Quantity which is simply defined 
as not being that Quantum. So far, then, it is only Quantity, 
and no longer Quantum. And as Quantity is only bounded 
when it is Quantum, this Quantity has no boundaries at all. 
Thus it is infinite. 

Hegel now proceeds to remark on the difference between 
the Qualitative Infinity, which was one of the triads in Being 


Determinate, and that Quantitative Infinity with which we are 
r DOW dealing {G. L. i. 264). That which is Qualitatively deter- 
mined is not posited as having the other in itself. Magnitudes, 
on the other hand, are posited as being essentially Alterable — 
as being, in Hegel's somewhat peculiar language, " unequal to 
themselves and indifferent to themselves." 

The difference is one which always arises between lower and 
higher categories in Hegel's philosophy. The method of the 
dialectic changes gradually as the dialectic process advances. 
(Cp. Enc. Ill, 161, 240.) It becomes more of a spontaneous 
advance from category to category, and less of a breaking 
down, by negative methods, of the resistance of categories 
which oppose any movement beyond them. It is thus to be ex- 
pected, since Quantity comes later than Quality in the process, 
that the finite in Quantity should lead on to the infinite more 
expressly and directly than the finite in Quality does. 

The transition to the Infinite Quantitative Progress, which 
now takes place, is analogous to the transition to the Infinite 
Qualitative Progress. (Cp. above. Section 83.) The Quantum 
is after all continuous with the indefinite Quantity into which 
it has passed over. If it were not, it would not have passed 
over into it. The passage has only taken place because both 
terms are Quantities, only separated by a Limit to which it 
is the nature of Quantity to be indifferent. But the Quantity 
on the other side of the Limit will also be composed of Ones, 
and thus the argument is again applicable which originally 
transformed Quantity into Quantum. The Other Side (Jenseits) 
of the original Quantum is now itself a Quantum. And there- 
fore, like the original Quantum, it is essentially subject to 
alteration, and will pass the Limit, only thereby to reach a 
third Quantum, which will be suppressed in its turn, and so 
on {G. L. i. 265)1. 

1 The category of the Notion of Quantitative Infinity, which we have just 
been considering, corresponds to the category in Quality called Infinity in 
General, and the Quantitative Infinite Progress corresponds to the Keciprocal 
Determination of the Finite and Infinite. We saw reason to think (Section 31) 
that the stage of Infinity in General was a mistake, and that we should have 
passed, in Quality, direct from Finitude to Reciprocal Determination of the 
Finite and the Infinite. 

I do not, however, think that the Notion of Quantitative Infinity is an 
invalid category. The argument for the Infinity is quite different in the two 


62. We now come to 

(b) The Quantitative Infinite Progress. 

(G. L. i. 264. Enc. 104.) At this point Hegel inserts an 
interesting note on the supposed sublimity of the sort of 
Infinite which is revealed in such a progress as this. Such an 
Infinite, he says, can produce nothing but weariness {G. L. i. 268. 
Enc. 104) ^ This is extremely characteristic of Hegel. When 
he says that the true Infinite is not the unbounded, but the 
self-determined, he does not merely change the meaning of a 
word, but claims for the self-determined all the dignity which 
is commonly attributed to the unbounded. It is, perhaps, to 
his deep conviction that true greatness lies in self-limitation, 
and not in the absence of limitation, that we are to ascribe 
much of the special reverence which he shows for the ideas 
of the Greeks, as well as his low opinion of the Romanticism 
of his own age and country. 

We must not forget, however, that Hegel never says that 
the False Infinite of an Infinite Series is necessarily contra- 
dictory, though he does say it is worthless and tedious. But 
in the present case there is a contradiction, as there was with 
the Infinite Series in Quality. We had reached the idea of 
a Quantum, and a Quantum has to be definite. But it can 
only be definite by having a certain Limit, and by keeping 
within it. We have seen, however, that any Quantum neces- 
sarily passes its Limit, and overflows into a fresh Quantum. 
It is not, therefore, determined in Magnitude. But it is of 

cases, and here it seems to be valid. If a Quantum passes its Limit, the first 
result of that is, as Hegel states it to be, that it becomes an unlimited Quantity. 
It is a fresh step in the argument to show that this Quantity must still be a 
Quantum and have a fresh Limit, and so on indefinitely. Thus the passage to 
the Infinite Progress in Quantity, unlike the passage to the Infinite Progress in 
Quality, does require a transition through a stage of absence of Limitation. 

It was possibly the necessity for such a stage of absence of Limitation in 
Quantity, which misled Hegel into supposing that it was necessary in Quality 
as well. 

^ His expression in the Encyclopaedia is "welches Kant als schauderhaft 
bezeichnet, worin indess das eigentlich Schauderhafte nur die Laugweiligkeit 
sein diirfte." In the first edition of his translation Prof. Wallace happily 
renders this : " which Kant describes as awful. The only really awful thing 
about it is the awful wearisomeness." The second edition is, I think, less 


the. essence of Quantum to be determined, and the dialectic 
will not permit us to reject the idea of Quantum altogether. 
In this case, therefore, a contradiction arises. 

63. To this argument an objection might be raised. Let 
us take the Quantum as enlarged till it includes the whole 
Quantity of Ones. Will it not then be determined, since it 
is impossible for it to increase beyond this point ? It will not, 
indeed, have a Limit, in the technical Hegelian sense, but it 
will have a fixed Magnitude, and this is all that is wanted. 

Hegel does not seem to have considered this point. As I 
said above (Section 54), he would probably have considered 
that an infinite Quantity of Ones would have no Number, and 
no definite Magnitude, and he apparently ignored the possibility 
of the Ones being finite in number. But this possibility, as we 
saw above, cannot justifiably be ignored. 

It does not, however, remove the contradiction. And this 
for two reasons. In the first place, the category of Quantum 
arose from the fact that Quantity, in virtue of its characteristic 
of Discreteness, could be divided at any point — we could make 
a Quantum wherever we liked by dividing Quantity. Now if 
the only way in which we can get a Quantity of a fixed 
Magnitude is by including all the Ones, then there will only 
be one such fixed Magnitude, and it will not arise by dividing 
the total Quantity, but by including it all. This is not a 
Quantum. For a Quantum is made by dividing the total 
Quantity, and has always, therefore, other Quanta beyond it. 
The fixed Magnitude of the whole of Quantity, then, would not 
be a Quantum, and thus the contradiction would still remain — 
that it has been proved that there must be determined Quanta,, 
and that no Quantum can be determined. 

In the second place, a Quantum would not be determined 
by the fact that it could increase no further. For its instability 
works both ways. There is no more reason why it should not 
be smaller than it is, than why it should not be larger than it 
is. (Hegel only speaks of the indeterminateness in the one 
direction, but his arguments apply equally to the other.) Thus, 
suppose a Quantum could contain all the Ones, the process of 
Alteration would take place with it as much as with any other,, 
though it could only take place in one direction. 


64. How is the contradiction to be avoided ? In a very 
similar way to that in which the same dilBculty was met in 
the case of Qualitative Infinity. That which is outside any 
■Quantum is another Quantum. If we try to find the determi- 
nation of any Quantum in itself exclusively, then we find that 
its Limit continually alters, and that the task is endless. But 
the case is changed if we fully accept the relation of each 
Quantum to the other which is outside it. No Quantum can 
•determine itself as against another Quantum. But two Quanta 
can reciprocally determine one another. There is no reason 
why 7 Ones should not change to 8, or 17 Ones to 16, if we 
take 7 Ones and 17 Ones as isolated facts, each of which must 
be determined by itself, or not at all. But if we take these 
•Quanta as related to one another, then there is a reason why 
7 Ones should not become 8 — for then the Quantum would 
bear a different relation to the 17 Ones. And there is a 
corresponding reason why 17 Ones should not become 16. 
Thus the Quanta have now some real self-determination, 
though it is slight ; A cannot become greater or less, because 
it would thereby change its relation to B. And its relation 
to B is what it is, not only because B is 5, but because A 
is A. With this partial self-determination we reach 

(c) The Infinity of Quantum 

{0. L. i. 279. Enc. 105) by which is meant the true Infinity 
of self-determination, as opposed to the False Infinity of an 
unending progress. 

65. It will be noticed that there is a difference between 
the Quantitative Infinite Progress and the earlier Qualitative 
Infinite Progress. In Quality the Something finds its nature 
only in another Something, which in turn finds its nature in 
a third, and so on. The Somethings themselves do not change, 
tut fresh Somethings are continually reached in the vain search 
for a final determination. In Quantity, however, the Infinite 
Progress is not a Progress of an Infinity of Quanta, but of a 
single Quantum, which endlessly increases in size as it succes- 
■sively overleaps every Limit. 

In Quality no change of anything was possible. The nature 
of reality was not yet sufificiently complex to allow anything 


to become different in one respect while remaining the same 
in others. If a thing is not completely the same it has utterly 
vanished. It is impossible, therefore, for a Something to change, 
and the Infinite Progress can only take place by adding fresh 

f In Quantity, however, change is possible. The gradual 
addition of fresh Ones to a Quantum affords a changing 
element, while the Ones previously in it afford the permanent 

1 element, without which there can be no change. 

p With this stage of the dialectic the idea of Quality becomes 
more prominent again. Not only are the Ones each a separate 
Quality, as they have been all along, but in each Quantum, 
I also, a Qualitative nature begins to develope {G. L. i. 281. 
Enc. 105). This is most clearly stated in the Encyclopaedia. 
" That the Quantum in its independent character is external 
to itself, is what constitutes its Quality. In that externality 
it is itself and referred connectively to itself There is a union 
in it of externality, i.e. the Quantitative, and of independency 
<Being-for-Self) — the Qualitative." The essential character of 
Quantity was its instability. Now this characteristic begins 
to disappear. The Quantum can no longer alter without any 
effect on anything but its own Magnitude. For it is now in 
relation to some other Quantum, and it cannot alter unless 
either that other Quantum, or the relation, alters simulta- 
neously. This is the first step (though as yet a very small one) 
towards bringing back, on a liigher level, the fixity of Quality. 
With it we pass out of Quantum to the third and last division 
of Quantity, after some mathematical digressions occupying 
nearly a hundred pages. 

III. The Quantitative Ratio. 

66. ((?. Z. i. 379. ^uc. 105.) The Ratio between two Quanta, 
says Hegel, is itself a Quantum (G. L. i. 880). And it is true 
that it is a determinate number. But it differs too much from 
the Quanta, which it relates, to have any claim to the name of 
Quanttnn. For they are Quanta of Ones, while the Ratio is 
not. The Ratio between twelve existent Ones and six existent 
Ones is certainly two, but it is not two existent Ones. Hegel 


does not seem to see this, and treats all three quantities here 
as if they were simply terms in abstract arithmetic, in which he 
is not justified. 

67. The first and simplest form of Ratio is called 

A. The Direct Ratio. 

{G. L. i. 381.) The related Quanta are here taken as logic- 
ally prior, and the Quantum which is their Ratio as logically 
subsequent. Thus we get, for example, that the Ratio of 7 
to 35 is 5. The Ratio is called the Exponent. 

Now the Quantum which is the Ratio is no more deter- 
mined by the two Quanta of which it is the Ratio than it is 
by an infinite number of pairs of other Quanta. For example, 
5 is equally the Ratio of 6 and 30, of 8 and 40, and so on. 
It follows that the related Quanta can alter to any extent 
absolutely, provided that they do not alter relatively. So long 
as one remains five times the other they may both increase or 
diminish indefinitely. 

Nothing is stable but the Exponent. And therefore Hegel 
finds it a defect in this category that the Exponent is not 
sufficiently discriminated from the other Quanta. It cannot be 
the largest of the three Quanta concerned, but it can be either 
of the others. We have said that 7 and 35 stand to each other 
in a Ratio expressed by 5. But we might just as well have 
said that 5 and 35 stand to each other in a Ratio expressed 
by 7 (G. L. i. 383). 

It seems to me that this argument is defective because it 
ignores the fact, pointed out above, that the Ratio is not a 
Magnitude of the same sort as the Quanta of which it is a 
Ratio. They are Quanta made up of existent Ones, using the 
word One in the special sense in which the dialectic has 
determined it. But the Ratio is not a Number of Ones, in 
this sense, at all. Therefore the Ratio and the related Quantum 
are not interchangeable in the way Hegel asserts. 

68. It is on this supposed defect that the transition to 
the next category is based. Since — this appears to be 
Hegel's argument — the Exponent has the stability which the 
other Quanta do not possess, it must be distinguishable from 
them. But in Direct Ratio this is not the case, since the 


Exponent is interchangeable with the related Quanta. We 
must therefore seek out another sort of Ratio, where the 
Exponent is marked out by the nature of the relation. Now, 
if we take three integral numbers, there is a relation between 
them which has the required definiteness. If one of them is 
the product of the other two, then it is the largest of the three 
that will be the product'. So we come to 

B. The Inverse Ratio 

{G. L. i. 384) where the Exponent is the product of the two 
related Quanta. It appears to be called Inverse because the 
iucrease of one of the related Quanta involves the diminution 
of the other. 

69. The transition to the next category is extremely 
obscure. So far as I can understand it, it is as follows 
{G. L. i. 389). Either of the two related Quanta can increase, 
so long as the other diminishes, the only Limit of this process 
being that neither of the related Quanta can become larger 
than the Exponent. Thus either of the related Quanta is 
implicitly (an sich) the Exponent. Hegel calls this "the 
negation of the externality of the Exponent." This means, I 
believe, that there are no longer necessarily three Quanta, but 
only two, namely the Exponent, connected with one other 
Quantum, no longer by a third Quantum, but by some non- 
quantitative relation. And thus, says Hegel — without giving 
any further explanation — we reach 

G. The Ratio of Powers. 

{G. L. i. 389.) By this he appears to mean only the special 
relation which exists between two numbers, one of which is the 
square of the other. It is the square, as the result of the 
process, which is treated as the Exponent. 

70. The transition appears very questionable. It may be 
admitted that the indefinite approximation of one of the 
related Quanta to the Exponent brings a Qualitative element 
into greater prominence, and that the Ratio of Powers has 
also a relatively prominent Qualitative element. But in other 

1 The related Quanta must be represented by integral numbers, since they 
consist of indivisible Ones. The product therefore must also be integral. 


respects they are quite different conceptions. And Hegel gives 
us no reason for passing at this point from one partially- 
qualitative relation to another and distinct partially-qualitative 
relation. He is satisfied with showing that they are both 
partially-qualitative, which is clearly not sufficient. 

It is difficult to see, too, why Hegel thought himself 
justified in considering only those cases where one Quantum 
was the square of the other, and in excluding cubes and other 
powers. If, however, he had considered those other powers, 
it would have become evident that the relation between the 
two Quanta was not yet one which could dispense with a third 
Quantum. For the question of the power to which one was 
to be raised to equal the other could only be answered by 
naming a third Quantum, 
r Hegel makes the transition to the next category as follows: 
" Quantity as such appears as opposed to Quality ; but Quantity 
is itself a_ Quality, a determination in general which relates 
itself to itself, and which is separated from the other deter- 
mination, from Quality as such. Yet it is not only a Quality, 
but the truth of Quality itself is Quantity : Quality has shown 
itself as going over into Quantity ; Quantity, on the other hand, 
is in its truth that externality which is turned back on itself, 
which is not indifferent. So it is Quality itself, in such a way 
that outside this determination Quality as such is no longer 
anything The Quantum now as indifferent or external deter- 
mination (so that it is just as much transcended as such, and 
is the Quality, and is that, through which anything is what it 

/ is) is the truth of the Quantum — to be Measure " {G. L. i. 392). 

^ 71. We have now reached the end of Hegel's treatment 

of Quantitative Ratio. As we have seen, serious objections 
exist both to the transition from Direct to Inverse Ratio, and 
to the transition frum Inverse Ratio to the Ratio of Powers. 
But, apart from these, there is a more general objection. The 
whole triad of Quantitative Ratio is a blind alley. It does not 
lead, as it professes to lead, to the category of Measure, and the 
chain of the dialectic cannot be continued through it. 

The passage I have quoted above contains the transition 
from Quantity to Measure. We have therefore before us the 
way in which the inadequacies of Quantity are, according to 


Hegel, to be transcended, and in which Quality is to be 
syuthesised with Quantity in Measure. These objects would 
certainly have been attained if Hegel had succeeded in his 
attempt to demoostrate that Quantity is Quality. But it 
seems to me that he has not reached this result by Quanti- 
tative Ratio, and that therefore he has neither removed the 
inadequacies of Quantity, nor synthesised it with Quality. 

As to the first. The special characteristic of Quantity was 
its instability. We saw, to begin with, that it was that which 
could alter, and yet remain the same. When we reached 
Alteration of Quantum, we found that it not only could alter, 
but must alter, and it was to remedy the contradictions thus 
caused that we were forced to resort to Quantitative Ratio, 

Does Quantitative Ratio remove this indifference, even 
when taken in its highest form, the Ratio of Powers ? Let 
us pass over the difficulty that the power to which a number 
is to be raised can only be expressed in another number, which 
might be any other. Let us confine ourselves, as Hegel does, 
to .squares, and ignore the quantitative nature of the index. Has 
this removed the instability ? If we take 49 Ones as a simple 
Quantum, it is under the necessity of changing continually. If 
we take it as the square of 7\ has the necessity disappeared ? 
P Surely it has not. It is true that the Square cannot now 
change unless the Root changes as well. But the Root is also 
a Quantum, and so it also will be unstable, and the Square will 
be unstable with it. The first numbers the Square can change 
to are no longer 48 and 50 but 36 and 64. But the number 
of changes of the Square is unbounded except by the total 
number of Ones, and we have seen that this restriction does 
not remove the instability of Quantum. And therefore Quanti- 
tative Ratio has not removed the contradictions of Quantitative 
Infinity, nor has it enabled us to transcend the characteristic 
nature of Quantity. It is true that the Square and the Root 
) are linked Quanta, but they are still Quanta. 

Very closely connected with this is the second defect of the 
triad. It professes to lead us to Measure, and it must therefore 

^ I do not recur here to the difficulty that 49 Ones (in the Hegelian sense) 
are neither the square of 7 Ones, nor of 7, nor of anything else. This is a fresh 
case of the mistake mentioned above (Section 66). 



bring back Quality. In the passage quoted above (G. L. i. 392) 
Hegel says that it has done this. Quantity " is Quality itself, 
in such a way that outside this determination Quality as such 
is no longer anything." That is to say, he holds that we have 
here reached a Synthesis of Quality and Quantity. Now it is 
true that the introduction of related Quanta has introduced a 
certain Qualitative element into Quantity. The movements of 
each separate Quantum are no longer completely arbitrary and 
unconditioned, and every restriction on the movement means 
some departure from the typical idea of Quantity. But this 
does not amount to what Hegel claims to have reached — the 
complete absorption of Quantity. We have got a Quantity, 
which is more like a Quality than before, but which is still 
essentially a Quantity and not a Quality. The test of this is 
the instability, and the Infinite Progress to which the in- 
stability gives rise. Till we have got rid of this, we have not 
transcended Quantity. For the instability is, as we have seen, 
the special characteristic of Quantity. Thus we have not 
reached a point at which Quantity is transcended, and therefore 
united with Quality. The category at which we stand is still 
essentially Quantitative, and does not combine Quantity with 
Quality. And as Measure certainly has to combine Quantity 
with Quality, we have not yet got a valid transition to 

72. What then is to be done ? We saw reason to think 
that the transition from Quantum to Quantitative Ratio is 
valid, and I believe that it is possible to recast the triad of 
Quantitative Ratio in such a way as to make a valid transition 
to Measure. The Thesis of my proposed triad would be the 
restatement of the general idea of Quantitative Ratio, as it 
had been arrived at in the previous category of Infinity of 
Quantum. It might be called Quantitative Ratio as such, or 
again Quantitative Ratio in general (uberhaupt), either of which 
would be in accordance with Hegel's terminology. 

The inadequac}^ of this Thesis would lie in the fact that a 
Quantum is not fully determined by its Ratio to another unless 
that other Quantum is determined. Nor can the two Quanta 
mutually determine one another by their Ratio, for, as we have 
seen, two Quanta can vary and yet preserve the same Ratio to 


one another. The second Quantum, then, must be determined 
by its Ratio to a third, with regard to which the same question 
will arise, and so on continually. This Infinite Series forms 
the Antithesis of our triad, and might be called the Infinite 
Series of Ratios. 

It will be noticed that this Infinite Series resembles the 
Infinite Series of Quality rather than the Infinite Series of 
Quantity. For the Ratios do not continually alter, as the 
Quanta did in the Series of Quantity. The Infinity comes 
in through the necessity of going to fresh Ratios to determine 
those already existing. 

Here, as in the two previous cases, the Infinite Series 
involves a contradiction. The original Quantum is determined. 
But it can only be determined by a Ratio to a Quantum 
which is determined otherwise than by a Ratio. But no such 
Quantum is to be found. Therefore the original Quantum is 
not determined, and we have a contradiction. 

We must pass on, then, to a fresh category, which will 
remove this contradiction, and will form the Synthesis of 
Quantitative Ratio. We have seen that Quantity, however 
developed, can never, while it remains only Quantity, get 
rid of the inadequacy which has shown itself once more in 
the Infinite Series of Ratios. Now the ground of this in- 
adequacy was the necessary instability of all Quanta. And 
this instability, we saw, proceeded from the fact that the 
differences between all Ones were so similar that no reason 
cotdd be assigned why a Quantum should stop at any particular 
limit rather than another. (Cp. above, Section 59.) 

The only way of escaping from our difficulty, therefore, 
will be to reject this similarity of the differences between the 
Ones, and to find a state of things in which the natures of the 
Ones shall link some of them more closely together in a group 
from which others are excluded. And this can be done only 
if there are Qualities each of which belongs to several Ones, 
but not to all, so that each of these forms a bond which binds 
those Ones which have it into a group from which those which 
do not have it are excluded. 

The instability of Quanta would thus be arrested. For 
there would be a reason why the Quantum should not increase 


beyond a certain Limit. Every Quantum is a Quantum of 
Ones which have a certain common Quality, and beyond a 
certain Limit there would be no more Ones with that Quality. 
The Ones outside it would have some other Quality. 

We have now reached a category which transcends the in- 
adequacy of Quantitative Ratio, and also of Quantity generally, 
and so reaches the category of Measure as defined by Hegel 
{G. L. i. 392) in the passage quoted above. Our argument 
avoids Hegel's error of ignoring the difference between a 
Quantum of Ones and a Quantum (if that name is appropriate 
to it) which is a Ratio between Quanta. 

73. The treatment of Quantity in the Encyclopaedia is 
practically the same as in the Greater Logic, except in one 
point. In the Greater Logic, as we have seen, Extensive and 
Intensive Magnitudes, and the Infinite Progress all fall within 
the second subdivision, while the third subdivision is com- 
pletely taken up by Ratio. In the Encyclopaedia, the second 
subdivision (named, as in the Greater Logic, Quantum) deals 
with Extensive Magnitude only. The third subdivision is 
called Degree, and contains Intensive Magnitude, the Infinite 
Progress, and Ratio. This arrangement shows more clearly 
that an advance is made in passing from Extensive to Intensive 
Magnitude, but otherwise it seems inferior to the order of the 
Greater Logic. For Intensive Magnitude seems more closely con- 
nected with Extensive Magnitude than it is with Ratio. And, 
again, the Infinite Progress makes manifest the characteristic 
contradiction inherent in all Quantity. It would seem, therefore, 
more appropriately placed in the second subdivision, which is 
the Antithesis of the triad of Quantity, than in the third, 
which is the Synthesis. 



74. Measure (Das Maass) is divided by Hegel in the 
following manner : 

I. The Specific Quantity. (Die specifische Quantitat.) 

A. The Specific Quantum, (Das specifische Quantum.) 

B. Specifying Measure. (Specifirendes Maass.) 

(a) The Rule. (Die Kegel.) 

(6) The Specifying Measure. (Das specifirende 

(c) Relation of both Sides as Qualities. (Verhiiltniss 

beider Seiten als Qualitaten.) 

C. Being for Self in Measure. (Das Fiirsichsein im 


II. Real Measure. (Das reale Maass.) 

A. The Relation of Stable Measures. (Das Verhaltniss 

selbststandigen Maasse.) 

(a) Union of two Measures. (Verbindung zweier 


(b) Measure as a Series of Measure Relations. (Das 

Maass als Reihe von Maassverbaltnissen.) 

(c) Elective Affinity. (Wahlverwandtschaft.) 

B. Nodal Line of Measure Relations. (Knotenlinie von 


C. The Measureless. (Das Maasslose.) 


III. The Becoming of Essence. (Das Werden des 

A. The Absolute Indifference. (Die absolute In- 


B. Indifference as Inverse Relation of its Factors. 

(Die Indifferenz als umgekehrtes Verhaltniss 
ihrer Factoren.) 

C. Transition to Essence. (Uebergaug in das Wesen.) 

It should be noticed that the title of Specifying Measure 
is borne both by I. B., and by its second subdivision, I. B. (6). 
r 75. It seems to me that the whole of Hegel's treatment 
of Measure is invalid. He has no right to the fundamental 
conception of Measure — the conception with which he begins, 
) and which, in a modified form, persists till we reach Essence. 
If this is so, of course, all the categories of Measure must 
be abandoned, and the transition from Quantity to Essence, 
if it can be made at all, must be made in some other way. 
I should depart too largely from the object of a commentar}' if 
I attempted, in this book, so large a reconstruction. But it 
is necessary, before considering Hegel's treatment in detail, to 
substantiate my general criticism of the validity of Measure. 

The categories of Quantity ended with the result that every 
Quantitative difference must involve a Qualitative difference. 
Every Quantum, consequently, must have a common Quality. 
And since each of the Ones, of which every Quantum is 
composed, has its own separate and unique Quality, it follows 
that each One must have at least two Qualities — its unique 
Quality and another which it shares with other Ones which 
are united with it in a Quantum. 

I maintained in the last chapter that Hegel's treatment 
of Quantitative Ratio failed to justify this result, and also 
that it could be demonstrated another way. But whether 
Hegel did or not fail to demonstrate the result, I do not think 
it can be doubted that this is the result which he believed 
himself to have demonstrated, and that it is, therefore, the 
only basis which he was justified in taking for the categories 
of Measure. 


r His argument all through Quantitative Ratio was directed 
' to show that the Quanta which were thus related had also 
a Qualitative aspect. His final words are " The Quantum 
now as indifferent or external determination (so that it is just 
as much transcended as such, and is the Quality, and is that, 
through which anything is what it is) is the truth of the 
Quantum— to be Measure " (G. L. i. 392). And again in the 
Encyclopaedia, " Measure is the Qualitative Quantum, in the 
first place as immediate — a Quantum to which a Determinate 
i Being or a Quality is attached" (Enc. 107). 

76. This is the last conception of Quantity, and ought to 
be the first of Measure. At any rate Hegel has no right to 
go beyond it without justifying the transition by an argument. 
But directly he begins to deal with Specific Quantum — the 
first of the categories of Measure, he suddenly assumes that he 
has reached an entirely different conception. "The Quantum 
as Measure has ceased to be a limit which is no limit; it is 
now the determination of the nature of the fact^ such that this 
nature is destroyed, if it is increased or diminished beyond this 
Quantum " (G. L. i. 403). The conception here is that which 
is involved in the changes, for example, of water into a solid, a 
liquid, and a gas, according to its varying temperature. 

It is clear that this is quite a different conception from that 
of Qualities common to all the members of a Quantum. It is 
a more complicated conception. For it involves that each One 
to which it applies should have at least two Qualities which can 
be common to it with other Ones. Of these Qualities one — the 
temperature, in our example — varies in Quantity, but remains 
the Quality of all the Ones included under this Measure. The 
second Quality in each case is common to those of the Ones 
for which the first Quality falls within certain Quantitative 
limits. Thus all water whose temperature exceeds a certain 
limit has the second common Quality of being gaseous. Now 
the conception at the end of Quantitative Ratio only involved 
the existence, in each One, of one Quality common to it with 
other Ones. 

And, in the second place, the relations of Quality and 

1 The original is "Die Bestimmung der Sache." On the whole, I think 
"nature of the fact" fairly represents Sache in this passage. 


Quantity to one another are quite different in the old con- 
ception and in the new conception. In the old conception 
Quantity came in as the number of Ones which had the same 
Quality. Here it comes in as a Quantity, not of Ones, but in 
each One. It is a Quantity of a Quality of the One. 

The old conception, then, at the end of Quantitative Ratio, 
is quite different from the new one with which Hegel starts in 
Specific Quantum. And the latter could only be legitimately 
reached from the former by a fresh step of the dialectic, the 
necessity of which would have to be demonstrated. But Hegel 
offers no demonstration of the transition, and, indeed, fails to 
see that there is any difference between the conceptions. He 
treats them as if they were identical, and as if he was only 
using the final result of one section as the starting point of the 
next — which is what should happen according to the dialectic 
method, but which is not what has happened here. 

77. How he fell into so serious a mistake is a difficult 
question. The new conception, it is true, resembles the old in 
so far that they each involve both Quantity and Quality, and 
that in the new conception also Quantity is limited by Quality ^ 
though the Quantity limited is not, as the dialectic requires 
here, a Quantum of Ones. Again, the new conception is com- 
patible with the old, though it is not identical with it or 
deduced from it. If the Ones A, B, G, have the common 
Quality w, and the Ones D, E, F, the common Quality y, the 
old conception would apply to them. And it would be possible 
that the one group were sc because they had a quality z with a 
certain intensity, and that the other group were y because they 
had the Quality z with a different intensity. In this case the 
new conception would apply also. 

These circumstances might have led Hegel to confuse the 
two conceptions. Or, again, it is possible that Hegel started 
with a presupposition that Measure (in the sense of the new 
conception) was probably the Synthesis of Quality and Quantity. 
This would be natural enough, since it does involve them both, 
and involves them in a form which is frequently present to us 
in empirical experiences. If he started with such a presup- 

1 If, e.g., certain water has the Quality of being fluid, the Quantity of its 
temperature is fixed by that fact. 


position he might more easily fail to see that he had not 
deduced his new conception of Measure from the previous 

Passing to the consideration of the categories of Measure in 
detail, we have first 

I. The Specific Quantity, 
A. The Specific Quantum. 

78. {G. L. i. 403.) This category is naturally the expression 
of the new conception of Measure in its simplest form. The 
Ones have each two Qualities such that if the first varies in 
Quantity beyond certain limits, the second Quality is changed 
for another. (The first Quality might be called the permanent 
Quality, the second and its successors the varying Qualities.) 

This category is pronounced inadequate by Hegel because 
the union of Quality and Quantity is only apparent, and it does 
not, therefore, really remove the difficulty which called it into 
being. So long as the Quantitative change keeps within the 
limits of the Quality — as when fluid water becomes colder 
without freezing, or hotter without boiling, we get the Quantity 
changing while the Quality remains the same. The two sides 
thus remain isolated, and there is nothing which checks the 
inherent instability of Quantity. Now the whole object of our 
transition to Measure was just to check this instability. 

At intervals, no doubt, the Quantitative change is accom- 
panied by a Qualitative change. Water passes from a liquid 
state into the form of ice or steam. But here, also, the changes 
of Quantity and Quality are not really connected For a 
Qualitative change is always instantaneous, in the strictest 
sense of the word. 

This may at first sight appear to be inconsistent with our 
experience. But when we say that a Qualitative change can be 
gradual, we mean one of two things. We may mean that the 
different parts of a whole undergo the change successively, as 
when a kettle full of water is gradually converted into steam. 
This, of course, is compatible with the change being instan- 
taneous for each part. 

Or we may mean that the change from the quality A to the 
quality B is not instantaneous, because there are intermediate 



qualitative changes. Ice does not pass instantaneously into 
steam, for it must first become water. And a process which 
appeared to go directly from A to B may be found, on closer 
investigation, to go through the forms X Y, and Z, before it 
reaches B. 

But however many stages may be intercalated before B, it 
is certain that, when the quality A changes, it must do so 
instantaneously. For if ^ changes, it must change into some- 
thing which, whatever its positive nature, can be correctly 
described as not-^. And, by the law of Excluded Middle, the 
quality must either be A and not not-^ (when the change will 
not have begun) or else not-.4 and not A (when the change will 
be completed). The change, therefore, is instantaneous (G. L. i. 
[__ 405. Enc. 108). 

Quantity, then, can change without Quality changing, and 
all changes of Quality take place while the Quantitative change 
is infinitely small. The two terms are thus, in Hegel's opinion, 
not really united. It is this defect, he tells us, which is at the 
root of the old difficulty as to the point at which a head, whose 
hairs are being pulled out one by one, becomes bald. To say 
that the absence of one hair can make a head bald, which was 
not bald before, seems absurd. Yet, if one hair never made the 
difference, we come to the equally absurd conclusion that a head 
with no hair on it could not be called bald {G. L. i. 406. Enc. 108). 

79. Hegel's conclusion is that the Measure now becomes 
double. We have (1) the actually existing Quantity of the 
permanent Quality, (2) the other Quantity of the permanent 
Quality which, if reached, would involve the change of one 
varying Quality into another. The second Quantity forms the 
limit within which the first can vary, while it is itself fixed. 
This limitation Hegel expresses by saying that it specifies the 
first Quantity, and so we reach 

B. Specifying Measure. 

{G. L. i. 407.) This transition seems to me erroneous. We 
have not really got a new category at all. Two Quantities were 
involved in the idea of Measure from the beginning — the 
Quantity which exists, and the other which marks the point of 
transition into a fresh Quality. If a basin of water is fluid. 


rather than gaseous, because its temperature is 60°, this involves 
the conception of a further temperature at which it would 
become gaseous. Thus Specifying Measure takes us no further 
than Specific Quantum. It is neither a development of the 
difficulty involved in the transition from Specific Quantum, nor 
a solution of that difficulty, and it has no right to be the next 
category to it. Hegel calls its first subdivision 

(a) The Rule. 

(G. L. i. 408.) This, he tells us, is identical with the general 
idea of Specifying Measure. The defect of the category is that 
the Rule — that is, the limiting Quantity, is merely arbitrary. 
And as this is inconsistent with the nature of Measure, which is 
not merely arbitrary, the category is inadequate. 

But why are we to suppose that the Quantity taken for the 
Rule is merely arbitrary ? Hegel's example is a linear foot, and 
this, no doubt, is arbitrary. We might just as well measure 
length by ells or by metres as by feet. But the example is not 
fair. Measures of length are used for the measurement of space. 
And the conception of space makes abstraction of all Qualita- 
tive differences. We measure the Quantity of space, and the 
Quantity only, regardless of the Quality of the matter which 
fills that space. Any Rule here must be purely arbitrary, for it 
concerns Quantity only, and all limits of Quantity, taken by 
itself, are purely arbitrary. But the dialectic has now passed 
beyond mere Quantity to Measure, where a change of Quantity 
brings about a change of Quality. And here the Rule is no 
longer arbitrary. The Rules of the temperature of liquid water 
are 32" and 212° Fahrenheit, and these are not arbitrary, but 
grounded in the nature of the subject-matter. (It is arbitrary, 
no doubt, to call them 32° and 212°, rather than 0° and 100°, or 
any other numbers. But it is not arbitrary that the limits to 
the heat of liquid water are these temperatures and not others.) 
80. Hegel endeavours to remove the defect of this category 
by passing on to 

{h) The Specifying Measure 
(in the narrower sense) {G. L. i. 408). Here the something 
(Etwas) which is the Measure receives an alteration of the 
amount of its Quality from outside. It reacts against this, and 


receives it in a way of its own, so that the resulting Quantum of 
the Quality, as reproduced in the Something, is not the same 
Quantum as in the external source of the alteration, but is 
increased or diminished through the effect of a Qualitative 
difference in the Something. 

The introduction of such a category at this point seems very 
extraordinary, but Hegel's language places it, I think, beyond 
doubt. The description of the category will bear no other 
meaning, and the nature of the other categories, which 
immediately follow, supports the same interpretation. And his 
example is also quite clear. Material objects he tells us 
(G. L. i. 410) have specific temperatures, which cause the 
changes of temperature which they receive from outside to be 
diflFerent in them from what they are in the medium from which 
they are received. 

81. This transition appears to me to be quite illegitimate, 
since it introduces an entirely new conception of Measure with- 
out deducing it from the conception previous!}^ established. 

Hegel does not even say that it is changed. But the change 
is very great. We started with a conception of Measure, 
according to which the continuous change of Quantity involved 
at certain points a sudden change of Quality. There was only 
one Quantitative series involved, and there was a Qualitative 
series. Here, on the other hand, we suddenly find ourselves 
with a new conception. We have now two Quantities in 
different Somethings (in the example, the temperature of the 
medium, and the temperature of the object). The first of these 
determines the other. We have also two Qualities (in the 
example, heat, and that Quality in the object which causes its 
heat to be more or less than that of the medium. But there is 
no Qualitative series, for neither Quality is conceived as 
necessarily changing into another Quality. 

This category is not in any sense implied in the previous 
category of Rule. It simply ignores it. The difficulty in Rule, 
according to Hegel, was to find for the Quantitative changes of 
any particular Quality, a limit which should not be arbitrary. 
But in the new category the Qualities never change into other 
Qualities at all, and even the imperfect check on the Quantita- 
tive changes has been swept away. 


Again, in this category we have two objects connected with 
each other — the original object and a second one. (In the 
example which Hegel gives, the first object is that with a 
specific temperature, the second object is the medium.) Before 
this, the Measure of each object was stated without reference 
to any other object. The introduction of this new element 
ought to be justified as an inevitable consequence of the pre- 
ceding category. But, so far as I can see, Hegel makes no 
attempt whatever to do this. 

Moreover this category, as stated by Hegel, includes the 
idea of Cause. This is not the case with previous categories. 
In Quantitative Ratio the Quantities implied one another, but 
did not cause one another. But here we are told (G. L. i. 408) 
that the Something experiences an " external alteration " of the 
amount of its Quality. This is nothing but Causality. It may 
be doubted, indeed, whether it does not involve more than 
Hegel's category of Causality, but it certainly could not be 
introduced without including that category, and if the dialectic 
is right in introducing Cause for the first time towards the end 
of Essence, it cannot be right here. 

If what I have said is correct, the dialectic at this point is 
vitiated by two errors — there was no adequate ground for con- 
demnino- Rule as inadequate, and there has been an unjustified 
change in the meaning of Measured I shall now only expound 
Hegel's arguments, without further criticism, until we reach the 
Nodal Series of Measure-Relations, at which point, as will be 
seen, the effects of the second error are eliminated. 

82. So far only one of the two objects has been considered 
as having a Quality which affects the Quantity of its other 
Quality. In Hegel's example, the object which receives heat 
from the medium is considered as having its specific tempera- 
ture, while no specific temperature is attributed to the medium. 
But now Hegel points out that each object must have a similar 
Quality. In each the Quantity of the quantified Quality will 
be dependent on the nature of the object {G. L. i. 411). The 

1 The error in the transition from Specific Quantum to Rule cannot be 
counted as a third, since the only error there is in supposing that a transition 
has taken place at all. 


medium, for example, is either air or something else, which 
must have a specific nature of its own. We thus reach 

(c) Relation of both Sides as Qualities. 
{G. L. i. 411.) Here the two sides have each (a) a Quality, 
which it possesses in a certain (b) Quantity. And each of them 
has (c) a second Quality, which determines the magnitude of b 
in it. Now as the two 6's are each a Quantity, their relation to 
each other can be expressed by a third Quantity {G. L. i. 412). 
And, as the nature of the two c's is just to determine the 
different amounts of the two 6's, this third Quantity expresses 
also the relation of the two c's {G. L. i. 417, 418). 

83. This third Quantity is the Measure of the two sides — 
it is the Quantity which expresses their relation. In Specifying 
Measure (in the narrower sense) one of the two sides was the 
Measure of the other, while in Relation of the two Sides as 
Qualities each was the other's Measure. Now that they are 
united into a whole which has a Measure, we pass out of 
Specifying Measure (in the wider sense) and reach the third 
division of Specific Quantity, which Hegel calls 

G. Being for Self in Measure. 
{G. L. i. 417.) The name is apparently due to the fact that we 
have passed from finding the Measure of an3'thing outside it to 
finding it within itself. For the two Somethings which have 
the common Measure may be considered, Hegel tells us 
(6r. L. i. 421) as a single Something, which may also be called 
a Thing. (I shall call them Things, in what follows, to dis- 
tinguish them from their constituent Somethings. But of 
course Hegel does not mean that we have yet reached the 
conception of a Thing, properly so called, which does not come 
till half-way through Essence.) 

84. This Measure, he says, must be considered as realised 
Measure, since both its sides are Measures {G. L. i. 430). 
Thus we reach the second of the three divisions of Measure 

II. Real Measure. 

{G. L. i. 421.) This Real Measure relates itself to another 
Real Measure {G. L. i. 422). This gives us 



A. The Relation of Stable Measures. 

(G. L. i. 423.) Why it should relate itself to another Real 
Measure, Hegel does not, so far as I can see, explain. 

It should be noted that we have by this time relations of 
three degrees of complexity. (1) In each Something we have 
relations of Quality and Quantity. (2) The Somethings are 
related to one another by a Common Real Measure, which 
unites the Somethings into a Thing. (3) The Real Measures, 
or Things, we have just been told, are in relation to one 

85. This last relation will be, in the first place, immediate 
(though between terms which are no longer immediate, but 
stable), thus we get 

{a) Union of two Measures. 

'~~ {G. L. i. 423.) Hegel's treatment of this is very extraordinary. 
He starts with considering the union as a relation between the 
two Things. And this is all that he seems justified in deducing 
from the previous position — if he is justified in deducing even 
so much. But suddenly (G. L. i. 42-5) he tells us that the two 
Things "in Beziehung stehen und in Verbindung treten." And 
from this point he speaks of the actual chemical combination of 
chemical elements. 

Now the fact of chemical combination, which Hegel brings 
in here, involves, according to his own subsequent statement, 
the category of Chemism, which occurs in the middle of the 
categories of the Notion. If Hegel is right in postponing the 
category of Chemism till the Notion, he cannot be right in 
introducing here a category under which he professes to explain 

I chemical combination. 

And this is not all. Hegel does not merely introduce into 
this category the pure idea which is implied in, and specially 
characteristic of, the facts of chemistry. He also introduces 
empirical chemical details, which could not form part of the 
dialectic process of pure thought at any stage, and he introduces 
them as part of the argument. 

86. We read that, while in such combinations the weight 
of the whole is equal to the weights of the parts {G. L. i. 425), 

M'^T. 6 


the volume of the whole is not equal to the volume of the 
parts, but is generally less {G. L. i. 426). This is stated, not 
as an illustration only, which might have been legitimate, but 
as the ground of the transition to the next category. For he 
says {G. L. i. 426) that the Measure itself of the new combina- 
tion is thus shown to be variable, and that therefore even 
so-called Stable Measures have shown themselves not to be 
stable. We must therefore try to find the determination of the 
combination in other Measure relations. And this is the way in 
which he reaches 

(6) Measure as a Series of Measure Relations. 

{G. L. i. 426.) Here each of the Things regains the stability it 
has lost. It regains it, because it can combine not only with 
one other, but with any one of many others. Its capability 
of each of the changes which it could undergo in combining 
with any of these others is a permanent characteristic of its 
nature. This gives it stability. When M changes as it com- 
bines with N, it keeps a permanent nature throughout, for it 
remains that Thing which would undergo another definite 
change in combining with 0, another with P, and so on. It 
has a nature beyond and unaffected by that change which it is 
actually undergoing, and so remains the same. 

87. But in its union with each of the other Things with 
which it can unite, it does not merge its unity in something 
which remains unaffected. The other side is also altered, and 
they combine to form something new. The union is thus an 
" exclusive " unity (ausschliessende Einheit) (G. L. i. 429, 430). 
By this Hegel appears to mean that neither side is merely 
passive, awaiting any other Thing that may come to it, but that 
both sides express their nature in the union, since neither of 
them would suffer precisely that change, except in combining 
with the other. Thus we get 

(c) Elective Affinity. 

(G. L. i. 430.) In connexion with this Hegel introduces a 
dio-ression on some chemical theories of his time. It does not, 
however, profess to be part of the main argument. 


88. We now come to a very remarkable transition. Each 
Thing which is formed by Elective Affinity has in it an 
element of Separability (Trennbarkeit) due to the fact that 
each of its constituents can enter into other relations {G. L. 
i. 446). It may be convenient to distinguish these constituents 
as Elementary Things, and their combinations as Compound 
Things. It must be remembered that, as was pointed out above 
(Section 83), even the Elementary Things are compounded of 

From this we proceed to a passage which I do not venture 
to paraphrase. " The exclusive Measure according to this more 
exact determination is external to itself in its Being for Self. 
It repels itself from itself, and posits itself both as a merely 
quantitative other, and also as another relation, such that it is 
also another Measure ; and is determined as a unity which 
specifies itself, and which produces relations of Measure in 
itself These relations are distinguished from the kind of 
affinities mentioned above, in which one stable object relates 
itself to stable objects of a different quality, and to a series of 
such objects. These relations occur in one and the same Sub- 
stratum, inside the same moments of neutrality. The Measure 
determines itself as repelling itself to other relations which are 
only quantitatively different, but which form at the same time 
Affinities arid Measures, alternating with such as remain only 
quantitative differences. They form in this way a Nodal Line 
of Measures on a scale of more and less" {G. L. i. 446, 447). 
Thus we get 

B. Nodal Line of Measure Relations. 

(G. L. i. 445.) With regard to this category we have to remark 
three things. In the first place, we have suddenly returned to 
that conception of Measure which the dialectic suddenly aban- 
doned at Specifying Measure (in the narrower sense, I. B, (6), not 
I. B). We had started with the conception of Measure as the 
relation between a Quantity and a Quality, which Quality was 
such that, when the Quantity altered beyond certain limits, it 
changed into another Quality. At that point Hegel substituted 
the entirely different conception of a relation between two 



Somethings, each with one Quantity and at least two Qualities. 
And now, when the Somethings have developed into a Thing 
formed by the union of Somethings, we find in this Thing the 
old conception of Measure. The Elementary Thing, as its 
Quantity changes, dissolves the connexion Avhich made it part 
of one Compound Thing, and forms another connexion, which 
makes it part of another Compound Thing. And this is a 
Qualitative change in the Elementary Thing. Once more the 
Measure of the object is in itself. 

That this is the right interpretation seems to follow from 
the passage quoted above, and also from the next sentences 
(G. L. i. 447). " Such a Being for Self, since it is at the same 
time essentially a relation of Quanta, is open to externality and 
the alteration of Quantum. It has an extent within which it 
remains indifferent (gleichgllltig) to this alteration, and within 
which it does not alter its Quality. But a point comes in this 
alteration of the Quantitative, at which the Quality is altered, 
and the Quantum shows itself as specifying, so that the altered 
quantitative relation is transformed into a new Quality, a new 

The second point to be noticed is that, in spite of the cate- 
gories which have intervened, we return to the old conception 
in a form no higher than that in which we left it, so that, even 
if the intervening categories had been legitimately deduced, we 
should have gained nothing by them. It is true that the sub- 
stratum which undergoes the changes of Quantity and Quality 
is now a more complex unit, but this does not make the problem 
of the relation of the changes a more complex problem, nor does 
it advance it nearer to a solution. When we consider the 
treatment in the Encyclopaedia, we shall see that the category 
of the Nodal Line can be reached directly from the category of 
Specific Quantum, 
p 89. The third point to be noticed is that the transition 
' from the category of Elective Affinity to that of Nodal Line is 
illegitimate. Let us grant that the Elementary Things which 
are combined by Elective Affinity into Compound Things retain, 
within these latter, a certain separability, due to the fact that 
they could combine otherwise than as they do. But what 
follows from this ? 


All that can properly be deduced is that the Elements in a 
Compound can separate, and then combine again, either with 
one another, in which case the same Compound would be formed 
again, or with other Elements, thus forming fresh Compounds. 
But Hegel asserts that the dissolution of the Compound would 
only take place after there had been certain Quantitative changes 
in its Elements — changes which did not dissolve the Compound 
till they had exceeded certain limits. This does not seem 
justifiable. Elective Affinity caused the Elements to combine 
in certain proportions. So long as these proportions were 
observed, the Combinations would not be broken up. But if the 
proportionate Quantities were altered in the least, it would 
follow from Hegel's previous account that the Compound might 
be instantly destroyed. There is nothing to permit him to 
treat the nature of the Compound as being variable within 

90. Thus both the departure, in Specifying Measure, from 
the previous conception of Measure, and the return to it at this 
point are illegitimate. Hegel's next category is 

G. The Measureless. 

(G. L. i. 452.) When the Quantitative change has gone beyond 
its limit, and a Qualitative change has come about, the new 
Quality is at first to be considered as the Measureless. The 
Measure of the original Quality is that it cannot go beyond 
certain Quantitative bounds. Of the new Quality we only 
know, so far, that it has gone beyond these bounds. It is 
therefore, so far, the Measureless. 

The category, however, contains more than this, so that the 
name is not very appropriate. The new Quality, Hegel con- 
tinues, is itself a Measure. It has its Quantitative bounds 
which it cannot pass. When the Quantity exceeds these fresh 
bounds, yet a fresh Measureless is created. And so we get an 
Infinite Series. It is this Infinite Series which seems to be the 
most characteristic feature of the category. 

In this way, we are told, "the first immediate connexion 
between Quality and Quantity, in which Measure in general 
consists, is turned back on itself, and is itself posited" 


(G. L. i. 453). The Quantity changes till it brings about a new 
Quality. The Quality in its turn has a new Quantity of its 
own, which varies till it once more changes into Quality, and so 
on indefinitely. 

Quantities and Qualities are, then, neither of them stable. 
Yet something must be stable, for we could not say that 
Quality A had changed into Quality B, unless something was 
identical in A and B. Otherwise there would be no reason to 
suppose that it was A, rather than anything else, which had 
changed into B. 

What is constant then? Hegel answers that it is the 
substratum. The conception of substratum, he reminds us, has 
already been introduced. " What is before us is one and the 
same fact (Sache), which is posited as ground of its difference, 
and as persisting. This separation of Being from its determina- 
tion has already begun in Quantum in general ; Something has 
magnitude, in so far as it is indifferent to its determination as 
Being (seiende Bestimmtheit)" {G. L. i. 453). 

It should be noticed that Hegel does not say that this 
Infinite Series is contradictory. As I said above (Section 33) 
he never does assert that Infinite Series as such are contradic- 
tory, but only that some of them are. His position here is that 
the Infinite Series would be impossible unless there were some- 
thing stable underlying it, and that therefore we must conclude 
that something stable does underlie it. 

It must also be noticed that it would have been equally 
necessary that something stable should underlie the series, if it 
were not infinite but finite. Any series of Qualitative changes 
would require the substratum, whatever the length of the series. 
The transition, therefore, would not be invalidated, if it could 
be siiown that the series here was not, as Hegel holds it to be, 

91. The substratum is stable, then, and the lesson of 
the ceaseless oscillation — first the change of the Quantity 
of a Quality, then the change of the Quality, and so on 
without end — is that the substratum is indifferent to its 
determinations. Since they change, while it remains un- 
changed, they can have no effect on it whatever. Thus we 
reach {G. L. i. 456) 


III. The Becoming of Essence. 

A. The Absolute Indifference^. 

92. But, after all, the Indifference cannot be absolute. 
That which is indifferent is a substratum. It could not be a 
substratum, unless there was the series of changes to which it is 
a substratum, and therefore they have an influence on it. " It 
is just the externality and its disappearance which determines 
the unity of Being to be indifferent and is thus within that 
unity of Being, which therefore ceases to be merely substratum" 
{G. L. i. 456). Thus we get 

B. Indifference as Inverse Relation of its Factors 

(G. L. i. 457), the characteristic of which is that the Quantities 
of the different Qualities vary inversely, so that the sum of 
them is always the same. 

This category seems indefensible. The Quantities, we are 
told, are " variable, indifferent, greater or smaller against one 
another" {G. L. i. 457). And the substratum is the sum of 
them and a " fixed Measure " (same page). The increase or 
decrease of one side must be simultaneous, therefore, with the 
increase or decrease of the other. But this is impossible, for 
the sides are the Qualities of the substratum, and the different 
Qualities of the substratum are alternative and not compatible. 
The increase or decrease of Quantity produces one Quality and 
destroys another. The whole point of that earlier conception of 
Measure, to which we returned in the category of the Nodal 
Line, was that a reality had one Quality or another, according to 
the Quantity. If the Qualities of the series became compatible, 
we should not only have removed the Absolute Indifference in 
which Hegel finds a contradiction, but we should have removed all 
Indifference altogether. For the Indifference arose solely from 
"the permanence of the substratum among the variations of the 
Quality series, and would cease if the variations were abandoned. 

1 Since the Measureless and Absolute Indifference are undivided categories, 
and are respectively Synthesis and new Thesis, the second would naturally be 
only a repetition of the first, which is not the case. This seems to indicate that 
the category of the Measureless was really considered by Hegel as subdivided— 
the Infinite Series forming a separate stage from the Measureless in the stricter 


Now it is clear from the title of this category, and from the 
treatment of the early categories of Essence, that the Indifference 
of the substratum is not considered to be yet removed. 

93. After these considerations Hegel's transition from this 
category need not, perhaps, be examined in detail. He argues 
that the Qualities are not independent of each other, since that 
would make the Indifference an empty name. Each of them 
has, therefore, only reality in its quantitative relation to the 
other, and each, therefore, can only reach as far as the other 
{0. L. i. 460). It is impossible for either to gain at the 
expense of the other, and so the Inverse Relation breaks down, 
and we are driven back to Indifference in the form of a " con- 
tradiction which transcends itself" {G. L. i. 461). In other 
words, the external is not absolutely unreal, but is not real in 
its own right. It is the appearance of a reality which is not 
itself. So we reach (after a digression on Centripetal and 
Centrifugal Force) the last category of Measure 

G. Transition to Essence. 

{G. L. i. 466.) In reaching this category we have already 
reached the fundamental characteristic of Essence. This con- 
sists in the assertion of the duplicity of reality — its possession of 
an external and an internal nature, capable of distinction from 
each other, but not indifferent to each other. And this is the 
conception which we have now reached. 

This conception is rendered necessary by Qualitative change. 
All change requires some distinction in the nature of that which 
changes. For if the nature of reality were all of one piece, 
then each thing must be completely the same as something else, 
or completely different from it. Thus, under the categories of 
Quality, no change is possible. With the categories of Quantity, 
it is possible to have Quantitative change. For there each One 
has its own Quality, and is also part of a Quantum, and so the 
same One can be part of Quanta of varying sizes, and the 
Quanta can change. A Quantum, for example, can change into 
a larger Quantum, and the necessary identity in difference is 
found in the fact that certain Ones form part of both Quanta. 

But now that we have Qualitative change, the duplicity of 
nature must not be merely between Quality and Quantity, but 


must be found within Quality. If that which has Quality A is so 
to change as to have Quality B, there must be a unity in the thing 
which persists through this change. At the present stage of 
the dialectic this can only be a permanent Quality X, and so we 
have the two strata of Essence. 

94. The treatment in the Encyclopaedia is very different 
from that in the Greater Logic. In the first place, it is much 
simpler. In the Greater Logic there were thirteen undivided 
categories. In the Encyclopaedia Hegel gives no divisions at 
all. This gives indeed an appearance of greater simplicity than 
really exists, for by observing the course of the argument we can 
see that it really does form a triad, the three categories of which 
may be called Specific Quantum, The Measureless, and The Be- 
coming of Essence. Still, there are only three divisions instead 
of thirteen. The difference is accounted for by the fact that 
Becoming of Essence forms only one undivided category, instead 
of three, as in the Greater Logic, and by the omission of the 
seven categories, from Rule to the Nodal Line inclusive, which 
only bring the dialectic back to the point of Specific Quantum 
again. Also the Encyclopaedia treats under the head of the 
Measureless what is divided in the Greater Logic into the Nodal 
Line and the Measureless. 

The Encyclopaedia then starts (Enc. 107) with the simple 
conception of Measure, as it is found in the Greater Logic, to 
which we may give the name of Specific Quantum, as in the 
earlier work. Hegel then discusses, as in the Greater Logic, the 
contrast between the continuous change of Quantity and the 
instantaneous changes of Quality, and the sophisms which are 
based on it (Enc. 108)^ Then comes the transition to the 
Measureless, which here, as in the Greater Logic, he seems to 
connect in some especial manner with the contrast just men- 
tioned between the methods of change in Quantity and Quality. 
How it should be connected with this contrast is not very 
plain, nor does this seem necessary for the transition. The 
category of Specific Quantum gives us the result that, if any 

1 In the Encijclopaedia Hegel seems to use Eule to indicate a Measure in 
•which the Quantity does not pass the limits which involve a change of Quality 
{Enc. 108). This is different from the use of Bale in the Greater Logic (cp. 
above. Section 79). 



thing has the Quality A within certain Quantitative limits, it 
will also have the Quality M. This inevitably raises the 
question of the result which will follow if the Quantity of A 
passes the limits within which it determines the presence of M. 
"Quantity... is not only capable of alteration, i.e. of increase or 
diminution : it is naturally and necessarily a tendency to exceed 
itself" {Enc. 109). And this is sufficient to take us over to the 
next category. 

In the first place, all that is said is that the object will no 
longer have the Quality M. It is therefore the Measureless— 
since Measure consisted in the relation between the permanent 
Quality A and the variable Quality. But M will be replaced 
by a fresh Quality iV— solidity, e.g., by fluidity, when heat has 
passed the melting-point. From this Hegel proceeds to the 
Infinite Series in the same way as in the Greater Logic {Enc. 

The transition from the Infinite Series to Becoming of 
Essence {Enc. Ill) is the same as in the Greater Logic, except 
that the intermediate forms of Absolute Indifference and 
Indifference as Inverse Relation are omitted, and the transition 
made direct to the fully developed conception which, in the 
Greater Logic, forms the third subdivision. 

The treatment in the Encyclopaedia is superior to the other 
in avoiding the unjustified and useless loop which stretches 
from Ride to Elective Affinity in the Greater Logic. The 
absence of Indifference as Inverse Relation is also an improve- 
ment. On the other hand, the transition from the Infinite Series 
in the category of the Measureless direct to Essence seems 
somewhat abrupt, and inferior to the path taken by the 
Greater Logic through Absolute Indifference. 

But the vital defect of the Greater Logic is not removed in 
the Encyclopaedia. This is the substitution for the conception 
of Measure, reached at the end of Quantity, of another concep- 
tion of Measure — undeduced and unjustified. This invalidates 
the chain of reasoning in both books, and if the broken links 
are to be replaced it must be by something which is not to be 
found in Hegel's own work. 



95. Essence is divided in the Greater Logic into Essence as 
Reflection into Self, Appearance, and Actuality. In the two 
first of these the difference between the Greater Logic and the 
Encyclopaedia is more marked than elsewhere in the process. 
Categories which are found in one of these two secondary 
divisions in the Greater Logic are transferred to the other in the 
Encyclopaedia — a change which has no parallel in any other 
part of the dialectic. For this reason I shall postpone any 
reference to the Encyclopaedia till the end of Chapter VI. 

Essence as Reflection into itself (Das Wesen als Reflexion 
in ihm selbst) is divided as follows : 

I. Show. (Der Schein.) 

A. The Essential and Unessential. (Das Wesentliche 

und Unwesentliche.) 

B. Show. (Der Schein.) 

C. Reflection, (Die Reflexion.) 

(a) Positing Reflection. (Die setzende Reflexion.) 

(6) External Reflection. (Die aussere Reflexion.) 

(c) Determining Reflection. (Die bestimmende Re- 

II. The Essentialities or Determinations of Reflection. 
(Die Wesenheiten oder Reflexions-Bestimmungen.) 

A. Identity. (Die Identitat.) 


B. Difference. (Der Unterschied.) 

(a) Absolute Difference. (Der absolute Unterschied.) 
(6) Variety. (Die Verschiedenheit.) 
(c) Opposition. (Der Gegensatz.) 

C. Contradiction. (Der Widerspruch.) 

III. Ground. (Der Grund.) 

A. Absolute Ground. (Der absolute Grund.) 

(a) Form and Essence. (Form und Wesen.) 

(b) Form and Matter. (Form und Materie.) 

(c) Form and Content. (Form und Inhalt.) 

B. Determined Ground. (Der bestimmte Grund.) 

(a) Formal Ground. (Der formelle Grund.) 

(b) Real Ground. (Der reale Grund.) 

(c) Complete Ground. (Der vollstandige Grund.) 

C. Condition. (Die Bedingung.) 

(a) The Relatively Unconditioned. (Das relative 


(b) The Absolutely Unconditioned. (Das absolute 


(c) Transition of the Fact into Existence. (Hervor- 

gang der Sache in die Existenz.) 

The term Show is used ambiguously — both as the title of I., 
and as the title of I. B. 

96. At the end of the Doctrine of Being the conclusion was 
reached that there was a Qualitative substratum to the changes 
of Quantity and Quality. At first this substratum was regarded 
as entirely indifferent to the changes, but this view was dis- 
covered to be untenable, and it was then that the conception of 
Essence was reached. " At this point " Hegel says (G. L. i. 468), 
" Being in general, and Being as the immediacy of separate 
determinations and as Being an sich has vanished. The Unity 
is Being, immediately posited Totality, in such a way that this 
is only simple relation to self, mediated by the transcending of 
this positing. This positing and this immediate Being are 
themselves only a moment in its repulsion, and its original 

I. SHOW 93 

stability and identity with itself only exists as the resulting and 
infinite coming together with itself. In this way Being is 
determined to Essence — that Being which, through the trans- 
cending of Being, is simple Being-with-itself " 

The language of this passage is rather difficult, but the 
meaning is not, I think, doubtful. Things are no longer simple 
in their nature. The nature of each thing has two sides. That 
which previously seemed to be the whole nature of the thing 
is now only a moment in a more complex whole. The other 
element, to which it is related, is called the substratum by 
Hegel — a natural metaphor, since it is the element which the 
dialectic process reaches after the other. It is this element to 
which he gives the general name of Essence, the first element 
being called Appearance. 

97. Both these names have some erroneous suggestions 
about them. That the first element should be called Appear- 
ance might lead us to suppose that the distinction between it 
and Essence was that the Essence is the real nature of the 
thing, and the Appearance the partially erroneous represen- 
tation of the thing to some conscious subject. But this would 
be a complete mistake. Hegel justly says that the categories 
of his dialectic are objective in the sense that they deal with 
what the reality is, and not with what it is thought to be. 
Unlike Kant's categories, they do not refer to our knowledge of 
the reality, but to the reality which is known. And therefore^ 
when Hegel speaks of the Appearance of a thing, he means a 
part of its own nature, not of the knowledge of it in us. 

If we avoid this mistake, we may fall into another. We 
may be led by the names Appearance and Essence to suppose 
that the Essence represents a truer way of looking at the reality 
than the Appearance does. This would certainly be suggested 
by the English adjectives apparent and essential, though the 
suggestion is perhaps not so strong in German. And this view 
would be supported by the fact that the first two categories of 
Essence, in the Greater Logic, treat the Appearance as less real 
than the Essence^ But in the other categories this is not so. 

^ I shall try to show later that the categories in which the Appearance is 
treated as unreal are unjustified, and that their omission in the Ericyclopaedia. 
was an inprovement. (See Section 103.) 


The Appearance there is as real as the Essence, and it is as 
essential (in the ordinary English use of the word) to the 
Essence, as the Essence is to it. 

The reason for calling this side Appearance is, I think, as 
follows. It is real, but it has not the exclusive reality which 
was attributed to it in the earlier categories of Being, when it 
was taken as the only nature of reality. Its true position, as 
now determined, gives it a less important function than that 
with which it started. And it is to express this, I believe, that 
Hegel gave it a name which, as contrasted with Essence, 
suggests subordination and diminished reality. The name can- 
not, however, be regarded as fortunate. 

98. Hegel speaks of the Appearance as being immediate. 
This cannot mean that which is immediately known, for that 
would bring in the subjectivity which has already been 
said to be foreign to the dialectic. Nor can it mean literally 
that which is not mediated, since Appearance is mediated by 
Essence. It means, I conceive, that the Appearance corresponds 
to the nature of reality as seen in the categories of Being, when 
there was no internal mediation, because there was no internal 
diversity. It is not what is immediate, but what had previously 
been supposed to be so. The element of Essence would not be 
called immediate for this reason, since from the first point at 
which it is reached, it is seen to be in relation to the other side. 
f~ 99. The name of Essence is not more fortunate than that 
of Appearance. In the first place, as has already been said, it 
suggests, when contrasted with Appearance, that one side of the 
. relation is more real than the other. And in the second place 
it is ambiguous. Hegel uses it to designate one side of the 
relation. But he also uses it for the relation of the two sides, 
as when he speaks of the categories of Essence. It is sometimes 
difficult to see whether he is using it in the former sense or the 
latter, and it is desirable to find another name to designate the 
side of the relation which is not Appearance, so that we can 
confine Essence to its other meaning — the view of reality as 
consisting of the two related sides. The name of Inner, which 
would perhaps be the most natural, is unavailable, since Heo-el 
uses it for a special category further on. I propose to use the 
word Substratum, which has already been used by Hegel of this 

I. SHOW 95 

side (G. L. i. 453). The Appearance side can then be called 
Surface, which will avoid the ambiguity arising from the fact 
that the second division of Essence is called Appearance. 

At this point we may notice Hegel's remark {G. L. ii. 5) that 
Essence has the same characteristic, in the dialectic as a whole, 
which Quantity has in the Doctrine of Being — the characteristic 
of indifference to its boundaries. It is, as we shall see, impos- 
sible to keep Substratum and Surface separate. Whatever is 
found in the one cannot be excluded from the other. But this 
leads only to an oscillation between these two sides, and not to 
an unending process in a straight line, such as we found in 

100. Hegel tells us that while the form of the process is, in 
Being "an Other and transition into an Other," it becomes in 
Essence, " showing, or reflection in the opposite " {Enc. 240). 
The transformation of form is, however, continuous throughout 
the dialectic, and no sudden change must be expected at this 

I. Show. 

A, The Essential and Unessential. 

(G. L. ii. 8.) The first category of Essence ought to have the 
same content as the last category of Measure. But its content 
is, in fact, very different, and this constitutes a serious defect in 
the argument. 

At the end of Measure the Substratum was clearly the more 
persistent Quality which only varied Quantitatively while the 
other Qualities came and went. This was a perfectly definite 
Quality with a determined nature of its own. Moreover, it 
would seem that there were many such Substrata. For each 
Nodal Line would have such a Substratum of its own, and there 
is nothing to suggest the view that the whole of the universe 
could be reduced to a single Nodal line. 

But now, without any deduction or justification, the Sub- 
stratum assumes a perfectly different nature. We are told 
{G. L. ii. 4) that it is ''an undetermined simple unity." And 
the whole of the treatment of the three categories of Show^ 

1 Cp. my Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, Chapter IV. - 

2 Show in the wider sense, whose three categories are the Essential and 
Unessential, Show in the narrower sense, and Keflection. 


supports this. This is very different from the definite Quality 
at the end of Measure. From the new position it follows that 
the whole universe has only one Substratum, since there can be 
no plurality in what is undetermined. And this also is sup- 
ported by the treatment of these three categories. 

It is possible that this flaw in the process might be removed 
by avoiding an earlier flaw. We saw, at the beginning of the 
last Chapter, that Hegel starts Measure with a conception which 
is unduly specialized and complex as compared with the concep- 
tion which he had reached at the end of Quantity. I think 
that it might be maintained that if he had kept, as he ought, 
to the broader and simpler conception of Measure, it would have 
developed in such a way as to enable him to reach legitimately 
the wide conception of Substratum which, as it is, he reaches 
illegitimately. But to work this out would take us too far from 
what Hegel actually does say, 

101. There is another point to be discussed with relation 
to the starting-point in Essence. The Surface is conceived as a 
plurality, and not merely as a plurality of qualities inhering in 
a single subject, but as a plurality of subjects. These subjects 
have been with us ever since the category of Quality (Quality 
in the narrower sense, the Antithesis in the triad of Being 
Determinate as such). At first they were called Somethings, 
and afterwards Ones. At present Hegel gives them no special 
name, A name is desirable, and I propose to call them at once 
by the name of things. It may be objected that Hegel uses the 
name of Thing for a special category later on. But his intro- 
duction of it there for the first time only means that there for the 
first time the Thing forms the Substratum. It does not mean 
that this is the first time that the conception of thing enters 
into the dialectic at all. I shall therefore use the name from 
this points 

There is, then, a plurality of things in the Surface at this 
point. All Hegel's treatment implies this, and the transition 
from the category of Identity to that of Diversity rests on it 
explicitly. Now how is this assertion of a plurality to be 

1 To distinguish this more general use of the word thing from that in which 
it refers to Hegel's categories of Thing, I shall use a capital initial only when 
the special categories are spoken of. 

I. SHOW 97 

justified ? There is, I think, not much doubt about the answer 
Hegel would make. There was, he would say, a demonstrated 
plurality in the categories of Being, which arose, as has been 
said, in the category of Quality, and continued to the end of 
Measure. Now that which was Being has become the Surface 
side in Essence, and therefore the plurality is legitimately 
transferred to the Surface. 

But there seems to me a defect in this argument. In 
the Second Chapter we considered whether Hegel was justified 
in making his transition from one existent to a plurality 
of existents (Section 25). And the result at which we 
arrived was that he was justified because an isolated existent 
could only have a definite nature by having a plurality of 
qualities, and because the dialectic had not at that point 
reached the notion of one subject with a plurality of qualities. 
But now the case is different. We have been led on by the 
dialectic to the view that one subject can have a plurality of 
qualities. In that case I cannot see that anything that Hegel 
has said excludes the possibility of an existent having a definite 
nature although it should be the sole existent, and undifferen- 
tiated into parts. And if such a sole and undifferentiated 
existent could have a definite nature then nothing that Hegel 
has said excludes the possibility that nothing exists but one 
single undifferentiated unit. (I use undifferentiated to denote 
that which has no plurality of parts, though it may have a 
plurality of qualities.) If this is so, then Hegel is not 
justified in taking the Surface as consisting of a plurality 
of things. 

102. The supposition that there is no plurality of things is 
doubtless wild enough. For it does not mean that the universe is 
one as well as many, or even that it is more truly one than many. 
Both these propositions would be compatible with a plurality of 
things. The only alternative which is incompatible with a 
plurality of things is the view that there is no differentiation at 
all — no plurality except a plurality of qualities of the same 

Such a view is incompatible with any reality of Space or 
Time, since the parts of Space and Time would give such a 
differentiation. And it is also incompatible with the existence 

M-^T. 7 


of any belief, volition, or emotion, all of which are internally 

Moreover, there is certainly an appearance of differentiation 
in the universe as we perceive it. And if this is condemned as 
an illusion, the illusion will have to be itself part of the 
universe. And it is not easy to see how it is to be that without 
introducing differentiation into the universe. 

But although there may be very good reasons of this sort for 
rejecting the view that the existent is completely undifferen- 
tiated, they are not such as the dialectic can appeal to. The 
dialectic has to deduce all its results from the category of Being 
without the introduction of any fresh data. If it is to exclude 
the hypothesis of an undifferentiated existent, it must be either 
because that hypothesis is self-contradictory, or because it is 
incompatible with some of the results reached by the dialectic 
process. It might be possible to show that it is to be rejected 
for one or other of these reasons, but I cannot see that Hegel 
has shown it. Here, too, therefore, we must regard the transi- 
tion to Essence as erroneous. 

103. We have then, in the present category, a Surface of a 
plurality of things with common qualities, and a Substratum 
which is "an undetermined simple unity." From this Hegel 
proceeds as follows: "that the Essence becomes a merely Essen- 
tial, as opposed to an Unessential, comes about through this, 
that tlie Essence is only taken as transcended Being or Being 
Determinate. The Essence is in this way only the First, or 
the negation, which is determination, through which the Being 
becomes merely Being Determinate, or the Being Determinate 
becomes merely an Other. But the Essence is the absolute 
negativity of Being, it is Being itself, but determined not 
merely as an Other, but as the Being which has transcended 
itself both as immediate Being, and also as the immediate 
negation, as the negation which is linked to an Otherbeing. 
The Being or Being Determinate has in this not preserved itself 
as something Other than the Essence is. And the immediacy 
which is still distinguished from the Essence is not merely an 
unessential Being Determinate (unwesentliches Dasein) but is 
the immediate which is null (nichtig) in and for itself: it is 
only an Unessence (Unwesen), only Show" (G. L. ii. 9). 

I. SHOW 99 

This argument seems to me to be mistaken. No doubt the 
Being has not preserved itself as an element completely 
separated from the Substratum of which it now forms the 
Surface. But the proper conclusion from this is merely that 
which has already been reached in reaching Essence — namely 
that the two are related as sides or aspects of the same reality. 
To infer that, because the Surface is nothing apart from its 
Substratum, therefore it is null and an "Unessence" in its 
relation to its Substratum, is surely erroneous. 

If this is so, the transition to Show must be rejected. But 
in rejecting the Gi^eater Logic here we do not part company 
altogether with Hegel, for in the Encyclopaedia the Surface 
is never treated as null. The three categories of the triad of 
Show — Essential and Unessential, Show, and Reflection, find no 
place in the Encyclopaedia, where the Doctrine of Essence 
starts with the category of Identity. In this the later work 
seems to me to be much superior to the earlier. 

B. Show. 

104. {0. L. ii. 9.) The translation I have adopted for 
Schein is scarcely satisfactory, but I can find no better. 
Appearance is not available, as it is wanted to translate 
Erscheinung. Nor would Appearance emphasise with suffi- 
cient strength the total nullity of the Surface at this point. 

This category must not be confounded with Absolute In- 
difference, which occurred towards the end of Measure. In 
Absolute Indifference it was not the reality of either side of the 
relation which was denied, but the relation itself was expressed 
in such a way as to be rather the denial of relation. Here, on 
the contrary, it is one side of the relation which is denied all 

The position of this category — that the Surface is merely 
nothing — is one which is easily seen to be untenable. If the 
category were correct, the Substratum would have no Surface. 
In that case it would not be a Substratum, and we should have 
no Essence-relation at all. We should have fallen back on the 
simpler conception of reality which was found in the Doctrine 
of Being, and which the course of the dialectic has already 
compelled us to abandon. 



The Show is, then, and yet the Show is nothing. It is 
nothing and yet something. And this is impossible. Hegel 
aptly instances the attempt of the Sceptic to treat everything 
as devoid of all reality, and Fichte's endeavour to consider as 
merely negative the " Anstoss " which in the long run deter- 
mines the Ego (G. L. ii. 11. His further examples from 
Leibniz and Kant might perhaps be criticised as misrepre- 

Since this category is untenable, we must proceed further. 
We must do this, Hegel tells us, by perceiving that the Show is 
a moment of the Essence, and not something distinct from it 
(G. L. ii. 12). It is clear that he must mean, not merely that 
the Show is a moment of the Essence-relation, which it has 
been all along, but that it is a moment of the Essence-side of 
that relation. The Show is, then, an element in its Substratum. 
Thus Hegel is able to admit that all the reality is in the 
Substratum (the result which he thought he had arrived 
at in the category of the Essential and Unessential), while 
avoiding the impossible position of denying all reality to the 

105. We reach here, then, a new category, in which the 
Essence-relation is between the whole nature of the Sub- 
stratum and a part of that nature. To this Hegel gives the 
name of 

C. Me/lection 
(G. L. ii. 14), which is, in the first place, 

(a) Positing Reflection. 

{G. L. ii. 16.) Noel remarks {La Logique de Hegel, p. 63) that 
in Ground "for the first time the Essence appears as substratum 
of the mediation." I cannot regard this as correct. The 
Essence-side of the relation seems to me to be a true Sub- 
stratum in the two first categories of Essence, and to become so 
again in Diversity — if not in Identity. But, with regard ta 
Reflection and its subdivisions, it is, I think, true that the 
Essence-side is not properly a Substratum. It does here, as 
Noel says {loc. cit.), "confound itself with the very movement of 
reflection." For the Surface is here, as we have seen, actually 

I. SHOW 101 

part of the Essence-side. The whole of the relation of the two 
sides falls within one of them. 

At this point, therefore, the name of Substratum, which I 
have adopted for the Essence-side of the relation, is unsuitable, 
since it suggests that the Surface is outside it. But it would 
be difficult to find another which was not already claimed by 
Hegel for use elsewhere. And, when we have passed beyond 
the three categories of Reflection, Substratum will again be an 
appropriate term. 

Hegel says of the category of Positing Reflection that it is 
"a movement from nothing to nothing," and again that it is 
"transition as transcending of transition " ((?. L. ii. 16). The 
immediacy of the Surface is " only the negative of itself, only 
this — not to be immediac}^," for it is only a moment of the 
Substratum. But again Reflection is " the transcending of the 
negation of itself, it is coming together with self; in this way 
it transcends its positing, and since it is, in its positing, the 
transcending of positing, it is presupposition (Voraussetzen) " 
{G. L. ii. 17). In other words, in this category the immediate 
element loses its immediacy, because it is only a moment of the 
non-immediate element, the Substratum. But the Substratum 
has now nothing outside itself, and is therefore itself immediate. 
As the negation of itself, the immediate ceased to be immediate. 
But the Reflection is " the transcending of the negation of 
itself" and thus immediacy is restored. 

106. The first form in which it is restored is, according to 

(h) External Reflection 

(Q. L. ii. 19), in which the Reflection finds an immediate 
element which exists independently of it — which is, in Hegel's 
language, presupposed (vorausgesetzt), not posited (gesetzt). 

107. But this, the argument continues, is an untenable 
position. The two are not really external to one another, but 
depend on each other for their existence. For Reflection is 
clearly dependent on the Immediate. Without an Immediate, 
it would be unable to perform its work of mediation. The 
Immediate, again, without the Reflection, would be the mere 
Immediate of Being over again. This, of course, it is not. But 


for the difference it depends on Reflection. Thus the connexion 
between the two sides is essential to them. This gives us 

(c) Determining Reflection 

{G. L. ii. 23), in which we see that the Immediate is really the 
"absolutely mediated" — that is to say, the self-mediated, that 
which is mediated, not by anything outside it, but by a process 
within itself. That which is absolutely mediated has the same 
character of stability as the Immediate, since it does not refer 
to anything outside itself Thus the new category synthesizes 
the two former. Like Positing Reflection, it places the media- 
tion within that which is mediated. But, like External Reflec- 
tion, it provides a real Immediate for mediation. The Surface 
no longer falls within the Substratum, as in Positing Reflection, 
nor is it something independent of the Substratum, as in 
External Reflection. The Surface and Substratum are now two 
moments, neither of which falls within the other, but both of 
which as moments in the same reality, are intrinsically united, 
and not independent of each other. 

It seems to me that Hegel would have done better if he 
had suppressed Positing and External Reflection altogether, and 
had taken what he now calls Determining Reflection as the 
undivided category of Reflection. For the conception of Deter- 
mining Reflection is really much simpler than that of Positing 
Reflection, and it would have been more convincing to reach it 
directly from Show (which it would have synthesized with 
Essential and Unessential), than first to proceed to Positing 
Reflection and then to reach Determining Reflection through it. 

This would avoid, also, the transition from Positing Reflec- 
tion to External Reflection, which seems to me fallacious. No 
doubt, as Hegel points out, the Substratum, if it absorbed the 
Surface, would be immediate, but it is very difficult to see 
how we could possibly pass, as Hegel apparently does, to the 
position that it has an immediate reality external to it. 


II. The Essentialities or Determinations of 


108. (G. L. ii. 26.) Hegel accounts for the name as 
follows : " The Reflection is determined Reflection ; and so the 
Essence is determined Essence, or it is Essentiality (Wesenheit)" 
{G. L. ii. 26). But this does not help us to see why these, rather 
than the other categories of Essence, should be distinguished by 
a title so specially connected with Essence. 

A . Identity. 

{G. L. ii. 30.) This category is a restatement of the last. If 
anything is self-mediated, then that which is found on one 
side of the relation has exactly the same content as that which 
is found on the other side. Surface and Substratum reflect 
each other perfectly. If we start from an immediately given A, 
and endeavour to understand it by determining its Essence, the, 
result which we get at this point will be " A is A" 

Before this point we could not have reached the category of 
Identity. So long as we had not passed beyond the Doctrine of 
Being, it would have been impossible to assert Identity as a 
category. For no category of the dialectic is a tautology. And 
consequently the Identity asserted must be an Identity between 
what can be distinguished, from another point of view, as not 
identical. Now this would be impossible among the categories 
of Being. For there we find no difference within the subject. 
And, if we predicate anything of it besides itself, our judgment 
will not be one of identity. The category of Identity only 
becomes possible when the division of form between Substratum 
and Surface enables us to put the same content on each side of 
the judgment, while at the same time keeping a distinction in 

109. We must now consider Hegel's treatment of the 
logical law of Identity, A=A, or, as he also expresses it, 
" Everything is identical with itself (Alles ist sich selbst 
gleich)." In the first place, in his general discussion of the 
Essentialities, he asks (G. L. ii. 27) why this law (which also, as 
he points out, takes the form of the Law of Contradiction, A is 


not not-^), and the Law of Excluded Middle, should be con- 
sidered as universal laws of thought, to the exclusion of others. 
All the other categories, he reminds us, are also predicates of all 
things (" von Allem," G. L. ii. 28). Such laws as " Everything 
is," "Everything has Determinate Being" are just as true as 
the laws of thought in formal logic. In the case of the higher 
categories, it is not surprising that they have not formed the 
basis for generally recognised laws of thought, as the validity of 
the higher categories is not so immediately obvious — is, indeed, 
often not to be seen at all without the aid of the dialectic. But 
this cannot be said of the categories of Being — especially of the 
earlier among them. 
I In answer to this question Hegel points out {G. L. ii. 28) that 
in Being the Antithesis of each Thesis is its direct opposite. 
If we attempted to base a universal law on each category, 
these laws would directly contradict one another. By the side 
of the law that "Everything is," we should find, based on the 
category of Nothing, the law that "Everything is nothing^" 
It would be quite clear then that each of these laws could not 
be absolutely true, since they contradict one another, and there- 
fore they would not be taken by formal logic as universal laws 
of thought, to all of which it must ascribe absolute truth. 

With the categories of Essence the case is different, owing 
to the gradual modification in form of the dialectic process. 
Difference is not so directly opposed to Identity, as Nothing is 
to Being. As we shall see, the Difference is added to the 
Identity, and does not replace it. And therefore no law formed 
out of Difference can be obviously and directly incompatible 
with the law of Identity, and thereby challenge the absolute 
truth of the latter. 

I do not, however, see that the difference in question, 
though it certainly exists, can be accepted as the reason why 
previous thinkers did not make " universal laws of thought " 
out of the categories of Being. For the necessity of proceeding 
from the Thesis to the Antithesis is Hegel's own discovery. 
The founders of formal logic would not have been deterred from 
making "Everything is" into a universal law of thought by its 

^ Hegel does not specify what the laws of Being and Nothing would be, but 
only says that they would be directly opposed to one another. 


obvious incompatibility with " Everything is nothing." For the 
latter would have seemed simply false to them, and to everyone 
else who had not accepted or anticipated the first triad of 
Hegel's dialectic. 

110. We must look for another way out of the difficulty. 
And I believe that this is to be found in the fact that the Law 
of Identity is not specially connected with Hegel's category of 
Identity at all, and therefore gives us no reason to expect that 
similar laws will be connected with the other categories. 

The category of Identity is, as we have seen, the assertion of 
an Identity of content in the Surface and Substratum of 
existent things. This, of course, narrows its field. Not to speak 
of non-existent realities, if such there are, it is clear that the 
category cannot be applied either to qualities or relations, since 
it is not qualities or relations which have Surfaces and Sub- 
strata, but only things. And, again, it cannot be applied to a 
Surface or Substratum. For, if so, there would l)ave to be, 
within that Surface or Substratum, a division into a fresh 
Surface and Substratum, and this is not Hegel's view. 

On the other hand, the Law of Identity can be applied to 
any subject whatever. We can say just as well that a quality is 
a quality, or that a Substratum is a Substratum, as we can say 
that a thing is a thing. Since the law and the category have 
such difference in their application the law cannot be founded 
on the category. 

And, again, the truth of the category of Identity is by no 
means a tautology. When we bring a thing under this category 
we assert that its nature has the two sides of Surface and Sub- 
stratum, and that the content of these two sides is the same. 
And both these propositions are very far from being tautologies. 

It is different with the Law of Identity. In the sense in 
which that asserts A to be A, the proposition is a complete 
tautology. Its truth rests, not on identity in difference, but on 
the absence of all difference. If any difference existed between 
the A of the subject and the A of the predicate, the assertion of 
their identity would be a proposition which might be true, and 
which, true or false, would have some interest. But it would 
not be the Law of Identity of formal logic. And it is this Law 
of Identity of which Hegel speaks here. 


Later on (G. L. ii. 35) he admits the tautologous character of 
the Law of Identity. Such propositions as " a plant is a plant,"' 
he says, are simply useless and wearisome. They would be 
universally admitted to be true, and universally admitted to say 

r nothing. This is sufficient to show that the Law of Identity is 
not based on Hegel's category of Identity. The statements that 
the nature of a plant has a Surface and a Substratum, and that 
the content of these is identical, certainly tells us something, 

L whether it be false or true. 

J~ The connexion, then, between the logical Law of Identity 
and Hegel's category of Identity is so slight that we need not 
be surprised at the absence of similar Laws corresponding to the 

) earlier categories. 

p In his criticism of the Law of Identity Hegel, I think, goes 
too far when he says that its truth is incompatible with the 
existence of Difference (G. L. ii. 29, " If everything is identical 
with itself, it is not different, not opposed, and has no Ground." 
Again, G. L. ii. 37, " The Law of Identity or Contradiction, 
since its object is only to express abstract Identity as the truth 
in opposition to Difference, is no law of thought, but rather the 
opposite of such a law "). That ^ is J. would surely be quite 
consistent with the facts that A is not B, that A and G are 
polar opposites, and that A and D have a Ground E. 

111. From the category of Identity Hegel passes on as 
follows. " The Identity is the Reflection into itself, which is 
only this as being inner Repulsion (Abstossen), and this Repul- 
vsion exists as Reflection into itself. Repulsion which immediately 
takes itself back into itself. It is thus Identity as the Differ- 
ence which is identical with itself. But the Difference is only 
identical with itself in so far as it is not the Identity, but 
absolute Not-Identity. Not-Identity, however, is absolute in so 
far as it contains nothing of the Other, but only itself, that is to 
say, in so far as it is absolute Identity with itself" {G. L. ii. 32). 

We have already discussed the fact that Hegel starts the 
categories of Essence with a Surface containing a plurality of 
things (Section 101). This has not so far involved a corre- 
sponding plurality in the Substratum. For, till the transition to 
Determining Reflection, there was nothing in the relation of 
Surface to Substratum which should prevent an undifferentiated 


Substratum from having a differentiated Surface, and we could 
not argue from the differentiation of the Surface to a differen- 
tiation of Substratum. But in Determining Reflection, and its 
restatement as Identity, the Surface and the Substratum are 
identical in their content. And therefore the Substratum, like 
the Surface, is differentiated. 

It is in this way that Identity, as Hegel says, involves 
Differentiation. Things are different on the Surface, and if the 
Substratum in each thing is identical with the Surface, then it 
must be different from the Substratum of every other thing. 
Since the conception of Difference is thus carried into the 
Substratum, we reach 

B. Difference. 
(a) Absolute Difference. 

(G. L. ii. 37.) Difference is at first simple (einfach) 
{G. L. ii. 38). The Difference between two things is only that 
they are different. If one is A, the other is not- J.. By this 
Hegel cannot mean that the second is a mere negation of the 
first, for the second must also be identical with itself, and 
therefore must be as positive as the first. What he means is 
that the element of Diff'erence between them lies simply in the 
fact that the second element, B, is not- J.. If we had begun 
with B, then the difference would consist in A being noi-B. 

He goes on to say that we have here the Difference of 
Reflection and not the Otherbeins: of Determinate Beinsr. In 
the Otherbeing of Determinate Being, the things are conceived 
primarily as isolated, and only secondarily as related. But now 
that we have reached Essence, the connection with others is 
seen to be a fundamental part of the nature of each thing. 

There is no Difference without Identity, and no Identity 
without Difference. Identity, Hegel says, may thus be con- 
sidered as a whole of which Difference and itself are moments. 
And Difference may be considered as a whole of which Identity 
and itself are moments {G. L. ii. 38). (This seems to be only 
an unnecessarily paradoxical way of expressing the fact that 
Identity involves itself and Difference, and that Difference 
involves itself and Identity.) This, he continues, " must be 
regarded as the essential nature of Reflection, and as the deter- 


mined fundamental ground of all acting and self-movement." 
It is, indeed, a rudimentary form of the principle of the mutual 
implication of Unity and Ditferentiation, the establishment of 
which may perhaps be maintained to be the supreme result of 
the whole dialectic. 

(h) Variety. 

112. (G. L. ii. 39.) The deduction of this category (G. L. 
ii. 39 — 41) is extremely obscure. Hegel says that from 
Absolute Difference arise two forms, " Reflection into self as 
such, and Determination as negation, or the Posited. The 
P(isited is the Reflection which is external to self" (G. L. ii. 40). 
Of these the first is primarily Identity, and the second is 
primarily Difference {G. L. ii. 40). So far this seems only a 
repetition of what was said before. The Reflection into self is 
the Identity which includes itself and Difference, while the 
External Reflection is the Difference which includes itself and 
Identity. Hegel's statement that they are indifterent (gleich- 
giiltig) to one another is also explicable. Identity and 
Difference, pure and simple, were not indifferent to one another. 
Each was the other's complement. But if Identity is taken as 
including itself and Difference, or Difference is taken as in- 
cluding itself and Identity, each of them is a stable whole, 
since it includes its complement. And therefore they may be 
taken as indifferent to one another. 

Things are Various, he continues, when they are indifferent 
in their connexion with each other. For, when they are 
indifferent to each other, it is because the Difference between 
them is seen to involve the Identity of each. A and B are 
indifferent, when B'q difference from A lies in the f;ict that it is 
B (and not in the merely negative consideration that it is not 
A), and when A's difference from B lies in the fact that it is A. 
And it is this — the difference of positive from positive — that he 
calls Variety, as distinguished from Absolute Difference, which 
is the difference of a positive from its mere negation. And 
since Reflection in self gives us indifference, he says {G. L. ii. 41) 
that it gives us Variety. 

But now Hegel goes on to a further argument which appears 
to me fallacious. "The External Reflection on the other hand 


is the determined Difference " of the two moments " not as 
absolute Reflection in self but as Determination, against which 
the Reflection in self is indifferent; its two moments, the 
Identity and the Difference itself, are thus externally posited, 
and are not Determinations which are in and for themselves. 
Now this external Identity is Likeness (Gleichheit) and the 
external Difference is Unlikeness, Likeness is indeed Identity, 
but only "what is posited, an Identity which is not in and for 
itself In the same way, Unlikeness is Difference, but as an 
external Difference, which is not in and for itself the Difference 
of the Unlike "((?. Z. ii. 41). 

But Likeness cannot be reduced to a sort of Identity. For 
the Identity of which Hegel speaks — the Identity of the 
previous category — is a relation which falls entirely within some 
particular thing. A is identical with itself because it has the 
same content in Surface and Substratum. And this cannot 
possibly become the Likeness of which Hegel speaks, which is 
a relation between different things. 
r" It is true that, if things are like one another, they will have 
some identical quality. But then the identity is of the quality, 
while the identity of which Hegel has been speaking is an 
identity of a thing. And the identity of a quality cannot be 
an instance of Hegel's category of Identity, since that only 
applies where there is a Substratum and Surface with an 
identical content, and it is only things, and not qualities, which 
Hegel regards as having Surfaces and Substrata. 

113. It seems to me that it is necessary to reconstruct part 
of Hegel's argument, though it is only the latter part which will 
need altering. The transition will start, as it does with Hegel, 
from the fact that Identity implies Difference, and Difference 
Identity. Then that A should be not-B, not-C, etc., is implied 
in its being A. And again that B should be not- J. is implied 
in its being B. Thus A differs from B now because B is 5, 
since its being not-^ is seen to be a moment of its nature as J?. 

We have thus got two of Hegel's steps towards Variety. 
The things are (a) indifferent to each other. For their connex- 
ion is now through their positive qualities on both sides, which 
have other meanings than merely to express their Difference, 
though they do express it. And the things are (6) Unlike. 


For they have positive qualities, which are different in each of 
them. And so we get Unlikeness, a name which Hegel does 
not give to the difference between a term and its mere negation, 
such as A and not- J.. 

On both these points we have followed Hegel's argument, 
except that we have not distinguished between the two forms 
in which the unity of Identity and Difference can be put, which 
seems to be irrelevant here. But there remains the third point. 
The Various things must be determined by Likeness as well as 
by Unlikeuess. 

Some Likenesses exist wherever there are common Qualities, 
and we found in the categories of Measure that each thing had 
at least two qualities in common with others. But the break of 
continuity which we found to exist at the beginning of Essence 
renders it doubtful how far we are entitled to rely on this now. 
And, at any rate, it would not be sufficient. For the Likenesses 
to be found in Measure group things in one order only. No 
cross-groupings are possible by means of them, unless a thing 
(or, as it was there called, a One) should belong to two different 
Measure-series, which is not apparently contemplated by Hegel. 
Now the Likenesses in the category of Variety are clearly more 
complicated than this. For when the Likenesses turn into 
Grounds, we shall find that Hegel tells us that A can be con- 
nected with B and not with G, or with C and not with B, 
according to the Ground chosen. It is clear, then, that the 
category of Variety requires that A shall have one Likeness to 
B, and a different Likeness to C. 

Can we prove that this must be the case ? I think we can. 
Take any group of things, M, N, 0, which is less than the whole 
universe^ There will therefore be one or more things outside 
this group. If we call one of these Z, it is clear that the 
individuals in the group 31, iV, 0, have each the quality of not 
being Z — or, if you prefer it, of being not-Z. And this con- 
stitutes a Likeness between them. 

We can go further. For any group of things we can find, 
not only a Likeness, but a Likeness shared by no others. Let 

1 All the things in the universe have likewise a common Likeness. For 
of all of them it may be said that they are things, besides various other state- 
ments which are true of all of them. 


M, N, 0, X, Y, Z, stand for a complete list of existent things. 
Then take the group M, iV, 0. Each of these has the quality 
of not being either A'', Y, or Z, which constitutes a Likeness 
between them. And no other group can have this Likeness, for 
no other group can be formed (except one included in the group 
M, N, 0) which does not include either X, Y or Z. And the 
same principle will apply, however great the number of things 
in the universe may be. 

114. Thus we should be entitled to predicate Likenesses, 
as well as Unlikenesses, of the various things. But to do so in 
this manner would raise an important question which Hegel 
never considers. It will be noticed that the only qualities 
which have been deduced by my argument are the qualities 
which arise from the relation of Difference which has already 
been proved to exist between all things. The argument there- 
fore rests on the principle that every relation determines a 
quality in each related thing. If Smith is taller than Brown, 
then " to be taller than Brown " is a quality of Smith, and " to 
be shorter than Smith " a quality of Brown. This principle, as 
I mentioned in Chapter I. (Section 6), is accepted by Hegel. 

But when this principle is accepted, the question arises 
whether all qualities arise out of relations in this way, or 
whether there are some which do not. (These latter might be 
called for distinction ultimate qualities.) To this question there 
can, I think, be no doubt that Hegel's answer would be that 
there were such ultimate qualities. The Qualities mentioned in 
the Doctrine of Being certainly did not depend on relations, 
though relations depended on them, and nothing in the sub- 
sequent transitions has removed these Qualities from our view 
of the nature of things. 

These ultimate qualities differ in such an important way 
from the qualities determined by relation, that it would be very 
desirable to know something about them as distinguished from 
the others. Hegel unquestionably held, when dealing with 
Measure, that each thing had at least two ultimate qualities 
which could be common to it with other things, without being 
common to all things. And he probably went further, and held 
that every thing possessed some qualities which were common 
to it and to some other things. But does this hold now that we 


have passed out of Measure ? It is clear that things have still 
ultimate qualities. It is clear, from what has been said above, 
that everything has still qualities which are common to it with 
some other things, without being common to it with all other 
things. But are any of these common qualities ultimate 
qualities ? On this point the dialectic tells us nothing. 

115. Hegel discusses here Leibniz's principle of the Iden- 
tity of Indiscernibles {G. L. ii. 44). The reasons by which he 
accounts for the supposed connexion of the Law of Identity 
with his category of Identity (cp. above, Section 109) would 
suggest that a similar Law might be found in connexion with 
the category of Difference, and he seems to regard the principle 
of the Identity of Indiscernibles as holding this place. But the 
analogy is very slight. The Law of Identity, Hegel tells us, 
was universally admitted, was a mere tautology, and fell within 
formal logic. Now the principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles 
is by no means universally admitted, is certainly not a mere 
tautology, and does not come within the sphere of formal logic. 

116. We now proceed to the transition to the next category. 
Hegel says {0. L. ii. 44) "the Various is the Difference which 
is merely posited, the Difference which is no Difference." And 
he goes on to say that the transition is due to the Indifference 
(Gleichgliltigkeit) of Variety. 

What is meant by this ? I conceive that he means that in 
this category there is no special connexion of any thing with 
any other thing. The relation may fairly be said to be one of 
Indifference, if no thing has any connexion with one other 
except that which it has with all others. And this Indifference, 
I conceive, arises as follows. We are now dealing with Like- 
nesses and Unlikenesses. But every thing is, as we have seen, 
Unlike every other thing. And it is also Like every other 
thing, for in any possible group we can, as we have seen, find a 
common quality. Thus under this category everything has 
exactly the same relation to everything else. For it is both Like 
and Unlike everything else. 

It may naturally be objected to this that the relations are 
not precisely similar. A may be both like and unlike B and C, 
but it will be like B because they both have the quality x, 
unlike because A has and B has not the quality y. With C, on 


the other hand, it may be the quality m which makes the like- 
ness, and the quality n the unlikeness. 

The answer to this, I believe, would be that our present 
category makes the Substratum of things to be simply their 
Likeness and Unlikeness, and that therefore the relations recog- 
nised by it are just the same although they may be founded on 
different qualities. A is like B in respect of x, like G in respect 
of m, but all that this category deals with is the abstract relation 
of Likeness. And this is the same in the case of A and B as it 
is in the case of A and G. 

The possession of a common quality is not, for Hegel, a 
direct determination of the nature of things till we reach the 
categories of the Notion. It is this, I believe, which is indicated 
by the fact that he then for the first time calls them Universals, 
and says that they constitute the nature of the things. Before 
the Notion is reached a community of quality only affects the 
nature of a thing by putting it into, or taking it out of, a group 
with another thing. In Quantity and Measure this did not 
produce Indifference, because the common qualities there per- 
mitted only one system of grouping (cp. above, Section 113). 
But in Variety, where everything is like and unlike everything 
else, the Indifference arises. 

The Indifference is a defect which makes the category 
untenable. We passed from Being to Essence because the 
existence of a plurality completely ungrouped and unorganised 
was impossible, and because its grouping required the duplicity 
of nature which comes in Essence. But it is evident that 
Essence cannot fulfil its task if all that the Substratum does is 
to give a relation which links everything to everything else in 
exactly the same manner. It gives no reason why A should be 
linked with B rather than with G, or with G rather than with 
B. And, ever since Undivided Quantity passed into Quantum, we 
have seen that such preferential linkings must exist. 

Hegel maintains that we can only escape this difficulty by 
finding a Likeness and Unlikeness which are not indifferent to 
each other. Now if A and B have a particular Unlikeness which 
depends on their having a particular Likeness, then the indif- 
ference, he holds, has broken down. A and B are not simply 
Like and Unlike. Their Unlikeness depends on their Likeness. 

WT. 8 


And, if A can only enter into this particular relation to B, and 
to nothing else, then A and B are specially connected. Now 
this happens in cases of what is called polar opposition. Such 
is the case where A and B have both a temperature, and A is 
hot and B is cold. And again we have it when A and B are 
movements on the meridian of Greenwich, and ^ is a movement 
North, and B a movement South, or when A and B are sums of 
money, and I owe A and am owed B. Thus Hegel passes to a 
category which he calls 

(c) Opposition. 

{0. L. ii. 47.) This is a synthesis of Absolute Difference 
and Variety. As in Variety, the differences are positive on 
each side, but, as in Absolute Difference, the differences lie in 
characteristics which are in a definite negative relation to one 
another, and are not simply not the same. 

117. Hegel says {G. L. ii. 48) that the Likeness is the 
Positive here, and the Unlikeness the Negative. I must own 
myself entirely unable to understand what he means by this. 
The whole course of the argument seems to show that the 
Likeness consists in the common character shared by two 
opposites, and that each of these opposites can be taken either as 
Positive or Negative. 

He then recapitulates {0. L. ii. 49, 50) the three elements 
which make up the Positive and Negative. The first is that in 
which they are merely moments of the Opposition. In the 
second, each side has both elements in it — the elements of 
Positive and Negative — and they thus become indifferent 
towards one another. In the third, they are essentially con- 
nected, and yet at the same time have each a positive nature. 

This recapitulation must not be mistaken for a subordinate 
triad within Opposition. In the first place, its terms are not 
marked off from each other in the text by separate headings, or 
provided with names of their own, which always happens with 
distinct categories. In the second place, it is obviously a 
recapitulation, since the last stage of the three is just the idea 
which we gained on passing from Variety to Opposition — that 
of two things, different in their positive nature, and yet each 
determining the other as its negative. The two earlier stages — 



those dealing with a mere difference and with indifferent 
diversity — had been transcended before we came to Opposition 
at all, and could not return in it, since they are incompatible 
with the principle of Opposition. They are, as Hegel calls them, 
"determinations which constitute Positive and Negative," but not 
forms of the category which contains Positive and Negative. 

The transition to the next category {G. L. ii. 57) is as 
follows : Each extreme, he says, " has indifferent stability for 
itself through the fact that it has the relation to its other 
moment in itself (an ihm selbst). Thus it is the whole Opposi- 
tion contained in itself. As this whole, each is mediated with 
itself through its Other, and continues its Other. But it is also 
mediated with self through the Not-Being of its Other; thus 
it is a unity for itself, and excludes its other from it." As 
thus it includes and excludes the Other in the same respect 
(Riicksicht), and therefore is only stable in so far as it excludes 
its own stability from itself, it involves a contradiction. ~-^ 

Is the category of Opposition valid ? I do not think that it i 
is. The Indifference of Variety was really a defect, and had to 
be transcended. But all that is needed for this purpose is that 
some Likeness shall be taken as specially fundamental — the 
conception which is introduced afterwards in Ground. If this 
were done, the Indifference would be removed, since things 
which had the same Ground would be specially linked together. 
And we have no right to introduce into the new category more 
than is necessary to remove the contradiction of the one below 
it. Now Opposition, involving as it does a special relation of \ 
the Unlikeness between two things to the Likeness between 
them, is a more complicated idea than Ground, and we ought 
not to have introduced it when Ground would suffice — to say 
nothing of the incorrectness of reaching Ground (as Hegel does) 
after the more complex conception of Opposition has been trans- 

Moreover, if we could have accepted the transition which 
Hegel makes into Opposition, we should still have to reject the 
transition by which he passes out of it. The contradiction 
which he finds here rests on a mistake. The stability of the 
Extremes of an Opposition rest, no doubt, on their relation to 
one another, and this very stability excludes them from one 



^ another. But there is no contradiction here. There is simply 
the truth, which the dialectic gave us as long ago as Being for 
Self, that a thing is determined to be itself by the fact of not 
being other things. 

n- I think, therefore, that the category of Opposition is not to 

/ be justified, and that the transition should run from Variety 
direct to Grounds The insertion of Opposition may be due to 
the tendency to which we have to ascribe so much of what is 
weakest in the dialectic — the tendency to bring in irrelevant 
conceptions which play a large part in empirical science, or 
in the history of philosophy. Polarity is, of course, a very im- 
portant conception for science. And — a still more important 
consideration — it was the central conception of the philosophy 
which Schelling had constructed, and from which Hegel had 
found his way to his own system. It is not wonderful therefore 
that Hegel should have unconsciojisly deflected the course of 

[_the dialectic to include it. 

118. We now pass to a category which Hegel calls 

C. Contradiction. 

r- (G. L. ii. 57.) In giving it this name, however, he seems to 
confuse the category with the transition to it. The contradiction 
just stated is the reason why we must pass on from Opposition 
to another category, but it cannotbe the category itself How 
could we pass to a conception which, as we get to it, we know 
to be contradictory ? The whole point of the dialectic method 
is that the perception of a contradiction is a reason for 
abandoning the category which we find contradictory. Moreover 
the category now before us is the Synthesis of Identity and 
Difference. And it is especially clear that a category cannot be 
accepted as a reconciliation of others where it is seen to be itself 

j contradictory. 

Hegel's transition //'0/71 his category of Contradiction is to be 
found on p. 61. "The exclusive Reflection of the stable 
Opposition makes it a Negative, something only posited. So 
it " — the Reflection — " degrades its previous stable Determina- 
tions, the Positive and the Negative, to the level of being only__ 

1 Though not, as I shall explain later on, to the same subdivision of 
Ground which comes first in the Greater Logic (cp. below, Section 131.) 


Determinations, and since the Position (Gesetzsein) has been 
made Position in this way, it has gone back into unity with 
itself. It is simple Essence, but Essence as Ground." 

119. It seems to me that we can do justice to Hegel's 
argument here by taking the contradiction (which he makes 
the category of Contradiction) as the transition into a category 
constituted in the way described in this passage. The con- 
ception of Ground will thus be reached in II. C, instead 
of at the beginning of III., where Hegel puts it. 

The contradiction which, if Hegel is right, is found in 
Opposition is now removed by taking the terms as each possess- 
ing its own Substratum — no longer merely sharing one with its 
r OppOvSite — but a Substratum which is clearly recognised as 
something with both positive and negative nature. As Hegel 
says, " Ground is Essence as positive Identity with itself, which, 
however, at the same time relates itself to itself as negativity, 
and thus determines itself and makes itself exclusive (ausge- 
schlossenen) Position ; but this Position is the whole stable 
Essence, and the Essence is Ground, which in its negation is 
identical with itself and positive " (G. L. ii. 62). 

For this category, to which the name of Contradiction is 
clearly inapplicable, I should suggest the name of Stable 
Essentiality. It bears a marked resemblance to Identity, for in 
it, as in Identity, each part of the Surface has its own Sub- 
stratum, which belongs to it, aud to no other. This contrasts 
with the categories of Difference in each of which the Sub- 
. stratum of each thing consisted in its relation to others. 

But the difference between this category and Identity must 
not be overlooked. In the new category the Substratum is not 
merely the nature of the thing, but that nature recognised as 
essentially different from the nature of the other things round 
it. In the category of Identity, Difference has not yet been 
recognised. When it is recognised, we have passed on to the 
category of Difference. But in Stable Essentiality the Sub- 
stratum includes in it, as an essential element, the fact of its 
difference from other Substrata. It is therefore, as its position 
in the process requires it to be, the Synthesis of Identity and 
Difference. -^ 

And this involves another change from Identity. The 

? ' 


Substratum and Surface in Identity were seen to be identical, 
except in the form of being Surface and Substratum. Here, on 
the other hand, there is a further difference between Surface 
and Substratum. For the Substratum includes in itself its 
determination as different from the other Substratum — to 
■which nothing corresponds in the merely immediate reality of 
the Surface. 

120. At this point {G. L. ii. 66) Hegel inserts a Note on the 
Law of Excluded Middle, which he regards as specially connected 
with the category of Opposition. He remarks that there is one 
thing which is neither -\- A nor —A, namely A itself, which 
enters into both. No doubt this is true, and we might add that 
all the indefinite number of things in the universe of which A 
cannot be predicated are neither -\- A nor — J.. If A is Seven, 
for example, Courage is neither + A nor — A. But the Law of 
Excluded Middle says nothing of + J. and —A, but of A and 
not-il, which is very different (Hegel states the Law correctly 
at the beginning of his Note, but, towards the end, suddenly 
substitutes —A for not- J., without any warning or explanation). 
Now with regard to A and not- J., it is quite true that every- 
thing must be one or the other. Courage, for example, is not- 
Seven. And the law is true of A itself. For, althousfh it is 

I neither -|- A nor -A, yet it is A, and it is not not- J.. 

121. We now pass {G. L. ii. 73) to 

III. Ground. 

A. Absolute Ground, 
(a) Form and Essence. 

{G. L. ii. 77.) Here the Substratum of each part of the 
Surface belongs to that part of the Surface alone. But it is 
distinguished from it as being explicitly determined by the 
negative relation to its surroundings, which is not the case with 
the Surface. 

122. But, again, we cannot keep these relations out of the 
Surface. If the Surface is to be anything definite at all, it 
must have in it the negative relation of one thing to another, 
without which nothing can be definite. And thus, as Hegel 
says {G. L. ii. 79), "everything definite belongs to the Form." 


The Substratum is left behind as an empty shell, " The Essence 
is according to this moment the Undetermined, for which the 
Form is an Other. So the Essence is not " (i.e. is no longer) 
" the absolute Reflection in itself, but is determined as formless 
Identity ; it is Matter " (G. L. ii. 82). So we get 

(b) Form and Matter. 

(G. L. ii. 82.) Matter here is much more indefinite than the 
Matter of Materialism, or of physical science. For that is 
conceived as having a definite nature while here all the definite 
nature has been absorbed by the Form, leaving the Matter as 
an undetermined and undifferentiated basis for the Form. 

It is, however, impossible that Matter, taken in this sense, 
should be the Subslratum of anything. For, with no definite 
nature, it can have no definite relation to anything. It is clear 
then that it cannot be in the very definite relation to the 
Surface of being its Substratum, without which the Surface 
would be inexplicable. 

123. We must therefore conceive the Matter as having 
Form as a moment of itself — as being formed Matter. But 
again, the Form, since it has, according to the argument which 
produced the category of Form and Matter, everything in it, 
must have the Matter as a moment in itself {G. L. ii. 86). Thus 
both sides — Substratum and Surface — have the same nature, 
and we come to 

(c) Form and Content. 

(G. L. ii. 88.) In this category, says Hegel {G. L. ii. 89), we 
reach Determined Ground. It might be objected to this that 
the Ground is to be conceived rather as determining than as 
determined. But it must be remembered that Ground, like 
Essence, is used by Hegel both as the name of a relation and as 
the name of one term of that relation. It is, I think, rather the 
Ground-relation than the Ground-element of that relation of 
which he speaks here. And this relation may properly be called 
at this point determined, because here, for the first time in 
Ground, the nature of the two sides is explicitly identical, and 
there is therefore nothing on either side which is not related to 
its correlate on the other. 


B, Determined Ground. 
(a) Formal Ground. 

124. {G. L. ii. 90.) This is simply the restatement of Form 
and Content. The Ground of the whole nature of the thing is 
its whole nature. The explanation is thus perfectly complete. 
ABC is the Ground of ABC. Such an explanation leaves out 
nothing, assumes nothing, and explains nothing. It is for this 
reason that it is called Formal. 

It is worth while to compare this category with two previous 
categories which resemble it to some extent — Identity, and Form 
and Essence. Form and Essence is distinguished from it by not 
possessing the same absolute likeness of the two terms which is 
found in Formal Ground. The Substratum in Form and Essence 
has, as we saw, a more explicit reference to other reality than is 
found in the Surface. 

But the resemblance between Identity and Formal Ground 
is closer, for in neither of them is any difference to be found 
between Surface and Substratum, beyond the fact that they are 
Surface and Substratum. The distinction between the categories 
is that, when we come to Formal Ground, the advancing process 
has determined each thing as explicitly possessing differences 
from other things, and similarities with them. The question is 
no longer a vague " What?" but a more definite "Why this and 
not that ? " In the category of Identity we merely tried, in a 
quite undetermined manner, to explain the thing. Here we 
have the definite problems to answer which are presented by a 
thing, each of whose similarities and differences is a special 
problem. In Identity, it is to be remembered, there was not 
yet a plurality of characteristics for each thing. That came in 
for the first time in Variety. 

The inadequacy of Formal Ground is clear. If the Surface 
was sufficient to explain itself, we should not want the Essence- 
relation at all. And since it is not sufficient to explain itself, 
we shall not gain anything by formally offering its own nature 
as its explanation. W^e must therefore look elsewhere for a new 
category, to avoid the contradiction of positing as an explanation 
that which can explain nothing. 

125. How do we proceed ? Hegel says {G. L. ii. 97) " The 


side of Ground has shown itself to be something posited, and 
the side of the Grounded has shown itself to be itself Ground; 
each is in itself this identity of the whole. Since, however, they 
belong at the same time to the Form, and constitute its deter- 
mined Difference, each of them is in its own Determinateness the 
identity of the whole with itself Each has thus a separate 
content as against the other. Or — to consider it from the side 
of Content — since it," the Content, " is Identity as the Ground- 
relation with itself, it has essentially within itself this difference 
of Form, and is as Ground something different from what it is 
as Grounded. 

" From this fact, that the Ground and the Grounded have a 
different content, it follows that the Ground-relation has ceased 
to be formal. The return into the Ground, and the advance to 
it from what is posited is no longer a tautology ; the Ground 
has become real (ist realisirt). We demand therefore, when a 
Ground is enquired for, that the Ground shall have a different 
determination of content from that for whose Ground enquiry 
was made." 

The truth contained in this, I think, is that however much 
the argument may require us to think of the two sides as 
exactly similar, still, if we keep to the Ground-relation at all, 
we must conceive the two sides as more or less different. The 
Ground is that to which we refer in order to explain the 
Grounded, and a thing cannot be explained by a mere repetition 
of itself Thus " the Determinateness of the two sides " — that 
is, the fact that one is Ground and the other is Grounded — 
requires a difference in what is contained in each of them. 

Hegel's language, however, is misleading. It suggests that 
the relation between the Ground and the Grounded not only 
requires a difference between what they contain, but also 
'produces such a difference. In other words, it suggests that 
the Formal Ground turns into the Real Ground — that the 
Formal Ground which appeared at first sight to have both sides 
identical, turns out on further consideration to show some 
difference between the two. 

This is not what really happens. What does happen is that 
the category of Formal Ground has broken down, because the 
characteristics implied by the Formality are contrary to those 


implied by the Ground. We have therefore to look for a 
category in which this contradiction shall be removed, and in 
which Ground shall be so expressed that the required difference 
in the content of the two sides shall be possible. And when 
Hegel developes the idea of his new category we see that in the 
new category the Ground is part of the nature of the thing and 
no longer the whole nature. It is not therefore the same 
Ground as before, looked at in a different manner, but a different 
Ground. It is called 

(b) Real Ground. 

(G. L. ii. 96.) Its advance on the last category consists in 
the Surface — the Grounded — havinsr more in it than there is in 
the Substratum — the Ground, The Grounded is " the unity of 
a double content " {G. L. ii. 97), of which one side is also to be 
found in the Ground, and the other is not. The difference has 
to be made somehow, and therefore one side must have more in 
it than the other. The reason why the excess is to be found on 
the side of the Grounded is not given by Hegel. I conceive it 
to be that we always start from the Surface, as that which now 
represents the stratum of the reality which was first determined. 
The Substratum is what is required to explain this. It is 
possible, therefore, that we should determine a Substratum 
which only explains part of the Surface, if all of the Substratum 
does explain part of the Surface. But if the Substratum con- 
tained more than the Surface, so that there was an element in 
the Substratum which did not explain the Surface, how could 
we ever show the existence of that element ? For it is not 
part of the datum to be explained (since it is not part of the 
Surface), and it is not part of the explanation. The only 
alternative, then, is to take the Surface as having more in it 
than the Substratum. 

The ungrounded element in the Grounded has a merely 
immediate connexion with the other element. The unity of 
the double content " is, as unity of the different, their negative 
unity, but since the Content-determinations are indifferent 
towards one another, it is only their empty relation, without 
Content in itself, and is not their mediation ; it is a One or 
Something as their external junction " {G. L. ii. 97). 

Thus Something, as the explanation of the union of the two 


elements — or rather, as the assertion of it as an ultimate fact — 
is itself to be considered a Ground of a different sort. "The 
two relations, the essential Content, as the simple immediate 
Identity of Ground and Grounded, and then the Something, as 
the relation of the separated Content, are two sepai'ate Grounds^" 
{G. L. ii. 99). 

126. It may be remarked of a Real Ground, though Hegel 
does not mention the fact, that it may be shared by two or 
more things. For the nature of several things may be in part 
similar, and the Real Ground only explains part of a thing, so 
that it may in this way explain several similar things. But it 
is also the case, as Hegel points out in a Note {G. L. ii. 101), 
that a thing can have more than one Real Ground. (This is 
distinct from the fact that both the Real Ground and the 
Something may be considered as Grounds.) For the special 
characteristic of any Real Ground is that it does not contain 
so much as is contained by the Grounded, and out of the 
remainder of the content of the Grounded, other Real Grounds 
may be made. This, as Hegel points out, gives a chance to 
Sophistry {G. L. ii. 103). To refer a thing to part of its coutent 
as its Real Ground implies that that part is the true significance 
of the thing — that which is, even in ordinary language, called 
essential to it. This can, by a selection of characteristics for 
that purpose, be used to disguise truth. Thus it would be 
sophistical to take as the Ground of highway robbery that it 
diverted wealth from a richer man for the benefit of a poorer 
man. For that would imply that the resemblance of highway 
robbery to voluntary charity or to the imposition of a poor rate, 
was more important than its difference from them. 

127. This possibility of different Real Grounds for the 
same thing shows the defect of the category. It does not serve, 
as it professes to do, as a basis for the Surface of which it is a 
Ground. It does serve as a basis, no doubt, for that part of the 
Surface which has the same content as itself — but if we stopped 
there we should have got back into Formal Ground. And the 
other element is merely immediately connected with the 

1 The last word of this extract is in the original Grundlage, not Grund (as 
in the other places where I have used Ground in translating). But later on Hegel 
gives the name of Grund to both the Real Ground and the Something. 


actually Grounded element — so that this other element is not 
Grounded at all. Either no Ground, or the Formal Ground, 
which has already been abandoned — this is obviously an im- 
possible position for a category of Ground. The solution is 
offered by the possibility, already noticed, of considering the 
Something, in which the Grounded and not-Grounded elements 
meet, as a Ground of their union. We thus reach 

(c) Complete Ground. 

(G. L. ii. 103.) On the one hand we have the Real Ground 
connected with the corresponding element in the Surface. On 
the other hand we have the new connexion between that 
element and the other element in the Surface. (For the sake 
of distinction we might call this second element the Supple- 
mentary Ground.) Hegel calls this category the Complete 
Ground because it contains both the Formal and the Real. 
The Real Ground remains, and in the Supplementary Ground 
we have the Formal Ground back again, in the sense that in the 
Supplementary Ground whatever is in the Grounded is also 
found in the Ground. If the Grounded is ABC, and the Real 
Ground is A, then the Supplementary Ground is the assertion 
of the connexion of A with BC. It thus accounts for the whole 
of the Grounded {G. L. ii. 104). 

128. The elements of the Surface are not yet on an 
equality. Ii A is the Real Ground, then the element A in the 
Surface is grounded in a sense in which the other elements are 
not. And thus the elements BC are considered as less funda- 
mental to the nature of the thing, but equally necessary. That 
is to say they are Conditions. Thus we pass to the last division 
of Ground, 

C. Condition. 

(a) The Relatively Unconditioned. 

(G. L. ii. 107.) This new category is a transformation of the 
Supplementary Ground, the Real Ground being maintained 
within Condition as it was within Complete Ground. The 
Supplementary Ground, as has been said, was Formal. It 
explained ABC by asserting that A was connected with BC. 
The two sides being thus alike, the difference vanishes, and, 


instead of the connexion of A with BG being referred to a 
Ground which only repeats it, it is simply taken as an im- 
mediate fact. Condition is what was a form of Ground, but is 
so no longer. " The Condition stands over against the Ground- 
relation. The Something has a Ground besides its Condition " 
{G. L. ii. 109). 

We may ask why the Ground-form should collapse here 
because of the identity of the two sides, though it did not do so 
in the category of Formal Ground. The answer, I think, is that 
there was then another way of avoiding the tautology, namely 
the recourse to Real Ground, and that this did not involve the 
collapse of the Ground-form. This alternative is not available 
here, for the Supplementary Ground has been required just 
because Heal Ground, by itself, has been shown to be untenable. 

But although Hegel's position may be correct, his terminology 
seems to me to be misleading. He first calls the connexion of 
A with BG a new sort of Ground, by the side of Real Ground, 
and then ceases to call this by the name of Ground, though the 
earlier Real Ground still persists. It would surely have been 
clearer, if the connexion of A with BG — something quite 
different from any previous Ground — had from the first been 
called Condition and not Ground. The category of Complete 
Ground might then have been called Conditional Real Ground, 
which would be a natural and appropriate name for the category 
whose restatement takes us into Condition. 

129. The two elements in the Surface — the Condition- 
element and the Ground-element — are at first considered as 
related, but as being also on one side indifferent and uncon- 
ditioned towards one another {G. L. ii. 109). It is because of 
this that the present category is called the Relatively Uncon- 

But this involves a contradiction. "Each of the two sides is 
thus the contradiction between indifferent immediacy and 
essential mediation — both in one relation ; or the contradiction 
between stable existence and the determination of only being 
a moment " {G. L. ii. 110). The same element in a thing cannot 
both be immediate and mediated by something else. 

Moreover, Hegel continues {G. L. ii. 110), if the same thing 
could be both immediate and mediate, then, as immediate, it 


would be Being Determinate. And Being Determinate, like all 
the other categories of Being, has been shown to lead up to 
Essence. Thus the very conception by which the Immediacy is 
expressed has been shown to involve Mediation. 
Thus we pass to 

(b) The Absolutely Unconditioned. 

(G. L. ii. 110.) The two elements have no longer any 
independence of one another. The whole thing is a sinc^le 
unity, and, looked at as a single unity, it is Absolutely Uncon- 
ditioned. The elements indeed condition each other, but 
the whole has nothing determined as conditioning it. The 
Absolutely Unconditioned " contains the two sides, the Con- 
dition and the Ground, as its moments within itself; it is the 
unity into which they have returned. The two together make 
the Form or Positing of the Absolute!}' Unconditioned. The 
Unconditioned Fact is the Condition of both, but the Absolute 
Condition, which is itself the Ground" {G. L. ii. 113). It will 
be seen that the Absolutely Unconditioned is not equivalent to 
the Absolutely Undetermined, but means that we are no longer 
considering a reciprocal determination of separate elements. 

(c) Transition of the Fact into Eocistence. 

130. {G. L. ii. 114.) Ground has now disappeared. The 
Unconditioned Fact is its own Ground, and thus the two sides, 
Surface and Substratum, are identical, destroying the distinc- 
tion which is essential to Ground. The same situation arose 
previously in Formal Ground. But there the distinction was 
restored by making the Ground correspond to part only of the 
Surface. This, however, has now been shown to lead us back to 
the rejection of the distinction. For the ungrounded parts of 
the Surface became Conditions, and these, with the grounded 
parts, have now fallen back into the unity, which is its own 
Ground, and which is therefore immediate. "This immediacy, 
mediated through Ground and Condition, and identical with 
itself through the transcending of the mediation, is Existence " 
{G. L. ii. 118). (It is not, of course, all mediation which is 
transcended, but the mediation through Ground and Condition, 
mentioned in the first part of the sentence.) 


Existence is the first subdivision of Appearance, and in 
reaching it we pass out of Essence as Reflection into Self. 

131. If the dialectic process were amended, as I suggested, 
by passing straight from Variety to Ground, the transition 
should be, I think, direct to Real Ground, since this would 
remove the Indifference, which was the defect of Variety, by 
making one Likeness between any two things (the Likeness 
selected as the Ground) of special significance and importance. 
From this the argument would proceed to Condition, as it does 
with Hegel, and from Condition a valid transition could be 
made to the categories of Form and Essence, Form and Matter, 
and Form and Content, with which Ground would close. Thus 
Formal Ground, which is identical with Form and Content, 
would follow Real Ground instead of preceding it. This would 
resemble the treatment in the Encyclopaedia, where, though 
Ground is not explicitly divided at all, the course of the argu- 
ment begins with Real Ground and then passes through Formal 
Ground to Existence. 

The difference is not so great as might be supposed. Formal 
and Real Ground are complementary conceptions. The defects 
of either would drive us to the other, unless the other had 
already been proved untenable. In that case we are driven to 
a new conception. Thus a transition from Real to Formal and 
a transition from Formal to Real would be in themselves equally 
valid. Which is correct would depend on which conception the 
dialectic ought to reach first. 



132. Appearance (Die Erscheinung) is divided as follows : 

I. Existence. (Die Existenz.) 

A. The Thing and its Properties. (Das Ding und seine 


(a) The Thing in itself and Existence. (Ding an 
sich und Existenz.) 

(6) Property. (Die Eigenschaft.) 
(c) The Reciprocal Action of Things. (Die Wechsel- 
wirkung der Dinge.) 

B. The Constitution of the Thing out of Matters. (Das 

Besteheu des Dings aus Materien.) 

C. The Dissolution of the Thing. (Die Auflosung des 


II. Appearance. (Die Erscheinung.) 

A. The Law of Appearance. (Das Gesetz der Erschei- 


B. The World of Appearance and the World in itself. 

(Die erscheinende und die an-sich-seiende 

C. The Dissolution of Appearance. (Die Auflosung der 



III. Essential Relation. (Das wesentliche Verhaltniss.) 

A. The Relation of Whole and Parts. (Das Verhaltniss 

des Ganzen und der Theile.) 

B. The Relation of Force and its Manifestation. (Das 

Verhaltniss der Kraft und ihrer Aeusserung.) 
(a) The Conditionedness of Force. (Das Bedingtsein 

der Kraft.) 
(h) The Solicitation of Force. (Die Sollicitation der 

(c) The Itifinity of Force. (Die Unendlichkeit der 


C. The Relation of Inner and Outer. (Verhaltniss des 

Innern und Aeussern.) 

P It will be seen that Appearance is used ambiguously, as the 
name of the whole secondary division, which we are here 
considering, and also as the name of its second tertiary 

I. Existence. 

133. (G. L. ii. 120.) Hegel, as we saw in the last chapter, 
defines Existence as " an Immediacy, mediated through Ground 
and Condition, and identical with itself through the trans- 
cending of the mediation" {G. L. ii. 118). This goes too far, 
if we take it literally. If Existence were really constituted by 
transcending mediation, and so was identical with itself, there 
would be no more difference, here or in any subsequent category, 
between Surface and Substratum. But such a distinction exists, 
as we shall see, throughout all the categories of Appearance. 
We must therefore regard this definition as exaggerated. 

On the next page we find a more moderate statement. 
" The doctrine of Being contains the first proposition : Being 
is Essence. The second proposition : Essence is Being, con- 
stitutes the content of the first division of the doctrine of 
Essence. But this Being, to which Essence has determined 
itself, is Essential Being (das wesentliche Sein), Existence, 
that which has emerged from negativity and inwardness" 
{G. L. ii. 119). 

M«T. 9 


Here the meaning does not appear to be that Existence 
is completely immediate, but that its immediacy is greater 
than that of the categories in the first division of Essence. 
And this is correct. The typical conception in Existence is 
that of the Thing and its Properties, and the relation between 
a Thing and its Properties is, I think, to be considered as closer 
than that between a Ground and the thing which is Grounded. 

Now if the connexion is closer, the category may be called 
more immediate. The Surface is always immediate; imme- 
diacy is its distinguishing characteristic. The Surface, however, 
has to be referred for explanation to a Substratum. In so far 
as this Substratum is distantly and negatively related to the 
Surface, the reality as a whole will not be immediate. In so 
far as the relation is close and positive, and the immediate 
Surface expresses the nature of the Substratum, the reality as 
a whole is to be looked on as immediate. 

To this extent, therefore, Hegel would be right in asserting 
the greater Immediacy of Essence. But I think he goes 
further. The extreme expressions, indeed, which indicate 
absence of all mediation, cannot be taken literally. It is 
evident he does not mean them literally, since, as has been 
said, each of the categories of Existence is described by him 
as having both a Surface and a Substratum. But when this 
correction has been made, there remain so many expressions 
emphasising the immediacy of Existence, that it seems difficult 
to deny that he maintained some sudden and exceptional 
increase in immediacy at this point — perhaps, indeed, an 
increase which was not maintained in subsequent categories. 

Here, I think, he is wrong. Existence is more immediate 
than Ground, but, so far as I can see, only in the same way in 
which Ground is more immediate than Essentialities, and 
Essentialities than Show. In the same way, Appearance (the 
tertiary division) seems to me more immediate than Existence, 
and Essential Relation, again, more immediate than Appearance. 
If the Thing is more closely connected with its Properties than 
the Ground is with the Grounded, the Law again is more 
closely connected with its examples, than the Thing is with its 
Properties. Hegel's emphasis on the immediacy of Existence 
must thus, I think, be considered excessive. 


134. The first subdivision of Existence is 

A. The Thing and its Properties. 

(G. L. ii. 124.) The different elements of the Fact were 
Conditions of one another. Thus a fresh unity is substituted 
for the unity of Ground, which has disappeared. The various 
elements were directly connected among themselves. They 
belong to this Fact, and not to another. They are thus 
mediated by their relation to this unity. The Substratum is 
now the union of various elements of the Surface, instead of 
being, as in Ground, one of those elements. Thus we get the 
category of the Thing and its Properties. 

It will be observed that there is no new element introduced 
here into our conception. Both Things and Properties had 
been already recognised. The Properties which we have here 
are only the Qualities, which we have had previously, under 
another name. And a Thing, for Hegel, is that which has 
Qualities or Properties. Thus the dialectic has been con- 
sidering things ever since it reached, at the end of Quantity, 
the conception of a subject with a plurality of Qualities. 
Hegel has not given them the name of Things before this 
point, but the conception of a thing is the conception which 
he has previously employed. 

In what way, then, is this a new category ? It is a new 
category because a different element is selected for the 
Substratum. The conception which runs all through Essence 
is that the explanation of reality lies in the relation between 
one element of it and the rest. In Ground the element which 
formed the Substratum was a Quality. Now that we have 
been driven beyond the category of Ground, we find that in 
abandoning it we have emphasised another principle of unity. 
If the multiplicity of the surface can be united by the fact 
that different things have a common Ground, it can also be 
united by the fact that different Qualities belong to the same 
thing. And as the first relation has proved inadequate as an 
explanation, we proceed to the second. It is the union of 
different Qualities in the same thing which is now the Essence- 
relation. Hegel now, as we said above, uses the name of Thing 
for the first time. The word Property, I think, is used with 



this slight difference from QuaHty, that two Things would not 
be said to have the same Property, though they might have 
similar Properties, while Qualities can be said to be common 
to two things. This individualising of the Property is necessary 
when, as is the case here, the vital point is its connexion with 
this particular Thing. We shall see that it is again trans- 
cended when we pass to the category of the Constitution of 
the Thing out of Matters. 

135. The connexion between the Thing and its Properties 
is first taken as merely immediate. Thus we have 

(a) The Thing in itself and Existence 

(0. L. ii. 125), where Existence denotes the Properties — 
the Surface-element. The externality of the relation con- 
sists in the fact that, although the general nature of the 
Thing in itself requires it to have some Existence, yet there 
is nothing in its nature which requires it to have that 
particular Existence rather than any other. It " is not the 
Gi'ound of the unessential Determinate Being, it is the unmoved, 
undetermined unity" (G. L. ii. 126). He continues, "Therefore 
the Reflection also, as Determinate Being mediated through 
another, falls outside the Thing in itself The latter must have 
no definite multiplicity in itself; and so receives it first when it 
is brought in by external Reflection; while it remains indifferent 
to the multiplicity. (The thing in itself has colour first in the 
eye...&c., &c.)" 

In this last sentence Hegel appears to regard his Thing in 
itself as equivalent to Kant's. This comes out more clearly on 
p. 131. "In so far as the Thing in itself is posited as the 
undetermined, all determination falls outside it, in a reflection 
which is strange to it, and against which it is indifferent. For 
Transcendental Idealism this external reflection is Conscious- 
ness." And he then proceeds to point out Kant's error in 
taking the conception of the Thing in itself as absolutely 

~ It seems to me, however, that this identification is erroneous. 
Kant's Thing in itself differs from Hegel's in two important 
respects. In the first place, Hegel's Thing in itself does possess 
the characteristics which form its Existence, however imperfectly 


it possesses them. They are the Surface of which it is the 
Substratum. They can be predicated of it, and there is nothing 
else of which they can be predicated. In the second place, 
Hegel's Thing in itself can have no characteristics except in 
this imperfect way. Its fundamental nature is to be indifferent 

/ to all characteristics Avhich belong to it. 

r In neither of these points does Kant's Thing in itself 
resemble it. In the first place, the phenomenal qualities are 
not, for Kant, the characteristics of the Thing in itself at all. 
They may be partly caused by it (inconsistent as this is with 
other parts of the theory) but they are not its characteristics. 
It may be due to the Kantian Thing in itself, on Kant's theory, 
that I have a sensation of green. But to say that the Thing 
in itself was green, would be simply a mistake. In the second 
place, Kant does not exclude the possibility of the Thing in 
itself having characteristics, which not only belong to it, but 
express its nature, so that they would be what Hegel calls 
Properties, and the Thing in itself would not be what Hegel 
calls a Thing in itself. Such properties of the Kantian Thing 
in itself cannot, indeed, be known by the Pure Reason. But 
the Pure Reason, according to Kant, expressly recognises their 
possibility, and when we come to the Practical Reason we find 
that some of them are pronounced to be actual. 

136. We now pass to Hegel's demonstration of the 
inadequacy of this category. There are, he tells us {G. L. 
ii. 127), a multiplicity of Things in themselves. And it is 
clear that this follows from the multiplicity of things which, as 
we saw, Hegel started with at the beginning of the doctrine of 
Essence. The Things in themselves are simply these things 
transferred to the Substratum side of the relation. 

The various Things in themselves are connected by their 
respective Existences {G. L. ii. 127). It is clear that it is only 
through these that they could enter into any relations, since 
the nature of the Thing in itself, as distinguished from its 
Existence, excludes any relations. 

But Things in themselves, as distinct from their respective 
Existences, are not in any way different from one another 
{G. L. ii. 128). They can only be distinguished by their 
characteristics, and these all fall within their Existence. Apart 


from that, all that can be said of any Thing in itself is that it 
is a Thing in itself which stands in an external and indifferent 
relation to some Existence. And as much as this can be said 
of any other Thing in itself, 
f So far the argument seems clear. But now Hegel continues : 

" The two Things in themselves, which ought to form the 
extremes of the relation, do in fact (since they are to have no 
definiteness as against one another) fall together into one ; there 
is only one Thing in itself, which in the external relation relates 
itself to itself, and it is its own relation to itself, as if to another, 
which makes its definiteness. This definiteness of the Thing 
in itself is the Property of the Thing" ((?. L. ii. 128). 

But it is not evident why that which was merely Existence, 
when it related two Things in themselves, should now, when 
the two Things in themselves have become one, have ceased to 
be external and indifferent to the Substratum, so as to turn 
itself into Property, and the Things in themselves into Things. 
Hegel gives no reason why the connexion should be less 
external and indifferent when it is with one Thing than when 
it is with two. 

Again, if all Things in themselves, which are connected by 
their Existence, run together into one, then in the end there 
will be only one Thing in itself For all the Things in them- 
selves are taken by Hegel as connected by their Existences. 
And as thi.s fusing of the Things in themselves forms the 
transition to Things with Properties, then all reality would 
consist of only one Thing with Properties. But Hegel's treat- 
ment of the next category involves that there are many 
Things, and not only one. And he explicitly asserts this 
plurality (cp. G. L. ii. 133: "The Thing in itself is therefore 
a Thing which has Properties, and there are therefore many 
Things, which separate themselves from one another through 
themselves, and not through an alien aspect "). 

Hegel's demonstration of the transition does not, therefore, 
seem satisfactory. But we can see that the transition is 
necessary. The conception of the Thing in itself was that 
its Properties, although they were its Properties, did not affect 
it, or form part of its nature. And this is impossible. A 
Property is a Quality. And the Qualities of anything are just 


what constitute its nature. If they could be different without 
producing any difference in the Thing, they would not be its 
Qualities. And if the Qualities of the Thing were not part 
of its nature, it could have no nature at all, for nothing but 
the Qualities of anything can form part of its nature. Thus it 
Avotild have no nature, and, consequently, no reality. 

We must, therefore, abandon the isolation of the Thing 
from its Properties which was the characteristic of the Thing 
in itself, and thus we pass to (G. L. ii. 129) 

(b) Property. 

137. Here the nature of the Thing is seen to consist in 
its Properties. It might seem that we had returned to such 
a tautology as is found in Formal Ground. But each of the 
Properties, taken by itself, is not identical with the nature of 
the Thing. The nature of the Thing consists in having all 
its Properties and uniting them. It is this element of union 
in the Substratum which keeps the category from being 

The Things are now in a living connexion with each other, 
and not in the merely external connexion which existed between 
Things in themselves {G. L. ii. 133). As with the Things in 
themselves, so the present Things also are connected by means 
of their Surface element, but while the Things in themselves 
were only externally connected with their own Existence, and 
consequently only externally connected with one another, here 
the connexion expresses their own nature. So we reach 

(c) The Reciprocal Action of Things. 

(G. L. ii. 132.) Things, as we have seen, are connected 
with one another through their Properties. But the only 
connexion that has been' demonstrated is that through the 
similarity of Properties. Hegel, however, seems to think that 
there is more. For he says (G. L. ii. 129) that the Properties 
are " determined relations to an Other," which is very different 
from saying that they produce relations of Likeness. 

He also says (G. L. ii. 129) that " a Thing has the Property 
to produce (bewirken) this or that in its Other." This looks as 
if we had already arrived at Causality, and Hegel's distinction 


between Causality and his present position is not very 
clear. (" The Thing is here still only the quiescent (ruhige) 
Thing of many Properties ; it is not yet determined as actual 
Cause ; it is still only the Reflection of its determinations an 
sick, not yet itself the positing Reflection of them " {G. L. 
ii. 130).) 

138. Having reached this result he goes on to argue that 
" the Property is this Reciprocal Action itself, and the Thing 

is nothing outside it Thinghood is thus degraded to the form 

of undetermined Identity with itself which has its Essentiality 
only in its Property" {G. L. ii. 133). His conclusion is "The 
Property, which had to constitute the relation of the stable 
extremes, is now therefore itself that which is stable. The 
Things on the other hand are the Unessential" {G. L. ii. 134). 
Thus the Properties are now the Substratum, and the Things 
the Surface. But it is not clear why all this should follow 
from the connexion of Things by their Properties. Even if the 
Properties could be reduced, as he supposes, to the Reciprocal 
Action of the Things, the Things are as essential to the 
Reciprocal Action as the Action can be to the Things, and 
nothing has been introduced by which the Things should 
become unessential, relatively to the Properties. 

Hegel confuses the transition by mentioning, as if it were 
relevant here, the ambiguity of Things. " A book is a Thing, 
and each of its leaves is a Thing, and likewise every fragment 
of its leaves, and so on infinitely" {G. L. ii. 133). This is 
quite true, but, if it were brought in here, the next category 
could not follow. For, as we have just seen, that category 
takes the Properties as stable instead of the Things. But such 
an ambiguity of Things as that of the book and its leaves, 
makes the Properties as unstable as the Things. " I am cold," 
as written here, may be taken as one sentence, as three words, 
as seven letters, or as an indefinite number of fragments of 
letters. But the Properties will vary in each case. For 
example, the sentence has, among its Properties, truth or 
falsehood. The three words, taken separately, cannot be true 
or false, but they each possess the Property of having a 
meaning. The separate letters, again, have no meaning. The 
ambiguity of Things which Hegel mentions here does not 


really come in until the category of Whole and Parts at the 

The name of the present category also seems unfortunate. 
For the new conception in it is not the Reciprocal Action of 
Things, which, if Hegel's argument were right, would have 
been reached in the category of Property, but the transfer of 
stability from the Things to the Properties. 

The name of Property now becomes inappropriate to such 
stable existences. Hesrel calls them Matters. Thus we reach 

B. The Constitution of the Thing out of Matters 

{G. L. ii. 135), which may be called, for brevity, the category 
of Matters and Things. Matters correspond to Qualities, rather 
than to Properties, since the same Matter is to be found in 
many Things {G. L. ii. 135), while Things had similar Properties, 
but did not share the same Property. An identical Quality 
might form two separate though similar Properties, for they 
would be distinguished by the fact that it was the nature of 
one to belong to one Thing, and of the second to belong to 
another Thing. But Matters have to be determined in- 
dependently of the Things which they constitute, for it is the 
Matters, not the Things, which are stable. And thus what was 
two similar Properties in the last category, is here replaced by 
a single Matter. 

The Things, though now subordinate in importance, still 
remain. The Thing is now defined by enumeration of the 
Matters which constitute it. It is simply made up of its 
constituent Matters. It is a mere " Also " (" Auch," G. L. ii. 
138.) There is Matter A, and Matter B, and the simple juxta- 
position of these is the Thing. 

139. Hegel now finds a contradiction in this category, on 
the ground, apparently, that if the Matters are really united by 
the Thing they will have to exist " in one another's pores." 
(This is clearly ordy a metaphor, but what is meant by it is 
very difficult to see.) In that case they will not be as stable 
as the nature of Matters requires. On the other hand, if they 
are not really united by the Thing — if the Thing is a mere 
Also— it will not be a true Thing at all {G. L. ii. 139, 140). 


This argument leads him to 

C. The Dissolution of the Thing. 

(G^.X.ii. 138.) The name is somewhat misleading, for the Thing 
is in no greater difficulties than the Matters. But what Hegel 
appears to mean is that this category marks the break down of 
the attempt to explain the universe by the correlative con- 
ceptions of Thing on one side and of Properties or Matter on 
the other. It might more appropriately be called the Disso- 
lution of Existence, in the sense in which Hegel uses Existence. 

We have the Things still, and we have their Qualities or 
Properties. But the attempt to account for the facts by taking 
either the Things or the Qualities as the Substratum has broken 
down. We want a principle which will determine certain 
Qualities to be found together in one Thing, and each of these 
Qualities to be also found in other Things. It must be some- 
thing which underlies both the Things and Qualities — which 
will be a Substratum while Things and Qualities are in the 
Surface. And we find wliat we want in the conception of 
Law. Such and such Qualities are grouped in a Thing, or a 
Thing has such and such Qualities in its nature, according to 
Laws. Things are no longer explained by Qualities, or Qualities 
by Things \ but the Laws explain both of them. Law is the 
characteristic idea of the second subdivision of Appearance — 
the subdivision which is also, in a narrower sense, called 
Appearance, and to this we now pass. 

140. Looking back on the categories of Existence, the 
transition from the Thing in itself to Property must be 
pronounced inevitable, even if we see cause to reject Hegel's 
account of it. As to the transitions which led us from 
Property to Matters and Thing, they must, I think, be rejected. 
For even if Hegel had been right in taking the Properties of 
Things as Relations between them, I cannot see how this would 
entitle him to abandon the conception of Things and Properties 
for that of Matters and Things. 

But I believe it would be easy to show that the conception 

1 It will be remembered that Matters are only Qualities taken as the Essence 
of Things, while Properties are Qualities of which Things are taken as the 


of Matters and Things possesses equal validity with that of 
Things and Properties (though not, as Hegel maintains, greater 
validity). And from the category which would be formed by 
the recognition of the validity of both conceptions, I believe 
we could pass to Law by a process not unlike that which 
Hegel does adopt. 

n. Appearance. 

141. {G. L. ii. 144.) The name is, as I have pointed out, 
ambiguous, and it seems to have no very definite connexion 
with the particular categories wdiich are found in this division. 
Its first subdivision is 

A. The Laiv of Appearance. 

(G. L. ii. 146.) The transition to this category from the 
last has been already discussed. The change is that the 
categories of Thing could only account for the grouping of 
the Surface-elements by making those groupings ultimate and 
essential to the elements grouped. Here the groupings are 
accounted for by something other than themselves, which 
leaves them only a subordinate and conditioned position. 

Hegel now proceeds to point out three defects in this 
category. In the fii'st place, the Law does not account for 
the whole of the nature of the Surface. " The Appearance 
has also another content against the content of the Law. This 
other content is indeed unessential, and a return into the 
content of the Law, but for the Law it is a First, not posited 
by the Law; it is therefore a content externally connected with 
the Law" {G. L. ii. 151). If, for example, we endeavour to 
explain the fall of a leaf by the Law of Gravitation, the 
explanation is only partial. The shape of the leaf, the currents 
in the air, and other considerations will affect its course. Nor 
would it have fallen at all, if it had not been heavier than the 
air. That it is heavier is a fact, not a Law. Or if its greater 
weight could be traced to another law, we may then ask why 
this Law should be applicable to the leaf, and not to hydrogen. 
And the answer must finally be found in a fact which is not 
a Law. 


The second defect in the category of Law is that the 
additional content, whose existence constitutes the first defect, 
is related to the content of the Law in a negative manner. 
The Law is unchanging (ruhig) (G. L. ii, 151). The other 
content is changing (unruhig). I do not believe that Hegel 
means that some Laws (it would not be true of all) deal with 
changes of what is subject to them, while the Laws themselves 
are unchanging. I believe him to mean that the additional 
content, besides being indifferent to the Law, is different in 
different cases, in all of which the Law is the same. A leaf 
and a stone both obey the Law of Gravitation in falling to 
' the earth. But the additional element in the two cases is 
very different. Hegel is, however, rather obscure here. 

The third defect is the absence of any inherent connexion 
between the circumstances linked together in the Law^ itself. 
Why should one body attract another ? And why should the 
relation between the distance of the bodies and the force of 
the attraction be what it is, and not something else ? This 
may be explained by another Law. But then a similar question 
will arise about this second Law. Eventually we must come 
to a conjunction which is ultimate and inexplicable {Q. L. 
ii. 152). 

142. The first two defects are due to that part of the 
content of the Surface which is not accounted for by the Law. 
But this content is not intrinsically different from the part 
which the Law does account for. If one can be accounted for, 
so can the other {G. L. ii. 153). This can be done by making 
the Law more precise. Instead of referring the fall of the leaf 
and the rise of the tides to the same Law of Gravitation, we 
can find for each a separate and more detailed Law of the 
action of gravitation under particular circumstances, which 
will leave much less of the content of the Surface unaccounted 
for. Still, however, a general Law of tides will leave outside 
of itself many aspects of the rise of the tide at a particular 
time and place. To remedy this we must make the Law still 
more particular. And so we shall go on, till the Law covers 
all the circumstances of the particular case. But by doing 
so it will have ceased to be a Law, for it will have no generality. 
It will not explain the case by connecting it with others. It 


will simply restate it. Thus we pass, when this is applied to 
the whole of the Surface of the universe, to 

B. The World of Appearance and the World in itself. 

(G. L. ii. 153.) Here the Substratum is merely the restate- 
ment of the Surface, or, to put it more accurately, the Surface 
is the retlection of the Substratum. 

Hegel appears to think that this cures the third defect which 
he finds in Law, as well as the other two. He says that the 
two sides of the Law now involve one another, because each is 
determined as being different from the other, and so involves 
the other {G. L. ii. 154). But I cannot see that they do this 
more than they did before. The Law is changed into the World 
in itself. The connexion between two classes of particulars 
which we found in the Law is replaced (since generality is now 
sacrificed for the sake of completeness) by a connexion between 
two particulars in the World in itself. But the two particulars 
are no more inherently connected than the two classes were. 

It seems to me, indeed, that Hegel was wrong in counting 
this third characteristic of Law as a defect which has to be 
transcended here. We find just the same immediate ultimate 
conjunction far higher up in the dialectic in the Syllogisms of 
Necessity. And there it is not regarded as a defect to be trans- 
cended, but, on the contrary, as a truth the explicit recognition 
of which is itself an advance. The characteristic inadequacy of 
the present category of Law — the one which we must trans- 
cend as we pass out of it — seems to me to be contained in the 
first and second defects given by Hegel. And these, as we 
have seen, are transcended in the World of Appearance. 

Hegel regards these two worlds as having their correspond- 
ing contents related to each other as polar opposites. The 
North Pole in the World of Appearance is "in and for itself* 
the South Pole. Evil and unhappiness in the World of Appear- 
ance are "in and for themselves" good and happiness {G. L. 
ii. 158. The phrase used here is "an und fur sich," and not, as 
in the title of the category, " an sich "). 

I must confess myself at a loss to understand this. The two 
Worlds are, of course, distinguished as Surface and Substratum. 
But why should this make any difference in their contents. 


except that of being Surface and Substratum respectively ? 
And what, on this view, would correspond, in the World in 
itself, to those characteristics of the World of Appearance which 
are not one of a pair of polar opposites ? 

143. Since the two sides are now perfectly alike except for 
a distinction of form (for Hegel does not regard the polar oppo- 
sition of the two Worlds as more than this, and, if we reject the 
polar opposition, it is still clearer that there is only a formal 
difference) the category breaks down. In referring the World 
of Appearance to the World in itself we are only referring it to 
itself. The only ditference is the difference of form, and that is 
simply the affirmation of the fact that one is referred to the 
other. Now to refer anything to itself as its own Substratum 
is obviously useless. If it does explain itself, there could be no 
need for a reference to a Substratum at all. If it does not 
explain itself, such a Substratum can never explain it. So we 
reach (G. L. ii. 158) 

C. The Dissolution of Appearance. 

Once more, as previously in Identity and in Formal Ground, 
we find the conception of Essence reduced to a tautology, owing 
to the identity of content in Surface and Substratum. What 
is to be done ? We cannot, as we did in the case of Identity, 
supplement ^'s identity with itself by means of its difference 
from B, for here the identical content covers the whole of the 
universe. Nor can we, as with Formal Ground, avoid the 
difficulty by ascribing to the World in itself only part of the 
content of the World of Appearance. For that had already 
been done in Law, and it was the inadequacy of this which 
drove us on to the category of the two Worlds. 

144. Only one alternative remains. We must abandon the 
attempt — hitherto characteristic of the categories of Essence — 
to explain the content of the Surface by means of the content 
of the Substratum. The explanation of the Surface is now to 
be found, not in the content of the Substratum, but in its own 
relation to the Substratum — a relation which no less explains 
the Substratum {G. L. ii. 160). Thus the tautology has 
vanished. The Surface is no longer explained by the content 
of a Substratum which has the same content as itself. It is 


explained by the fact that this content is found in two aspects 
— Surface and Substratum. And the fact of the relation of the 
two aspects is of course not identical with either aspect. This 
is the positive significance of our present category, and this 
takes us out of Appearance, in the narrower sense, into the last 
subdivision of Appearance, in the wider sense {G. L. ii. 161). 

III. Essential Relation. 
A. The Relation of Whole and Parts. 

(G. L. ii. 162.) Hegel shows us with sufficient clearness 
the transition to Essential Relation as a whole, but he is not 
explicit as to the transition to Whole and Parts. It is clear 
that this category falls properly within Essential Relation. The 
identity of content between Whole and Parts is manifest ; the 
cardinal fact about them is that they are equal to one another. 
And tautology has disappeared, for we do not attempt here to 
explain the nature of the Parts by the nature of the Whole, but 
by the relation of the form of the Parts to the form of the 
Whole. But why is this the first subdivision of Essential 
Relation, and why do we proceed to it direct from the Dis- 
solution of Appearance ? 

The reason, I think, is as follows. The Surface has always 
been a multiplicity throughout Essence. On the other hand, 
the Substratum has always presented itself as a unity, not 
always as an undivided unity, but always as .something which 
did unify the multiplicity of the Surface. The only exceptions 
have been the limiting cases in which the Substratum became 
identical in nature with the Surface. And this always involved 
a break down through tautology. 

Whenever the Substratum has not been impotent from 
tautology it has unified. Now that we have seen that the two 
sides of the Essence-relation have the same content, and only 
differ in form, what we require is a difference of form such that 
the one side is a unity and the other a multiplicity, while the 
content of each is the same. And this just gives us the con- 
ception of the Substratum as a Whole, and of the Surface as its 
Parts. All that is existent forms a single Whole consisting of Parts. 

145. If we look more closely at this category, we see that 
the statement that the Whole is equal to its Parts is only true 


if the Parts are conceived as taken together. The Whole is 
not equal to all its Parts in the sense in which the original 
resembles all its copies — it is not equal to each of them. It is 
only equal to them as taken together — taken as a unity. But 
the unity of the Parts is the Whole. And thus we have come 
round to the tautology that the Whole is equal to the Whole 
{G. L. ii. 166). 
'^ In the same way the Parts are not equal to the Whole as a 
Whole. If the Parts are taken as separate (and, if not, they 
would he the Whole) then the Whole has to be taken as 
divided in order to equal them, since it is not, as a Whole, 
equal to each of the separate Parts. But the Whole as divided 
is the Parts. Once more we reach a tautology — the Parts are 
1 equal to the Parts {G. L. ii. 167). 

The reason of this is the indifference of the relation between 
the forms of Whole and Part. Under this category there is no 
necessity to take what is taken as Many as also One, nor to take 
what is taken as One as also Many. And so we can only say 
that the One is the Many if it is the Many — i.e. that the Many 
is the Many, and, in the same way, that the One is the One. 
The One could as well be undivided, and the Many as well un- 
united. Since the undivided One is not a Whole, and the un- 
united Many are not Parts, we may say that if anything is 
merely a Whole, it is quite indifferent to its nature whether it 
is a Whole or not, and if any aggregate of things are merely 
Parts, it is quite indifferent to their nature whether they are 
Parts or not. 

The category has thus broken down. Instead of the signi- 
ficant assertion that the Whole equals the Parts, we have the 
two tautologies that the Whole equals the Whole, and the Parts 
the Parts. Now our present position permits and requires that 
the content of the Substratum and of the Surface shall be 
identical, but this is only possible because the difference 
between them, which is still essential, is transferred to the form. 
If the difference of forms goes too, the tautology that results 
involves as complete a failure as previous tautologies. Indeed, 
the failure is more obvious, for the category has developed into 
two separate and unconnected tautologies. Thus all connexion 
between the Substratum and the Surface is denied. All that 


we can say is that the Substratum is the Substratum, and the 
Surface is the Surface. 

And even the tautologies destroy themselves. As Hegel 
points out (G. L. ii. 167) the Whole, when taken out of all 
connexion with the Parts, ceases to be a Whole at all, and 
becomes an abstract identity; and the Parts, taken out of all 
connexion with the Whole, cease to be Parts, and become an 
unconnected manifold. 

146. The category has broken down on account of the 
merely indifferent connexion of Whole and Parts. It is true 
that, as we have just seen, a Whole is not a Whole unless it 
has Parts. But when we bring a unity under the conception 
of Whole, we imply that it is indifferent to it whether it has 
Parts (and so is a Whole), or not. The indifference to the 
correlative form makes the form with which we start itself 
indifferent to the content it is imposed on. 

It is this indifference which produced the tautologies, for, 
since there was no inherent connexion between the two forms, 
the equality could only be asserted by eliminating the differ- 
ence of form. It is necessary, therefore, to regard the unity of 
the Substratum as a form which cannot exist except in com- 
pany with the other form of the variety of the Surface, and the 
variety of the Surface, again, as a form which can only exist in 
company with the unity of the Substratum. Whatever exists 
in the one form must also exist in the other {G. L. ii. 168). So 
we reach 

B. The Relation of Force and its Manifestation^ . 

f (G. L. ii. 170.) This category seems to imply by its name 
much more than has been reached in this deduction. But if we 
take Hecrel's definition of Force and Manifestation we shall find 
that it contains no more than the deduction justifies. " The 
Relation of Force is the higher return into itself, in which the 
unity of the Whole, which determines the relation of the stable 
Other-Being, ceases to be external and indifferent to this 
multiplicity" {G. L. ii. 170). As elsewhere in the dialectic, 
the name taken from a conception used in empirical science 
does not indicate that the category has all the content to be 
found in that empirical conception. It only implies that the 

M«T. 10 


category finds in that conception its clearest empirical embodi- 

In the first place, says Hegel, Force has its Surface-moment 
in the form of an existent Something. This gives us 

(a) The Gonditionedness of Force. 
(G. L. ii. 171.) This Something, he tells us, is to be con- 
ceived as a Thing or Matter separate from the Force {G. L. ii. 


147. But, as he remarks at once, the immediate existence 
is not, in Force, something outside it, but a moment in its own 
nature. "The Thing, in which the Force is supposed to be 
(sein soUte), has here no more meaning.... A.nd the Force is thus 
not merely a determined Matter; such stability has long ago 
passed over into Positing and Appearance " {G. L. ii. 172). 

Force has its immediate existence as an element in its own 
nature. That which exists in the form of Force must also exist 
in the form of Manifestation. Since the immediacy here " has 
determined itself as the negative unity which relates itself to 
itself, it is itself Force" {G. L. ii. 173). The Surface and the 
Substratum are both Forces. " The relation " of each to the 
other "is not the passivity of a process of determination, so 
that thereby something Other came into it; but the Impulse 
(Anstoss) only solicits (sollicitirt) them" {G. L. ii. 174). From 
this Hegel calls the new category {G. L. ii. 173) 

(6) The Solicitation of Force. 

148. Solicitation is the determination exercised by each 
Force on the other. (The two Forces are the original Force of 
the Substratum, and the Force of the Surface, which was 
originally Manifestation.) But since this is so, each "only 
solicits in so far as it is solicited to solicit." And each " is only 
solicited in so far as it has solicited the other to solicit it" 
{G. L. ii. 175). Thus neither side has any immediacy as against 
the other, and all that is real is the unity of the two {G. L. ii. 
176). This gives us 

(c) The Infinity of Force. 
{G. L. ii. 176.) This is so called because Force is no longer 
limited either by a Thing on which it acts, or by another Force 



outside it. The Force and its Manifestation have nothing in- 
dependent of one another, even in form. The Force is thus 
completely self-determined, that is, in Hegel's language, it is 
infinite. From this Hegel proceeds to make the transition to 
the next category of Inner and Outer. 

149. I believe that the subdivisions of Force and Manifes- 
tation are not only unnecessary, but positively erroneous. The 
Thesis seems to me unjustified, since it involves a degree of 
independence between the Force and the Manifestation which 
is quite inconsistent with the general idea of Force and Mani- 
festation. The Force, as Hegel has told us (G. L. ii. 170, 
quoted above, Section 146), is not external or indifferent to its 
Manifestation. But in this category of the Conditionedness of 
Force he makes the Manifestation " an existent Something." 
Not only is this too independent to be reconciled with the 
general conception he has given of Force, but it would even 
involve a retrogression beyond Whole and Parts. For in 
Whole and Parts, though the forms of the two sides were 
indifferent to each other, their content was the same. Here, 
however, since the Something is conceived as a Thing, or as a 
Matter, it seems inevitable that it should be conceived as havingf 
to some degree a different content from the Force. 

It seems curious that Hegel should have introduced this 
Thesis at all, since he remarks, in the passage quoted above 
(Section 147) from G. L. ii. 172 that it involves conceptions 
which have been already transcended. It is probable that he 
had unconsciously slipped from his own definition of Force to a 
more common use of the same word. It would be by no means 
unusual to speak of a heavy body as manifesting the force of 
gravity, or of a man as manifesting the force of ambition. But 
they could not be Manifestations of Forces in the Hegelian 
sense, for they are very far from being mere forms of gravity or 
ambition. It is this that Hegel seems to have forgotten. 

Even if we grant the Thesis, can we defend the Antithesis ? 
If Force is found on both sides of the relation, can Force, as 
Hegel has defined it, retain any meaning ? Force is for Hegel 
merely the name of a form, since the content is identical with 
that of Manifestation. And this form is strictly correlative with 
Manifestation. If we ask what is the distinction of the form of 



Force from the form of Manifestation, I do not see that there 
is any possible answer, except that Force is the form of the 
Substratum, and that Manifestation is the form of the Surface, 
and, further, that Force is the unity, and Manifestation the 
plurality. Now if Force has to be taken so widely as to include 
the Surface-form (which is the plurality) it has lost both its 
characteristics, and ought not to be called Force. We cannot 
have Force without Manifestation, and, if both sides are Forces, 
there is no Manifestation left. 

Here, once more, Hegel seems to have slipped into the 
ordinary use of Force, in a way which is inconsistent with his 
own definition. In ordinary language Forces often mean, not 
moments, but stable realities, which can exist each for itself, 
and can stand in causal relations to one another. But Force, 
as defined and demonstrated by Hegel, means the whole of the 
Substratum of any reality. To reduce the Essence-relation to 
a relation between two Hegelian Forces is therefore impossible. 
For they cannot exist without their Manifestations, and such a 
relation has no place for Manifestations. 

150. I believe that these two categories are unnecessary as 
well as unjustifiable. We can proceed without any subdivisions 
from the undivided category of Force and Manifestation to the 
category of Inner and Outer. We saw that Force and Manifes- 
tation differ only in form, and that the two forms are not 
indifferent to each other, as they were in Whole and Parts, but 
depend on each other. There can be no Force without Mani- 
festation, nor any Manifestation without Force. Consequently 
each of them is no longer related to anything merely external 
to it. The Force is distinguished from the Manifestation, but 
the difference is not one immediately given to Force, but one 
which is found in the Force's own nature. The difference is 
also to be found in the Manifestation's own nature. 

And thus we reach at once what Hegel calls the Infinity 
of Force. The Force is not limited by anything outside itself 
— not even a form. For the form of Manifestation is posited 
in the very nature of Force. Force, therefore, only limits itself, 
and is, in Hegelian language. Infinite. (This state of things 
might as well be called Infinity of Manifestation. For the form 
of Force is involved in the nature of Manifestation.) The 


Infinity of Force is not an advance on its original conception, 
as Hegel says that it is, but is its characteristic from the first. 
He only appears to advance to it because, as we have seen, he 
first illegitimately falls back, 

151. From the Infinity of Force we can go on, with Hegel, 
to Inner and Outer. For now all difference between Surface 
and Substratum disappears. That difference, till Essential 
Relation was reached, had been a difference of content, so that, 
wherever the difference of content was eliminated, the category 
broke down from tautology. With Essential Relation the 
content of both sides was admitted to be the same, and the 
difference was confined to the form. But now even the differ- 
ence in form has vanished. It is no longer the case that the 
universe can be taken under one form or under the other form, 
and that this duplicity of form can be relied on for an explana- 
tion. To get rid of the contradiction in the category of Whole 
and Parts, we had to say that the unity has ceased to be " ex- 
ternal and indifferent to" the "multiplicity" {G. L. ii. 170). 
And thus the universe cannot be taken as One and again as 
Many and an explanation sought in the relation of these two 
forms. There is only one form in which it can be taken, in 
which it is both Many and One. When you take it as Force, 
you thereby take it as Manifestation. W^hen you take it as 
Manifestation, you thereby take it as Force. The Surface is 
involved in the Substratum, and the Substratum in the Surface. 
" The Externality of Force is identical with its Internality " 
((?. L. ii. 177). With these words Hegel passes to 

C. The Relation of Inner and Outer 

{G. L. ii. 177), where the two sides are completely identical. 
There is no longer even a difference of form. " The Outer is 
not only equal to the Inner in respect to content, but both are 
only one Fact (Sache)" {G. L. ii. 178). 

The name of the category may not seem very well chosen 
to express this absolute identity. The terms Inner and Outer 
are sometimes used to express a considerable difference between 
the two sides (cp. Enc. Section 140). Again, they are some- 
times used to express a closer relation between the two sides, with 
very little difference. But, in ordinary language, they always 



imply some difference, whereas Hegel uses them to denote the 
absence of difference. 

It would, however, have been difficult, if not impossible, to 
find a double name which would have been more appropriate. 
For when we are clear that we mean only a single reality, we 
do not naturally use a double name. Any other name, which 
consisted of two correlative terms, would have implied at least 
as much difference as Inner and Outer. 

But why, it may be asked, does Hegel want a double 
name ? The Substance and the Substratum are now absolutely 
identical. Why, then, require a double name for what is 
essentially single ? The explanation is, I think, that Inner 
and Outer is the Synthesis of the previous categories, and that 
its double name has reference to those earlier stages. The 
identity of the Substratum and Surface is the result of a gradual 
and lengthy modification of the view that they are really 
different. The Synthesis states this in a way which sums up 
what has been gained, by mentioning the distinction only to 
deny it. 

With the identity of Inner and Outer we pass from Appear- 
ance to Actuality — the third and last division of Essence. 

Note on the Difference het^ueen the Greater Logic and the 
Encyclopaedia in the first two divisions of Essence. 

152. I have postponed this question till now because, as I 
pointed out in Chapter V., some categories which are found in 
one division in the Greater Logic are found in the other in the 

The following table will show the different arrangements. 
For the sake of brevity I omit categories of the fifth order in 
the Greater Logic, except in the two cases where they correspond 
to categories in the Encyclopaedia. 

Greater Logic. 

Essence as Reflection 

INTO itself. 

I. Show. 

A. The Essential and Un- 



Essence as Ground of 

Pure Determinations of Re- 

A. Identity. 



B. Show. 

B. Difference. 

(a) Diversity. 

(6) Likeness and Unlike- 


(c) Positive and Negative 

C. Reflection. 

C. Ground. 

. The Essentialities. 

II. Existence. 

A. Identity. 

B. Difference. 

{a) Absolute Difference. 

{b) Variety, 
(c) Opposition. 
C. Contradiction. 

III. Ground. 

A. Absolute Ground. 

(a) Form and Essence. 
(6) Form and Matter. 
(c) Form and Content. 

III. The Thing. 

A. The Thing and its Pro- 


B. Determined Ground. 

B. The Thing and Matters 

C. Condition. 

C. Matter and Form. 




I. The Phenomenal World. 

A. The Thing and its Pro- 


B. The Constitution of the 

Thing out of Matters. 

C. The Dissolution of the 



II. Content and Form. 

A. The Law of Appearance, 

B. The World of Appearance 

and the World in itself. 

C. The Dissolution of Ap- 


III. Essential Relation. 

A. The Relation of Whole 

and Parts. 

B. The Relation of Force and 

its Manifestation. 

C. The Relation of Inner and 


III. Relation. 

A. Whole and Part. 

B. Force and its Manifesta- 


C. Inner and Outer. 


153. Comparing these two tables, we find the following 
dififerences. (1) The whole triad of Show, which is a division 
of the third order in the Greater Logic, is absent in the Ency- 
clopaedia ; and the Essentialities, under a different name, are 
the first division of the third order in the Encyclopaedia, while 
in the Greater Logic they were the second division. (2) Con- 
tradiction is not found in the Encyclopaedia, and in its place 
among the Pure Determinations of Reflection we find Ground, 
which is here only an undivided category of the fourth order, 
while in the Greater Logic it was a category of the third order, 
and was itself divided, and again subdivided. The result of 
these two differences is that the whole content of the secondary 
division called, in the Greater Logic, Essence as Reflection into 
itself, is condensed, in the Encyclopaedia, into a single tertiary 

The gap which is thus left for the Encyclopaedia is filled up 
by (3) transferring Existence from the second to the first of the 
secondary divisions ; and by (4) dividing it into two. Existence 
and Thing being taken as two separate divisions of the third 
order, while in the Greater Logic Existence is the name for the 
division of the third order which contains the cateo-ories of 
Thing as its subdivisions. 

This transference of Existence produces the result (5) that 
the Phenomenal World forms the first division within Appear- 
ance in the Encyclopaedia, although its significance is the same 
as that of Appearance (in the narrower sense) in the Greater 
Logic, which there forms the second division of Appearance iu 
the wider sense. 

The Encyclopaedia (6) takes, as the second division of 
Appearance, Content and Form, which is thus a division of the 
third order. In the Greater Logic, on the other hand, Form 
and Content is a division of the fifth order within Ground. We 
have now reached, in each Logic, to the categories of Relation, 
which are treated in the same way in both works. 

In addition to these changes (7) Form and Matter is, in the 
Greater Logic, a division of the fifth order within Ground, while 
in the Encyclopaedia it is a division of the fourth order within 
Thing. Also (8) as was mentioned in Chapter V. (Section 131) 
the line of argument in the Encyclopaedia passes from Real 


to Formal Ground, while in the Greater Logic it passes from 
Formal to Real. 

154. The first five of these changes place categories in 
different places in the chain, and make them of higher or lower 
orders than before, but do not invert their places. The changes 
of place are caused only by the omission of certain categories, 
and by the expansion and contraction of others. But the sixth 
and seventh do invert the order of categories. In the Encyclo- 
paedia Form and Content comes after Existence, after Thing, 
and after the Phenomenal World, while it comes before the 
corresponding categories in the Greater Logic. Form and 
Matter is not so much displaced, but in the Encyclopaedia it 
comes after Existence, and as the last division of Thing, while 
in the Greater Logic it precedes both Thing and Existence. 

The first of these differences — the omission of the categories 
of Show — appears to me an improvement for the reasons which 
I have given above (Section 103). With regard to Ground, I 
think, as I have also explained above (Section ]31), that the 
line of argument adopted in the Encyclopaedia is better than 
that adopted in the Greater Logic in respect of the eighth of 
our differences — the order in which Formal Ground and Real 
Ground were taken. On the other hand the greater develop- 
ment given to Ground in the Greater Logic, and the number 
of subdivisions introduced (the second difference), seems to me 
to give it an advantage over the Encyclopaedia, where the 
treatment becomes obscure from its condensation. 

The removal of Existence and Thing to the first section, 
which is the third difference, does not seem to have any great 
importance^ And the fourth change — the separation of Exist- 
ence and Thing as separate categories — appears to be only a 
change in the use of names. In each Logic there is, between 
Ground and Thing, a stage where Ground and Consequent fall 
together. The only difference is that in the Encyclopaedia this 
is taken as a stage distinct both from Ground and Thing and 
called Existence, while in the Greater Logic it falls within 
Ground, and is called Transition of the Fact into Existence. 

1 Rosenkrenz, in his Erlduterungen zu Hegel's Encyclopddie, pp. 30, 31, finds 
a distinct change for the better in the arrangement of the Encyclopaedia, but 
I am not convinced by his argument. 


Thus in the Greater Logic the name of Existence is left over as 
the general name for the categories of Thing. The difference 
is thus simply verbal. 

The fifth difference — that the Phenomenal World is a Thesis 
in the Encyclopaedia, while the corresponding category is an 
Antithesis in the Greater Logic — may also be dismissed as 
unimportant. In respect of the sixth and seventh — those which 
concern Form and Content and Form and Matter, the Greater 
Logic appears to have the advantage. It treats them as 
categories of Ground and places them next one another, while 
the Encyclopaedia puts them well after Ground, and inserts 
between them the category of the Phenomenal World. Both 
these changes are for the worse. Both Form and Matter and 
Form and Content are essentially categories of Ground — of the 
attempt, that is, to link things together by similarities. (Form 
and Content is the collapse of Ground into tautology — the end 
to which it inevitably tends, and which proves its inadequacy.) 
And by placing them next one another there is a valid transi- 
tion from one to the other. In the Encyclopaedia, on the other 
hand, Hegel's attempt to pass from Thing and Matters to 
Matter and Form {Enc. Section 128), and, again, his attempt to 
pass from the Phenomenal World to Content and Form {Enc. 
Section 133), are unsatisfactory. 



155. Actuality (Wirklichkeit) is divided as follows : 

I. The Absolute. (Das Absolute.) 

A. The Exposition of the Absolute. (Die Auslegung 

des Absolute.) 

B. The Absolute Attribute. (Das absolute Attribut.) 

C. The Modus of the Absolute. (Der Modus des Abso- 


II. Actuality. (Die Wirklichkeit.) 

A. Contingency, or Formal Actuality, Possibility and 

Necessity. (Zufalligkeit, oder formelle Wirk- 
lichkeit, Moglichkeit und Nothwendigkeit.) 

B. Relative Necessity, or Heal Actuality, Possibility and 

Necessity. (Relative Nothwendigkeit, oder 
reale Wirklichkeit, Moglichkeit und Noth- 

C. Absolute Necessity. (Absolute Nothwendigkeit.) 

III. The Absolute Relation. (Das absolute Verhaltniss.) 

A. The Relation of Substantiality. (Verhaltniss der 


B. The Relation of Causality. (Verhaltniss der Kausali- 


(a) Formal Causality. (Die formelle Kausalitat.) 


(6) Determined Causality, (Die bestimmte Kausali- 

(c) Action and Reaction. (Wirkimg und Gegen- 


C. Reciprocity. (Die Wechselwirkung.) 

The only ambiguity in these titles is that Actuality is used 
to denote both the whole secondary division we are considering, 
and the second of the tertiary divisions contained in it. 

Actuality is, I think, one of the parts of the Greater Logic 
which requires most amendment. In the first place, as I shall 
endeavour to show, the whole content of the first two sub- 
divisions, the Absolute and Actuality, is erroneous, and should 
be removed. (In doing this, however, we should only be 
departing from the Greater Logic to follow the Encyclopaedia.) 
And, in the second place, the treatment of Causality presents 
very grave defects. 

The transition which leads to Actuality asserts that Ex- 
ternality is identical with Internality (G. L. ii. 177). It is 
the stability and solidity given by this complete union which 
causes the present secondary division to be specially worthy of 
the name of Actuality. " In this identity of Appearance with 
the Inner or Essence, Essential Relation has determined itself 
to Actuality " {G. L. ii. 183). 

I. The Absolute. 

A. The Exposition of the Absolute. 

156. {G. L. ii. 186.) We have, says Hegel, the Inner, or 
Essence-element, and the Outer, or Being-element. " The 
Absolute itself is absolute unity of both" {G. L. ii. 186). 
"The determination of the Absolute is to be the absolute form, 
but not in the same way as Identity, whose moments are only 
simple determinations — but as an Identity, each of the moments 
of which is itself the totality, and is therefore indifferent towards 
the form, and is the complete content of the whole" {G. L. ii. 186). 
This is the restatement of Inner and Outer which is to be 
expected at this place, but there seems no particular reason 


why it should be called the Absolute. On the next page, how- 
ever, we find a very important statement — namely that the 
conception of the Absolute is incompatible with a variety of 
content, " The Absolute itself is the absolute Identity ; this is 
its determination, so that all multiplicity of the World in itself, 
and of the World of Experience, or all multiplicity of the inner 
and outer totality is transcended in it " (G. L. ii. 187). 

This passage must, I think, be taken as meaning that in 
this category not only has all difference between the Surface 
and Substratum vanished, but all differences which previously 
existed within the Surface, or within the Substratum, have also 
vanished, leaving a unity quite free from difference. This is a 
very important addition to the information about the category. 
For the vertical difference, so to speak — the difference between 
the immediate element and the deeper element which explains 
it — might have vanished, and yet the horizontal differentiations 
— the distinctions between one finite thing and another finite 
thing — might have been preserved. 

I do not think that there can be any doubt that Hegel 
regarded both of them as eliminated here. The words quoted 
above from p. 187 could not be made to apply to the difference 
between the World in itself and the World of Appearance, or 
between the Inner and the Outer. It is a multiplicity which 
is here transcended, and not a mere duality, such as is the 
difference between Surface and Substratum. And it falls within 
the Surface, and within the Substratum, not between them. 
This view is confirmed by the subsequent course of the argu- 
ment in the triad which commences here, and is supported by 
Hegel's choice of this place to discuss Spinoza's philosophy 
{G. L. ii. 194). 

157. We can now understand why Hegel gives this category 
the name of the Absolute. The word is habitually used of the 
universe viewed as a unity, and it forms a very appropriate 
name for a category which denies everything except the 

But the introduction of this fresh characteristic is illegiti- 
mate. The assertion of the unity between Surface and Sub- 
stratum is justified, for it was demonstrated in the category of 
Inner and Outer. But the removal of all multiplicity from the 


Actuality thus formed has not been demonstrated at all. And 
without the necessity of this transition being demonstrated, we 
have no right to go on to it. It seems scarcely possible to 
suppose that Hegel has confused the two unities, and imagined 
that we are justified in denying all multiplicity in Actuality 
because the duality of Surface and Substratum has been 
transcended. And yet it seems scarcely possible to explain in 
any other manner the introduction of the new characteristic 
without the least attempt at demonstration. 

Hegel has proved, no doubt, that the Outer is now identical 
with the Inner. And it may perhaps be said that, though 
this is not the same as the denial of all multiplicitj', yet it 
involves it. For, as against the Outer, the Inner was looked 
on as emphasising the unity of the content, while the Outer 
emphasised the multiplicity. But the unity of Surface and 
Substratum has not been reached by explaining away the 
Surface and leaving the Substratum as the only reality. The 
attempts of both sides to preserve their natures as they were 
when they were separate have been transcended. The Inner 
has been identified with the Outer as much as the Outer with 
the Inner. The result ought to be a category which combines 
harmoniously the multiplicity and the unity — such a category 
as we shall find later in Substance — not a category which ignores 
the multiplicity in favour of the unity. 

The fact is that the conception which Hegel introduces 
here has been reached and transcended in the very earliest 
stages of Essence. The Surface, in so far as it is real at all, is 
always taken by Hegel as a multiplicity. And thus a category 
which denies the reality of multiplicity has to treat the Surface- 
element as completely unreal. 

This is how Hegel does treat it here. And by doing so he 
goes back to the category of Show. (I do not mean the division 
of the third order, but the division of the fourth order, which 
forms the Antithesis of the division of the third order.) The 
characteristic of Show was that the Substratum was everj^thing 
and the Surface nothing. And this is really Hegel's position 
with regard to the Absolute. He asserts, indeed, that Surface 
and Substratum are identical, but, as we shall see, he admits 
that multiplicity still arises on the Surface, and has to be treated 


as unreal. Thus he falls back here into a position which he has 
already demonstrated to be inadequate, and replaced by some- 
thing more adequate, and which he has therefore no right to 
introduce again here^ 

In so far as Spinoza's philosophy is appropriately treated 
under this category of the Absolute, it could be treated with 
equal fitness under the category of Show. It is only one side 
of Spinoza's thought — that which finds expression in the 
principle that all determination is negation — which exemplifies 
Hegel's category of the Absolute. And this is exactly the 
position of Show. 

158. Leaving the question of the legitimacy of this category, 
we must now consider the transition to the next. We cannot 
after all get rid of the multiplicity. Since the Absolute 
"contains all difference and determination of form, or since it 
is the absolute form and reflection, the variety of content must 
also come forward in it" {G. L. ii. 187). The Absolute, that is, 
cannot preserve the purit}' of its unity by rejecting anything. 
It contains everything, including multiplicity. But the Absolute 
has been determined as this pure unity, and it follows that "the 
transparency of the finite, which allows only the Absolute to be 
seen through it, ends in entire disappearance (Verschwinden); 
for there is nothing in the finite, which could maintain for it 
a difference from the Absolute ; it " (the finite) " is a medium 
that is absorbed by that which shines through it" {G. L. ii. 188). 
But such a disappearance cannot be complete. For, in order 
even to disappear, the finite must have some reality, and that 
is just what this category must refuse to it. The Absolute can 
destroy the finite, if it is assumed that the finite is there to 
destroy, but the fact that it should be there to destroy is 
incompatible with the supremacy of the Absolute. " Such a 
determination has not its beginning in the Absolute, but only 
its end" {G. L. ii. 189). And thus we are forced to the con- 
clusion that the Absolute, which is a pure unity, cannot, after 
all, be the whole of reality. " That Absolute, which has its being 
only as absolute identity, is only the Absolute of an external 
reflection. It is therefore not the Absolute- Absolute, but the 

^ In several passages he actually gives the name of Show to the Surface- 
element of the Absolute, e.g. G. L. ii. 188 and 192. 


Absolute in a determination, or it is an Attribute" (G. L. ii. 189). 
So we reach {G. L. ii. 190) 

B. The Absolute Attribute. 

159. This transition seems to me not to be valid. For it 
is a transition to a conception which is recognised, at the time 
when we pass to it, to be a contradiction. The Absolute was to 
be the sole reality. It is contradictory to take it as one side 
only of the reality. It cannot be said that the conception of 
the Absolute is so altered in the transition that there is no 
longer a contradiction. The contradiction does remain, for it is 
subsequently put forward as the ground of the transition to the 
category of Modus. 

Now it is illegitimate to pass to a category which is realised, 
from the previous course of the argument, to be a contradiction. 
The transitions of the dialectic are made to avoid contradictions, 
and if we see that we create a new contradiction by going on, 
there is no ground why we should go on at all. Of course each 
category to which we go develops a contradiction, but as soon 
as it does that, it is seen to be untenable. A category, which 
was from the beginning seen to be contradictory, Avhich we only 
made by explicitly asserting the contradiction which makes it 
necessary to leave it, can have no rightful place in the dialectic. 

160. If, however, this category be once reached, the necessity 
of advancing from it is obvious. If the Absolute is an Attribute, 
it only expresses part of the nature of that of which it is an 
Attribute. There mvist be other parts of that nature, which 
are not expressed by the Absolute, and which are independent 
of it. But this is impossible, for the Absolute has all along- 
been determined as the whole nature of reality, and if it can 
only exist by the side of something which is not itself, it cannot 
exist at all. " The Form therefore, whether taken as Outer or 
Inner, through which the Absolute is an Attribute, is at the 
same time posited as being something intrinsically null, an 
external Show, or mere Manner (Ai't und Weise)" {G. L. ii. 191). 
We thus reach 

C. The Modus of the Absolute. 

(G. L. ii. 191.) The meaning of this category is difficult to 
grasp. Hegel says of it : " The true meaning of the Modus is 


that it is the Absolute's own reflecting movement ; a determi- 
nation, but not one through which it becomes Another, but 
only a determination of what it already is ; the transparent 
Externality which is the sign (das Zeigen) of itself; a move- 
ment out from itself, but so that this outward Being is as much 
the internality itself" {G. L. ii. 193). This seems to indicate 
that the category denotes a sort of logical movement, compar- 
able to that found earlier in Reflection, by which the Absolute 
determines, by its own nature, a multiplicity. But although 
this seems to be the right interpretation, it is impossible to 
explain why Hegel should have said that it was a mere " Art 
und Weise," and how the name of Modus is appropriate to this 

Has the category been validly deduced ? I do not think 
that it has. For, if it is meant that the Absolute, while 
remaining a pure unity, determines a multiplicity, the difficulty 
remains the same as before. The multiplicity cannot be part 
of the Absolute, if that is a pure unity. And yet there is 
nothing outside the Absolute. (This difficulty did not occur in 
the case of Reflection, because there the two sides of the relation 
had not mutually exclusive qualities, such as pure unity and 
multiplicity are here.) 

If, indeed, we were to take the unity of the Absolute no 
longer as a pure unity, but as a unity which contained multi- 
plicity, and was all the more of a unity because it did so, we 
should certainly have transcended the difficulty. But I cannot 
find so advanced a conception as this in Hegel's words, nor does 
the subsequent course of the dialectic suggest that it is reached 
at this point. 

The use of the names Attribute and Modus in connexion 
with the Absolute seems suggested by Spinoza's terminology. 
Hegel, however, uses the terms in a way quite different from 
Spinoza's. For Hegel the Absolute is, in the Antithesis of this 
triad, an Attribute of something, not, as with Spinoza, the 
Substance to which all Attributes belong. And for Hegel 
Attribute and Modus denote two different ways of looking at 
the universe, of which the second transcends the first, while for 
Spinoza the Attribute and the Modus have places in the same 
theory of the universe as compatible elements. 

M'T. U 


161. We now pass to 

II. Actuality. 

(G. L. ii. 199.) The last category has filled up the gulf 
which, in the category of the Absolute Attribute, had once 
more opened in reality. In the Absolute Attribute we had 
once more a Surface and a Substratum of different natures, 
but in Modus the separation is again transcended. The restored 

P solidity of reality makes the name of Actuality appropriate. 
" The Actual is Manifestation, it does not enter the sphere of 
alteration by its externality, nor is it the appearance of itself 
in another, but it manifests itself; that is, in its externality 
it is itself, and is only itself in its externality, that is, in a 
determining movement which separates it from itself" ((?. L. 

Lii. 201). 

I" It seems to me, however, that this conception of an Actuality 
which is itself in its externality, and only there, is just the 
conception which is reached in Inner and Outer, and that, after 
the triad of the Absolute, we have only come back to the place 

L we started from. And it is to be noted that Hegel himself 
speaks of Actuality as " the immediate form-unity of Inner 
and Outer" (G. L. ii. 201. The context makes it clear that 
he is not speaking of the secondary division, but of the tertiary 
division which we are discussing here). 

A. Contingency, or Formal Actuality, Possibility and 


162. {G. L. ii. 202.) Here the first point is the intro- 
duction of Possibility. " Actuality is formal, in so much as 
it is, as first Actuality, only immediate unreflected Activity, 
and thus exists only in this determination of form, but not 
as a totality of form. It is thus nothing more than Being 
or Existence in general. But since it is essentially (wesentlich) 
not mere immediate Existence, but is the form-unity of Being 
in Self (Ansichsein) or Innerness, and Externality, it therefore 
contains immediately Being in Self or Possibility. What is 
Actual is Possible" ((?. L. ii. 202). 

r The argument seems to be that in Actuality we once more 
look for a Substratum which shall explain the Actuality. We 


find it in Possibility. Accordingly Actuality, as opposed to 
Possibility, becomes the Surface. 

This seems unjustifiable. Surely the result of the category 
of Inner and Outer was that Surface and Substratum had 
become permanentl}' identical, and that it was impossible to 
find the explanation of any part of immediate reality in a 
Substratum which is in any way different from it. Now 
Possibility is, as Hegel fully recognises, something quite 
different from the corresponding Actuality. And so, in taking 
Possibility as a Substratum, we have gone back to a position 
already transcended — which is, of course, illegitimate. The 
only way to avoid this difficulty would be to show that 
Actuality differed from Possibility in some subtle way which 
had not been transcended in reaching Inner and Outer, and 
which was not, therefore, denied in asserting the identity of 
Inner and Outer. Hegel does not make any such distinction, 
nor does it seem possible that one could be made. The 
relations of Surface and Substratum were developed so care- 
fully, and in so much detail, in the first two divisions of 
Essence, that it would be improbable that any possible form 
had not been considered. 

At present the Possibility of each thing is looked for entirely 
within itself. Possibility due to the Actuality of something else is 
not reached till we come to Relative Necessity. Thus Possibility 
can only mean here the absence of internal contradiction. "A is 
possible just means that A is A" (G. L. ii. 203). The only 
difference, he goes on to say, between Possibility and Identity, is 
that Possibility is only one side of the relation, while Identity is 
both. Possibility implies that there is something more — namely 
Actuality. It is "das Sollen der Totalitat der Form" ((?.i.ii.203). 

It might be thought that Identity extended further than 
Possibility. A four-angled triangle is not formally Possible, 
but it is true that a four-angled triangle is a four-angled 
triangle. But we must remember that Hegel's category of 
Identity, as we have seen, has a much narrower scope than 
the logical law of Identity. The category applies only to 
the existent, and, as nothing can exist which is not formally 
Possible, Identity can only be rightly applied in cases where 
Possibility can be applied also. 



163. Hegel now asserts (G. L. ii. 204) that Possibility is 
in itself a contradiction, and therefore Impossibility. This is 
rather misleading. What he means, as he explains, is that 
Possibility is an Essence, a Substratum, which can only be 
if it is in relation to a Surface. Possibility taken Avithout 
reference to an Actuality would be a contradiction, and so 
impossible. This is, no doubt, true, but it is only true in the 
same way that any other Substratum, in any of the previous 
categories of Essence, would be impossible without the corre- 
sponding Surface. Hegel's language suggests that Possibility 
passes into Impossibility as its contrary, which is not his 

Since the content of the Possible, he continues, '•' is only a 
Possible, another which is the Opposite (Gegentheil) is just 
as Possible. A is A, in the same way —A is —A" (G. L. 
ii. 204). Opposite is a rather ambiguous word. Hegel's 
example oi — A suggests that he means by Opposite a Material 
Contrary. But, as we saw in his treatment of the Law of 
Excluded Middle, he sometimes ignored the difference between 
not-^ and —A. If in this passage he meant hy — A nothing 
more than not- J., his statement will be correct. If there 
is no internal contradiction in A, there can be none in not- J.. 
The assertion of not-A is exactly equivalent to the denial 
of A. And if there is no internal contradiction in A when 
it is asserted there can be no internal contradiction in A 
when it is denied. 

Thus we reach the conception of the Contingent, "an 
Actual, which is at the same time determined as only Possible, 
whose Other or Opposite is also possible " {G. L. ii. 205). 

From the Contingent we proceed to the Necessary, as 
follows. The Contingent as such has no Ground. For the 
fact that it is Contingent means that its Opposite might have 
taken its place, and that there is no reason why it has not 
done so {G. L. ii. 205). But, again, it must have a Ground. 
The Substratum to which it has been referred is insufficient to 
explain it. For it is only its Possibility, and as the Opposite — 
which is not Actual, for they are incompatible — is equally 
Possible, some other explanation must be sought for the fact 
that the one Possible is Actual, while the other is not. We 


cannot, as we have seen, find this explanation within the 
Actual in question. We must therefore look for it outside. 
The Actual, taken as Contingent, is "no longer in and for itself, 
but has its true Reflection-into-self in Another, in other 
words, it has a Ground " {0. L. ii. 206). 

So far Hegel's language is clear. But he adds a perplexing 
sentence. " Thus the Contingent has no Ground, because it is 
Contingent ; and just as much it has a Ground, because it is 
Contingent" {G. L. ii. 206). This, by itself, would suggest that 
it had a Ground and had not a Ground in the same sense, 
and that a contradiction arose here which would have to be 
transcended. But his previous argument, given in the last 
paragraph, makes it clear that he only means that the Con- 
tingent has not a Ground within itself, and that it has a 
Ground outside itself 

164. In this way we reach Necessity. When the Actual 
has a Ground outside itself, it ceases to be Contingent, for that 
Ground determines why it exists, rather than its Opposite, 
which possessed the same Formal Possibility. And so Actuality 
and Possibility coincide. For, now that the Actual has its 
Ground, which determines why it exists rather than its 
Opposite, its Opposite is no longer Possible {G. L. ii. 206, 207). 
But this Possibility is no longer the Formal Possibility, which 
is always possessed equally by the two Opposites. It is the 
Possibility which is limited by the relations of the Actual to 
other things. Actuality and Formal Possibility can never 
coincide. With this reference to what is external, we pass 
over to 

B. Relative Necessity, or Real Actuality, Possibility and 


{G. L. ii. 207.) Real Actuality is Actuality in relation to 
another. This relation to another is also Reflection-into-self. 
"The Thing is stable, but has its Reflection-into-self, its de- 
termined Essentiality, in something else stable" {G. L. ii. 208). 
In the same way, the Real Possibility of the Thing is in 
another Thing. "The Real Possibility of a fact is therefore 
the definitely existing (daseiende) multiplicity of circumstances 
which relate themselves to it" {G. L. ii. 209). 


But this Real Possibility is identical with Necessity. "What 
is Really Possible can no longer be anything else; under these 
conditions and circumstances nothing else can follow" (G. L. 
ii. 211). We have gone beyond the Formal Possibility which 
consists in the absence of internal contradiction, and now find 
the Possibility of a fact in the absence of any facts which 
are incompatible with it. But, if nothing is incompatible with 
its Actuality, it must be Actuals For otherwise it might 
either be Actual or might not, and so we should have gone 
back to the position that there can be an Actual with nothing 
to determine that it, rather than its Opposite, should be 
Actual. Thus a Real Possibility which does not completely 
determine Actuality is only imperfect. We may say that the 
circumstances of a certain enterprise leave it possible either 
that it should succeed or that it should not succeed. But 
then the circumstances known to us are only some of the total 
number. If a complete knowledge of all the circumstances 
revealed no impossibility of success, success would be certain. 

We may sum up Contingency and Relative Necessity by 
saying that in the first Formal Actuality and Formal Possibility 
were separate, that the contradiction which this involved led 
on to Necessity, and that Necessity is now seen to be identical 
with Real Actuality and Real Possibility. There are not two 
Necessities, a Formal and a Real, as there are two Possibilities 
and Actualities. The Necessity which falls within the division 
of Contingency is the transition to the next division, and is 
not Formal, but the same Real Necessity which, in the next 
division, is seen to be identical with Real Actuality and 

But this Real Necessity is only a Relative Necessity. For 
when we ask why A is Necessary, the answer is that it has 

^ It is, of course, equally true that if nothing is incompatible with its non- 
Actuality, it will not be Actual. Actuality has not any prerogative in this 
respect, such as was sometimes attributed to it in pre-Kantian philosophies. 

2 Hegel certainly speaks (G. L. ii. 213, 215) as if the Formal Necessity of 
Contingency was different from the Keal Necessity of Relative Necessity. But 
I think the only change he means is that, in the latter, Necessity is seen to 
coincide with Actuality and Possibility, which it did not in the former. And 
this coincidence comes about through a change in Actuality and Possibility 
(from Formal to Eeal), not from any change in Necessity. 


its Real Possibility in B, C, etc. It depends on these, and 
these are, so far as this relation goes, merely immediate. Thus 
A's Necessity depends on the mere fact of the existence of 
B, G, etc., and is so, in the last resort, Contingent. " The 
Really Necessary is a limited Actuality, which, on account of 
this limitation is also, from another point of view, a Contingent" 
{G. L. ii. 212). 

165. This difficulty is removed for Hegel by the passage to 

C. Absolute Necessity. 

(0. L. ii. 213.) The nature of this category and the transition 
to it are extremely obscure. I am inclined to agree with Noel's 
interpretation (La Logique de Hegel, p. 79). The transition 
seems to consist in the fact that if we took all Existence as a 
whole it would form a Necessity which was not Contingent, but 
which had Contingency as an element within itself. It would 
not be Contingent, for it would have no Ground outside itself. 
But Contingency would be an element in it, because each part 
of it would be determined by other parts of it. Each part then 
would have its Ground outside itself, and, looked at separately, 
would be Contingent {0. L. ii. 213). 

Hegel's obscurity here seems to me to be due to the fact 
that the ideas of this triad are not really, as he supposes them 
to be, categories distinct from, and leading up to, the categories 
of Substantiality, Causality, and Reciprocity. The idea of 
Necessity, as used by Hegel here, is really the same as his 
category of Causality. The difficulty that the Relatively 
Necessary is Contingent, because of the immediacy of its 
external determinant, is really the same difficulty as that 
which produces the infinite series of Causes of Causes and 
Effects of Effects. And the only way to escape from it is 
the way in which Hegel does escape from it, when it recurs 
a second time under the head of Causation — by means of 
Reciprocity. And he gets very close to this solution here, 
when he has recourse to the conception of the system as a 
whole to transcend the Contingency of the parts. But he 
does not see that the difficulty is the same in the two places, 
(If he had seen this, indeed, he would have seen that he was 
wrong in bringing it in twice.) And consequently he states 


his solution here as if it were different from the later one. It 
is this, I think, which accounts for the obscurity. 
166. In this way Hegel reaches 

- III. The Absolute Relation. 

A. The Relation of Substantiality. 

{G. L. ii. 219. Enc. 150.) According to this category the 
universe is something which is to be looked at both as a 
multiplicity of particulars (the Accidents) and as a unity 
(the Substance). There is thus a certain duplicity, but no 
longer the old duplicity which was finally transcended in Inner 
and Outer. Substance and Accidents are not two forms, in 
either of which we may regard the reality. They are two 
characteristics of one form, which is the only form which the 
reality takes. We could, according to Hegel, contrast the 
reality seen as Whole with the reality seen as Parts, for 
although the content was the same in both cases. Whole and 
Parts were two separate forms, under either of which it could 
be seen. And the same was true of Force and Exertion. But 
now it is different. To regard it as Substance is to regard it 
also as Accidents, and to regard it as Accidents is to regard it 
also as Substance. 

Thus the Essence-relation has been transcended. There 
is no longer a Substratum and a Surface, in whose relation 
to one another the explanation of reality was to be found. 
All that we can say is that Substance — the characteristic of 
junity — corresponds to Whole, Force, and the Inner, which 
were previously Substratum, and that in the same way 
Accidents correspond to the previous Surfxces — Parts, Manifes- 
tation, Outer. But to have a Substratum and a Surface we 
want more differentiation than is here permissible. It may 
seem curious that catesfories in which the Essence-relation is 
transcended should fall in the Doctrine of Essence, but we 
are now very near the end of that Doctrine. 

Is there only one Substance, or are there many Substances, 
each having many Attributes ? It seems that, in the sense 
in which Hegel uses Substance, there is only One. The 


Absolute Necessity, from which he attempts to derive the 
new category, connects the whole universe in one. And of 
Inner and Outer (which should have been the immediate 
predecessor of Substance, as I shall point out later) we must 
say, as of its predecessor Whole and Part, that with such a 
conception all existents can be grouped in a single unity. 

There is, then, only one Substance. But what are the 
Accidents ? Accident is generally used as a name for the 
qualities of the Substance which has them. Extension and 
impenetrability would be said to be Accidents of material 
Substance. But this is not Hegel's use. The Accidents of 
which he speaks are the things which are parts of the Sub- 
stance. "They are... existing things with manifold properties, 
or wholes which consist of parts, stable parts" (G. L. ii. 222). 
Although Hegel's special categories of Thing and Properties, 
and of Whole and Parts, have been transcended, we must say, 
in a more general sense, that the Accidents are parts of the 
Substance, and are themselves things with properties. 

167. This, then, is what Hegel means by the category. 
Is it valid ? I believe that it is valid, but that the way in 
which he reached it is invalid, and that it should have been 
reached directly from Inner and Outer. 

In the first place, it can be reached from Inner and Outer. 
For it is simply the restatement of that category, as a new 
Thesis should be of the previous Synthesis. All that we have 
said of Substance and Accident is equally true of Inner and 
Outer (cp. the last Chapter, Section 151). 

Now, if it can be reached from Inner and Outer, Hegel 
must be wrong in inserting two triads between them. For 
every triad indicates an advance, and there must be something 
wrong with the argument when, at the end of the second 
triad, we are only where we were before the beginning of the 
first one. 

And, secondly, the transition by which Hegel does reach 
Substance from Absolute Necessity is intrinsically invalid. For, 
as I said above, the conception of Necessity is really that of 
Causality. Necessity means for Hegel much more than the 
fact that reality is certainly determined. If it only meant 
that, we should have had Necessity very early among the 


categories of Being, and the relation between Surface and 
Substratum in Essence would have been Necessity throughout. 
Necessity for him involves two characteristics. In the first 
place, that which is necessitated must be a Thing — not the 
mere Somethings of the earlier categories. In the next place, 
that which determines it must not be its own Substratum — its 
Ground, Matter, Law, or Force — but some other Thing. It 
will be remembered that it was the introduction of the idea 
of Necessity which formed the transition from the Formal 
Actuality and Possibility, which regarded the thing in its 
isolation, to the Real Actuality and Possibility, which regarded 
the thing as connected with others. Now the determination 
of one thing by another is just what Hegel means by Causality. 
And, if this is the case, the Greater Logic proceeds, in effect, 
though not in name, from Causality to Substance, and then 
from Substance to Causality. And this must be wrong. For 
the same category cannot be both higher and lower in the 
chain than another category. 

Thirdly, Hegel had no right to reach the category of 
Absolute Necessity at all. For, as I argued above (Sections 
157 and 161), the Exposition of the Absolute is not properly 
deduced from Inner and Outer, nor is Contingency properly 
deduced from the Modus of the Absolute, so that there are 
two breaks in the chain. 

Thus Hegel had no right to reach the categories of the 
Absolute and of Actuality (in the narrower sense), and he has 
no right to go on from them to Substance. On the other 
hand, by leaving them out, we get a valid transition from 
Inner and Outer to Substance. It is clear then that they 
ought to be left out, and, as we shall see, this is just Avhat 
Hegel does in the Encyclopaedia. 

168. It is in connexion with Substance that Hegel in- 
troduces in the Encyclopaedia (Section 151) some remarks on 
the philosophy of Spinoza, which he dealt with in the G7'eater 
Logic under the category of the Absolute (G. L. ii. 194). The 
position in the Greater Logic was more appropriate. It is true 
that Spinoza called his sole reality by the name of Substance. 
But in Hegel's category the whole nature of the Substance 
is to be found in the Accidents, and they are as real as the 


Substance. This is very far from Spinoza's view. Indeed, 
according to that tendency in Spinoza's thought to which 
Hegel gives most attention, the Accidents, as finite, would 
be unreal. Such a view is more appropriately dealt with 
under the category of the Absolute, but this category, as I 
have said, is omitted in the Encyclopaedia. 

Hegel says in the Encyclopaedia that Spinoza should not 
be called an Atheist, but rather an Acosmist. There is great 
truth in the view that he was an Acosmist, though it must 
be admitted that he did not carry out consistently the principle 
that all determination is negation, on which his Acosmism 
f- is based. As to his Atheism, it is beyond doubt that he 
denied the existence of a personal or conscious God, but then 
Hegel never regarded personality or consciousness as essential 
L characteristics of God. At times he took God as being the 
Absolute Reality, whatever that reality might be. If the 
word is used in this sense, nobody but an absolute sceptic could 
be an Atheist. At other times he took God to mean the 
Absolute Reality conceived as a unity. It is in this sense 
that he appears to use it here. In either sense, of course, 
it would be true that Spinoza believed in the existence of 

169. We now proceed to Causality. The transition lies, 
according to Hegel, in the fact that Substance, in its relation 
to Accident, is to be conceived as Power. This relation of 
Substance to Accident " is only the appearing totality as 
Becoming, but it is just as much Reflection ; the Accidentality, 
which is implicitly Substance, is for that very reason posited as 
such ; and it is thus determined as a negativity which relates 
itself to itself, it is determined as over against itself, as relating 
itself to itself and as a simple identity with itself; and is Sub- 
stance existing for itself and powerful. Thus the relation of 
Substantiality passes over into the relation of Causality" {G. L. 
ii. 223). 

In other words, the Substance is conceived as determininsf 
the Accidents. The Accidents are now conceived as something 
existing in and for themselves, as a reality separate from the 
original Substance, and as themselves Substantial. Thus the 
relation of Substance to Accident changes into the relation 


between two Substances (the original Substance, and what was 
originally the Accident), and passing over into 

B. The Relation of Causality 
(G. L. ii. 223. Enc. 153), we have, as its first form 

(a) Formal Causality. 

(G. L. ii. 224.) The Accidents, being now, as Hegel tells 
us, "Substance existing for itself" must be taken as having a 
separate existence from the original Substance, though they 
stand in relation to it, and though the content of the two is 
identical. Thus it is not merely that the conception of Causality 
has been substituted for that of Substance, but that the two 
terms in the Substance-relation have been transformed respec- 
tively into the two terms in the Causality-relation, the original 
Substance being the Cause, while the Accidents become the 

It would seem that there is a plurality of Causes, each having 
a single Effect. For the Accidentality comprised plurality, 
and if it is taken as Substantial it must be taken as many Sub- 
stances. And as each Cause is identical in content with its 
Effect, the plurality of Effect would require a corresponding 
plurality of Causes. 

170. Is the transition valid ? I think it is not. For I 
cannot accept Hegel's argument to prove that what was taken 
as one Substance must now be taken as two Substances with 
identical content. So far as I can see the whole transition 
rests on the phrase quoted above from p. 223, that the relation 
is Reflection and that therefore " the Accidentality, which is 
implicitly Substance, is for that very reason posited as such." 
The Accidents, that is, if I understand it rightly, are so closely 
related to the Substance, that they themselves are Substance. 
B, let us say, is an Accident of the Substance A. Substance 
and Accident are so closely connected — in Hegel's language, 
are so reflected into one another — that B is implicitly its Sub- 
stance A. From this we proceed to the conclusion that B is 
itself a Substance, over against A. 

I cannot interpret Hegel's words in any other way than this, 
and surely this is invalid. It was nothing else but the fact that 


Force was implicitly Manifestation, and Manifestation was impli- 
citly Force, which led Hegel to transcend the difference of form 
previously, and to reach, in Inner and Outer, a category where 
Surface and Substratum were completely united. And now he is 
using just the same argument — that each side is implicitly the 
other — as a reason for going back to the conception transcended 
in Inner and Outer, the conception of an identical content in 
two separate forms. It is impossible that the same considera- 
tion should both disprove and prove this conception. It seems 
to me that it did disprove it, that it does not prove it, and 
that the present transition must therefore be condemned. 

It must be noted that in this Formal Causality the Causal 
relation is not between what would be generally called two 
different things — things different in content, and on the same 
stratum of reality. Causation of this sort does not come in till 
the next category. At present the Causation is only between 
the Substratum, which is Cause, and the Surface, which is 
Effect, and these have the same content. For the separation 
of the two sides has restored the difference between Surface 
and Substratum. If Ave carry on the spatial metaphor which 
these two terms involve, we may say that Formal Causality is 
vertical, while ordinary Causality is horizontal. 

171. Hegel now continues. " In this identity of Cause and 
Effect the form is transcended, whereby they distinguish them- 
selves as that which is in itself and as that which is posited. 
The Cause expires in its Effect ; thus, equally, the Effect has 
expired, for it is only the determination of the Cause. This 
Causality expired in its Effect is thus an Immediacy, which is 
indifferent towards the relation of Cause and Effect, and has it 
outside itself" {G. L. ii. 226). 

(6) Determiiied Causality. 

(G. L. ii. 226.) " The identity of the Cause with itself in its 
Effect is the transcending of their might and negativity, and so 
is a unity which is indifferent to the differences of form, and 
is the content. — It is therefore only implicitly related to the 
form, in this case the Causality. They are therefore posited as 
separated, and the form as against the content is posited as 


something which is only immediately actual, as contingent 

" Moreover the content as so determined is a content with 
internal differences (ein verschiedener Inhalt an ihm selbst); 
and the Cause is determined according to its content, and 
thereby the Effect also. — The content, since the reflectedness 
is here also immediate Actuality, is so far actual but finite 

" This is now the Causal Relation in its reality and finitude. 
As formal it is the infinite relation of absolute power, whose 
content is pure manifestation or necessity. On the other hand, 
as finite Causality it has a givoi content, and subsides into an 
external difference to that identity which is one and the same 
substance in its determinations " (G. L. 226, 227). 

This is very obscure. But it seems to me that the same 
things which were Cause and Effect in Formal Causality are 
taken as Cause and Effect in the new category. If A is the 
Cause of B by Formal Causality, then, I think, under the new 
category A will still be the Cause of B, though the nature of A 
and B, and their relation to one another, are conceived rather 
differently. The same Identity which connects Cause and 
Effect in Formal Causality connects them in Determined 
Causality. This seems clear, for it is '"' the Identity," " this 
Identity," " the Content " all through, without any suggestion 
of a change in the Identity. And if it is the same Identity, it 
must be the same things which it connects. The Identity 
which links together two things of which one was the Substra- 
tum of the other, could not connect any other two things. 
Moreover, if the Causalit3'-relation related things in the new 
category by other groupings than those of the last category, the 
transition would have to show some negative character — some- 
thing which broke down the one system and so made the 
substitution of the other necessary. Now there is no such 
negative element to be found in the transition, which appears 
to be entirely a direct movement forward, and so leads to the 
conclusion that if A was the Cause of B under the first 
category, it will also be the Cause of B under the second. At 
any rate, Hegel does not give any indication of why the group- 
ing should change, or how any new one should be formed. 


172. But the attempt to regard the things which are 
joined by Formal Causation as also joined by Determined 
Causation is impossible. Hegel appears to ignore the funda- 
mental difference which exists between the two. Determined 
Causation is what is ordinarily known as Causation, with one 
very important difference. Hegel defines it entirely w^ithout 
relation to Time or Change. Thus while the ordinary con- 
ception of Causation is that a change in A produces a change in 
B, Hegel's Determined Causation only says that the nature of 
A determines the nature of jB. It would be as applicable in a 
timeless world as in a world of change. 

This is no doubt a very important difference. But in 
spite of the fact that Determined Causation resembles Formal 
Causation in not involving Time, the points in which Deter- 
mined Causation resembles the ordinary non-Hegelian concep- 
tion of Causation are such as to leave a very fundamental 
difference between Determined and Formal Causation — a 
difference which, as I have said, Hegel does not recognise. 

There are four such points. The first is that, as I said 
above, Formal Causality does not connect what would usually 
be called two things — each containing the elements of Surface 
and Substratum united. It only connects two things one of 
which is the Surface and the other the Substratum of what 
would usually be called the same thing. It would not connect, 
e.g., an axe with a tree, but only the Substance of the axe 
viewed as one thing, with the Accidents of the axe, now 
transformed into another thing — the original Substance being 
Substratum and Cause, and the former Accidents being 
Surface and Effect. As a consequence of this the content of 
Cause and Effect in Formal Causality must be identical, since 
the identity of content between Substance and Accidents is not 
regarded by Hegel as lost when the Accidents gain a Substan- 
tiality of their own. 

The second point of difference is that Determined Causality 
— like ordinary causality — unites the plurality of existence 
into a system. Things which are different are connected by it^ 

^ Hegel, as we shall see, asserts that in Determined Causality Cause and 
Effect are identical, but, as we shall also see, he qualifies this by admitting, 
after all, a certain difference. And he certainly regards the plurality of 
existence as related by Determined Causality. 


But in Formal Causality there is no such union. Each Effect 
has its own Cause — identical with it in content, a mere redupli- 
cation of it on the level of the Substratum. The different 
things are not united with one another. Each is split into two, 
and these two are united by Causality. The other differences 
— those united by Determined Causality — are not united at 
all in Formal Causalit3^ 

The third point of difference is that in Determined 
Causality, as Hegel expressly says, a Cause can be (and, 
indeed, must be) also an Effect. This is impossible with 
Formal Causality, since there all Causes are Substrata, and all 
Effects are Surfaces. Now the same thing cannot be both a 
Substratum and a Surface. 

Fourthly, in ordinary Causation an Effect has a plurality of 
Causes, and a Cause a plurality of Effects. In Determined 
Causation Hegel admits, as we shall see, a plurality of remote 
Causes, though not of immediate Causes. But in Formal 
Causality there can be no plurality, whether of Causes or 
Effects, since the Substratum has only one Surface, and the 
Surface only one Substratum. 

173. Hegel makes one attempt to remove these differences 
in his well-known doctrine of the identity of Cause and Effect, 
even in Determined Causation. He says, after the transition 
to Determined Causation has been made, " Through this identity 
of content this Causality is an analytic proposition. It is the 
same Fact (Sache) which shows itself at one time as Cause, at 
another time as Effect" (G. L. ii. 227). I shall endeavour to 
show that Hegel is wrong in asserting this identity, while, even 
if he had been right, it would by no means have removed the 
differences between Formal and Determined Causation which 
he ignores. 

There is at any rate a presumption against the truth of this 
doctrine. It is against the ordinary usage of language. In 
ordinary empirical propositions about finite things we never 
find ourselves asserting that A is the cause of A, but always 
that A is the cause of B. The Cause and Effect are always 
things which, irrespective of their being Cause and Effect, have 
different names. The presumption is that there must be some 
difference between things to which different names are generally 
given. Let us see how Hegel meets it. 


He gives four examples of the asserted identity of Cause 
and Effect. The first is that rain makes things wet, and that 
the rain and the wetness are the same water. The second is 
that the paint is the cause of the colour of a surface, and that 
it is also the colour of the surface. Again, the cause of a deed 
is the inner sentiment (Gesinnung) of the agent, and these have 
the same content and value. Finally, when the cause of the 
movement of a thing is its contact with another thing, the 
" quantum of movement " which was the Cause has been trans- 
ferred to the thing acted on, and is thus the movement which 
is the Effect (G. L. ii. 227, 228). 

We must notice, in the first place, that Hegel only gives 
part of the Cause. For example, the rain-water, by itself, will 
make nothing wet. Unless the clouds are driven over the house, 
unless the meteorological conditions allow the rain to fall, the- 
roof will not be wet. Nor could the roof be wet if the house 
had never been built. The wind, the air, the builders of the 
house, are all part of the Cause, but they certainly are not 
identical with the wetness of the roof. 

In the second place, rain is not identical with the wetness 
of a roof, in the sense required here. The rain is detached 
drops of water falling through the air, the other may be a 
uniform thin sheet of moisture. They are, from a scientific 
point of view, different forms of the same matter. But the 
form is part of the nature of the thing, and, if two things differ 
in form, they are not identical. 

The other examples show similar defects. And so there 
are two fatal objections to Hegel's position. He only reaches 
it, firstly, by taking only one Cause of each Effect, although 
every Effect has many Causes. And, s^fcondly, he only reaches 
it by assuming that two things are identical if they are formed 
of the same matter, or if they are of the same value, or have a 
quantitative equality, ignoring the other aspects in which they 
differ from one another. 

174. Hegel does, indeed, admit (G. L. ii. 228) that the 
Cause has a content which is not in the Effect, but says that 
this content is a " zufalliges Beiwesen." But, in fact, much of 
the content of the Cause which is not in the Effect is by no 
means contingent and unessential, but is an essential part of 

M'T. 12 


the Cause, without which it would not produce the Effect. 
The roof would not be wet except for the action of the wind 
and the builder. But neither the wind nor the builder is a 
part of the wetness of the roof 

Again, he admits that the identity is only between the 
Effect and its immediate Cause, and not between the Effect 
and its remote Cause (G. L. ii. 228). The reason that he gives 
for this is that the Effect has a plurality of remote Causes. 
But it is also the case that it has a plurality of immediate 
Causes. Indeed, the fact that any Effect has a plurality of 
remote Causes is sufiicient to prove that some Efiect has a 
plurality of immediate Causes. If we go back from any Effect 
along the chain of its Causes, there must be some point in the 
chain where we pass from a single Cause to the admitted 
plurality of remote Causes. In that case the last stage (in this 
backward process) which is a unity wall have the members of 
the first stage which is a plurality as its immediate Causes. 

And there is another difficulty. If A is the Cause of B, 
and B of C, then, according to Hegel, A is identical with B, and 
B with C, but A need not be identical with C. But, unless 
the point in which B is the Effect of J. is a mere zufalliges 
Beiwesen with regard to B's causality of C (and this cannot 
always be the case) it would seem that A must be identical 
with C. For surely things which are identical with the same 
thing must be identical with one another. 

Lastly Hegel has to admit that, with this interpretation of 
Causality, it is impossible to apply Causality to the relations of 
organic and spiritual life {G. L. ii. 229)^ His examples of 
improper applications include the assertions that fever could be 
caused by eating certain foods, and that Caesar's ambition was 
the cause of the destruction of the republican constitution of 
Rome. His meaning must therefore be, not merely that the 
organic and the spiritual cannot enter into causal relations with 
the inorganic and the material respectively, but that they cannot 
enter into causal relations at all. But if this category is not 
applicable to the whole of reality, how can it be derived from 

^ This seems quite inconsistent with his previous assertion that the relation 
between an act and the sentiments of the agent is an example of the identity of 
Cause and Effect. 


earlier categories and lead on to later categories which certainly 
apply to the whole of reality ? (Of course it is not completely 
adequate to the organic and spiritual worlds, but Hegel's mean- 
ing here must be more than this, since no category except the 
Absolute Idea is completely adequate to any reality.) 

Thus we must reject Hegel's theory of the identity of Cause 
and Effect, It is curious that it should have proved one of the 
most popular of his doctrines. It is often maintained by writers 
whose works show little study of the detail of other parts of the 

175. Even if Hegel had proved the identity of Cause and 
Effect in the way in which he asserted it, the identity would 
still be different from the identity in Formal Causality. For, 
as we saw above, Hegel does admit some difference in the 
empirical content of Cause and Effect in Determined Causality, 
though he asserts it to be a " zufalliges Beiwesen." In Formal 
Causality, on the other hand, it is impossible that there should 
be any difference between Cause and Effect, except the fact 
that they are respectively Cause and Effect. In other words, 
as was said before, Formal Causation is a relation between two 
aspects of what would commonly be called the same thing. 
Determined Causality is a relation between what would com- 
monly be called different things. 

Hegel has thus failed to remove even the first of the four 
differences between Formal and Determined Causality, which 
were enumerated above (Section 172). He does not even 
attempt to remove the other three — that Determined Causality 
unites the plurality of the existent, that in it every Cause is 
also an Effect, and every Effect a Cause, and that in it every 
Effect has a plurality of Causes — at any rate of remote Causes. 
None of these features is to be found in Formal Causality. 

As Formal and Determined Causality are so different, a 
valid transition would require a demonstration that, to remove 
some inadequacy in the conception of Formal Causality, it 
would be necessary to alter it in each of the four characteristics 
in which it differs from Determined Causality. And it seems 
clear to me that he has not succeeded in doing this. Nor does 
it seem that he realised how much there was to do. 

We must therefore reject this transition — one of the most 



interesting in the dialectic, since it deals with a problem which 
has been of such cardinal importance to many philosophies. 

176. In the Encyclopaedia the treatment of Causality is 
substantially the same. There is no separate category of 
Formal Causality, but the transition from Substance to Cause 
is clearly through the conception of Substance as Cause and 
Accidents as Effect. {Enc. 153, "Substance is Cause, in so far 
as Substance reflects into self as against its passage into 
Accidentality, and so stands as the primary fact, but again no 
less suspends this reflection-into-self (its bare possibility), lays 
itself down as the negative of itself, and thus produces an Effect, 
an actuality, which, though so far only assumed as a sequence, 
is through the process that effectuates it at the same time 
necessary.") This harmonizes with the fact that the Encyclo- 
paedia, as well as the Greater Logic, maintains the identity of 
Cause and Effect. 

177. Hegel now remarks that, starting from any point, we 
shall get an infinite series of Causes and Effects. If the 
original Effect, as being a finite reality, wants a Cause, then 
the Cause, which is equally a finite reality, wants another 
Cause, which again will require another, and so on without end. 
And the same will be true of the Effects. 

We have an infinite series, then. But does its infinity 
involve a contradiction ? For, as we have seen before, Hegel 
does not regard an infinite series as ipso facto contradictory. I 
do not see that there is a contradiction here. At first sisht, 
no doubt, our present series seems to resemble very closely the 
Infinite Qualitative Series in the Encyclopaedia, which was 
contradictory^ But there is an important difference. There 
the nature of each term was found in its Other, and not in 
itself ^'s nature was only to be found in its other, B. But B 
had no nature, except in its other, C. Thus J.'s nature must 
be looked for in C. For the same reason it could not be found 
there, but in D. And so on unendingly, ^'s nature could be 
found nowhere, which was contradictory to the fact, already 
established, that A had a nature. 

1 The Infinite Qualitative Series in the Greater Logic took a different form,, 
and does not resemble the Causal Series so closely. Cp. above, Sections .32, 
and 35. 


Here it is different, ^'s nature is in itself, not in its Cause, 
B. That it should be what it is is determined by B, but it 
falls in A, And thus, as it seems to me, there is no contra- 
diction in an infinite series of Causes. If there is such a series, 
then A will have an infinite number of relations. It will be 
related to B, and it will also be related to C, which, as the 
immediate Cause of B, will be the remote Cause of A. And it 
will be related in the same way to D, E, and so on infinitely. 
But there is no contradiction in A's standing in an infinite 
number of relations. 

Again, it follows from the existence of such an infinite series 
that no mind working in time could ever completely explain 
anything. For A cannot be explained without reference to the 
nature of its Cause B, which determines it. But this will not 
be a complete explanation unless the nature of B is an ultimate 
fact, neither admitting nor requiring an explanation. If B 
requires explanation — as will be the case here — by its Cause C, 
A will not be explained without a knowledge of C, and so on 
through an infinite series of terms the end of which can never 
be reached by a mind passing through them successively. But 
a state of things is not impossible because it could never be 
completely explained by a mind working in time. 

Thus there is no contradiction in this infinite series. And 
Hegel never says that there is. He calls it a False Infinite 
(Schlecht-Unendliche) but this is the term which he applies to 
all infinites of endless succession (as distinguished from the True 
Infinite of self-determination) whether he regards them as con- 
tradictory or not. And his transition to the next category does 
not depend on any contradiction being found in the infinite 
series, but developes from the nature of Causation in a point 
quite independent of the infinite series. 

178. To this transition we now proceed. That which is 
acted on, Hegel tells us, must also itself act {G. L. ii. 237). In 
the first place, the Effect which is worked on anything is also 
the Effect of that thing ((?. L. ii. 238). A determines the 
Effect X in B. But that A should determine that precise Effect 
is due not only to ^'s nature but also to B'b. The stylus is 
the cause of the impression made on the wax. But when we 
consider what a different effect would have been produced by 


pressing the stylus on a diamond or on water, we see that the 
result produced in the wax is due to its own nature as much as 
to the nature of the stylus. 

What Hegel says is doubtless true, though he might find 
some difficulty in reconciling it with his doctrine of the identity 
of Cause and Effect. For the proof that B is also a Cause of 
the Effect determined in it lies in the fact that A determines a 
different Effect in B to what it would determine in C. Now if 
A produces different Effects in different things, what becomes 
of the identity of Cause and Effect ? A cannot be identical 
with two things of different natures. 

In this way we reach 

(c) Action and Reaction 

(G. L. ii. 235), where the thing in which the Effect is produced 
is recognised as its joint Cause. 

179. From this we proceed to the next category as follows ^ 
There is, Hegel tells us, a second sense in which that which is 
acted on must also act {G. L. ii. 238). Not only does B co- 
operate in determining the Effect x in itself, but B is also the 
Cause of an Effect in A. A'?, exertion of Causality on B is just 
as much a characteristic of A as the result of that exertion, 
namely x, is a characteristic of B. But A cannot determine an 
Effect unless there is something to determine it in, nor can it 
determine the Effect x unless there is B to determine it in, 
for it is only the co-operation of £'s nature which makes the 
Effect to be x rather than anything else. Hence B is the Cause 
in A of the characteristic "^'s co-operation in determining 
x!' (That is to say, B is the external Cause of it. ^'s nature 
will of course co-operate.) Thus we reach 

G. Reciprocity. 

(G. L. ii. 239. Enc. 155.) Here "the Activity (Wirken) 
which in finite Causality ran out into the process of the false 
infinite becomes bent round and an infinite reciprocal Activity 
returning into itself" {G. L. ii. 239). 

^ As Hegel places both the transition from Determined Causality to Action 
and Eeaction, and the transition from Action and Eeaction to Reciprocity, 
within the section headed Action and Reaction, the distinction between the 
two may at first sight be missed, but becomes evident on closer examination. 


The question now arises at what points the line of Causality 
bends round on itself. Hegel's demonstration indicates that 
two things in immediate causal relation to one another may 
by themselves form a unity of reciprocal action. At the 
same time his treatment of this category, and his transition 
from it by means of the idea of complete Necessity, clearly 
indicate that the whole of existence is to be taken as forming a 
single unity of reciprocal activity. 

The" two positions, however, are quite harmonious. If the 
principle of Reciprocity is admitted, we can begin with unities 
as small as we choose but we shall be led on to an all-embracing 
unity. Suppose we take two things only, A and B, as forming 
such a unity. If they are the only things in the universe, then 
the unity is already all-embracing. But, if not, the unity thus 
formed will have other things outside it. Being thus finite, it 
will have to be determined from outside. If we call its Cause 
C, then (A and B) and G will form a larger reciprocal unity, which 
must again be determined from outside, and so on, till we come 
to a unity which embraces the whole of existence. 

This assumes the truth of the principle that, if several 
things are taken together as a unity, a Cause for that unity 
must be found outside it, as if it were a single thing. Hegel 
unquestionably does assume this, for without it he could not 
arrive at the final result of this category — that all things are 
bound in one system of Necessity. But he has not proved it. 
It would be inapplicable in Formal Causality, and must spring, 
if it is to be justified, from the special nature of Determined 
Causality. This nature, we have already seen, Hegel has failed 
to deduce from Formal Causality. 

180. The unity of this reciprocal Activity is called by 
Hegel, as we saw above, by the name of infinite. This does 
not mean that the universe of existents is, in the ordinary 
sense, infinitely large. He speaks here of what he calls the 
True Infinite — the infinite of self-determination. Such a uni- 
verse is infinite because it is determined only by its own nature, 
and not by anything outside it. The absolutely True Infinite 
will only be reached in the Absolute Idea. But the universe 
as connected by Reciprocity is relatively a True Infinite as 
compared with the finitude of a part of the universe or as 


against the false infinite of endless chains of Causes and 

The system of such a universe as a whole is an ultimate 
fact, which neither admits nor requires any explanation. And 
in this consists its infinity, for it is determined by nothing 
outside it. On the other hand each of the particulars in the 
system is determined by others, and there is no particular part 
which does not in this way find an explanation. 

But while the infinity which Hegel ascribes to this system 
is not a "false" infinity of number or magnitude, I do not see 
that it is impossible for it also to possess a " false " infinity. 
(On this point Hegel himself says nothing.) If the universe 
were adequately expressed by the category of Determined 
Causality, it would necessarily possess such a false infinity, 
since beyond each thing there would be a fresh thing which 
was its Cause. With Reciprocity it becomes possible to have a 
complete system of determination with a finite number of 
things, and so the number may be finite. But it would be 
equally possible, I think, to have a complete system of deter- 
mination with an infinite number of things, and so the number 
may be infinite. 

181. We have now reached the last category of Causality 
and of Essence. (The transition into the Notion will be con- 
sidered in the next Chapter.) We have found ourselves able 
to accept very little of the treatment of the subject in the 
Greater Logic. But the results at which we have arrived are 
in closer agreement with the Encyclopaedia. 

Our chief criticisms were two : that the two first subdivi- 
sions (the Absolute, and Actuality in the narrower sense) were 
unjustifiable, and that the treatment of Causality was erroneous. 
Now the first of these does not apply to the Encyclopaedia. 
Hegel there omits all the categories of the Absolute. Nor 
does he introduce into the dialectic chain the conceptions 
which, in the Greater Logic, fall within Actuality in the narrower 
sense. He treats of them, indeed {Enc. 143 — 149), but only 
in a preliminary discussion before he proceeds to consider the 
developement of the categories. The result of these omissions 
is that Substantiality, Causality, and Reciprocity are the three 
immediate subdivisions of Actuality in the larger sense, instead 


of, as in the Greater Logic, subdivisions of its final subdivision. 
Instead of being divisions of the fourth order, they are now 
divisions of the third order. 

Thus the Encyclopaedia escapes one of the two objections 
to the Greater Logic. The introduction of the excursus on 
Possibility, Contingency, and Necessity is quite justifiable, 
so long as they are not treated as categories of the dialectic 
process. For Necessity and Causality, as I pointed out above, 
are really the same conception. And the relation of this 
conception to Possibility and Contingency is well worth con- 
sideration, although that consideration is not required, either 
to reach the conception of Necessity, or to transcend it. 

(The Encyclopaedia, however, with curious inconsistency, 
makes the transition to Substantiality from Necessity. This 
is clearly incompatible with the general line of argument which 
the Encyclopaedia adopts. Since, for it, Possibility, Contin- 
gency and Necessity are not a triad in the chain of categories, 
if Substantiality were deduced from them it would have no 
connexion with the earlier part of the chain, which would 
therefore be hopelessly broken at this point. The category 
immediately before Substantiality, according to the Encyclo- 
paedia, is the category of Inner and Outer. It is, therefore, 
from Inner and Outer that Substantiality must be deduced. 
And, as I pointed out above, this can easily be done.) 

But when we come to our second criticism on the Greater 
Logic, its failure with the category of Cause, we find that the 
Encyclopaedia is in no better position. It has no subdivisions 
of Cause. But the transition from Substance to Causality is 
still through the conception of the Substance as the Cause of 
its Accidents. " Substance is Cause, in so far as Substance 
reflects into self as against its passage into Accidentality, and 
so stands as the primary fact, but again no less suspends this 
reflection into self (its bare possibility), lays itself down as the 
negation of itself, and thus produces an Effect, an Actuality, 
which, though so far assumed only as a sequence, is through 
the process that effectuates it at the same time necessary" 
(Enc. 153). With this he holds himself to have arrived at 
a Causality equivalent to the Determined Causality of the 
Greater Logic. Thus the transition is really the same as in the 


Greater Logic. The only result of the omission of Formal 
Causality as a separate division is to render the argument more 

The Encyclopaedia also maintains the identity of Cause and | 
Effect. " So far again as we can speak of a definite content, 
there is no content in the Effect that is not in the Cause" 
{Enc. 153). 




182. The last of the three main divisions of the dialectic 
is called the Doctrine of the Notion (Begriff). Notion is not, 
perhaps, a very satisfactory translation of Begrifif, but it would 
be difficult to find a better, and it is the translation usually 
adopted. The Doctrine of the Notion is divided into three 
divisions — Subjectivity, Objectivity, and The Idea. (In the 
Encyclopaedia the two first are called the Subjective Notion 
and the Objective Notion.) 

Subjectivity is divided as follows : 

I. The Notion. (Der Begriff.) 

A. The Universal Notion. (Der allgemeine Begriff.) 

B. The Particular Notion. (Der besondere Begriff.) 

C. The Individual. (Das Einzelne.) 

II. The Judgment. (Das Urtheil.) 

A. The Judgment of Inherence. (Das Urtheil des 


(a) The Positive Judgment. (Das positive Urtheil.) 
(6) The Negative Judgment. (Das negative Urtheil.) 
(c) The Infinite Judgment. (Das unendliche Urtheil.) 

B. The Judgment of Subsumption. (Das Urtheil der 


(a) The Singular Judgment. (Das singulare Urtheil.) 
(6) The Particular Judgment. (Das partikulare 


(c) The Universal Judgment. (Das universelle Ur- 

C. The Judgment of Necessity. (Das Urtheil der 


(a) The Categorical Judgment. (Das kategorische 


(b) The Hypothetical Judgment. (Das hypothetische 


(c) The Disjunctive Judgment. (Das disjunktive 


D. The Judgment of the Notion. (Das Urtheil des 


(a) The Assertoric Judgment. (Das assertorische 

(h) The Problematic Judgment. (Das problematische 

(c) The Apodictic Judgment. (Das apodiktische 


III. The Syllogism. (Der Schluss.) 

A. The Qualitative Syllogism. (Der Schluss des 


(a) First Figure. (Erste Figur.) 

(b) Second Figure. (Zweite Figur.) 

(c) Third Figure. (Dritte Figur.) 

(d) Fourth Figure. (Vierte Figur.) 

B. The Syllogism of Reflection. (Der Schluss der 


(a) The Syllogism of Allness. (Der Schluss der 

(6) The Syllogism of Induction. (Der Schluss der 

(c) The Syllogism of Analogy. (Der Schluss der 


C. The Syllogism of Necessity. (Der Schluss der 



(a) The Categorical Syllogism. (Der kategorische 

(h) The Hypothetical Syllogism. (Der hypothetische 

(c) The Disjunctive Syllogism. (Der disjunktive 


The only ambiguity in the nomenclature here is that 
Notion is used both for the primary division of which Sub- 
jectivity is a secondary division, and also for the first tertiary 
division of Subjectivity. Judgment of Inherence and Judgment 
of Subsumption are not, it will be seen, translations of the 
titles given by Hegel, But he suggests Urtheil der Inharenz 
and Urtheil der Subsumption as alternative names (G. L. iii. 94) 
and, as these seem more expressive than the original titles, 
I have thought it better to adopt them. In the same way 
I have called the Schluss des Daseins by the simpler name of 
Qualitative Syllogism, which is also given by Hegel {G. L. 
iii. 133). 

It will be noticed that Judgment and the Qualitative 
Syllogism have each four divisions instead of three, though the 
irregularity in the latter case will prove to be more apparent 
than real. 

183. The names of the categories of Subjectivity suggest 
at first sight that this part of the dialectic deals only with the 
workings of our minds, and not with all reality. This might 
account, it would appear, for the name of Subjectivity, and for 
such names as Judgment and Syllogism among the sub- 

But such a use of Subjectivity would not be Hegelian. For 
Hegel Subjective does not mean mental. It means rather the 
particular, contingent, and capricious, as opposed to the universal, 
necessary, and reasonable ^ 

1 The only case, so far as I know, in which Hegel uses Subjective in any 
other way occurs in the Greater Logic, when he calls the Doctrines of Being and 
Essence by the name of Objective Logic, and the Doctrine of the Notion 
(including Objectivity and the Idea as well as Subjectivity) by the name of 
Subjective Logic. But he says (G. L. i. 51) that this use of Subjective and 
Objective, though usual, is unsatisfactory. 


And when we examine the categories which have the titles 
of Notion, Judgment, and Syllogism, it is evident that, in spite 
of their names, they do not apply only to the states of our 
minds, but to all reality. They follow, by the dialectic process, 
from the categories of Essence, and the categories of Objectivity 
and then the categories of the Idea, in like manner, follow 
from them. They must therefore, if there is to be any validity 
in the process, apply to the same subject as the categories of 
Essence and the Idea, which admittedly apply to all reality. 

Hegel's own language, too, renders it clear that these cate- 
gories are meant to apply to all reality. He says, for example, 
"all things are a categorical judgment " {Enc. 177), and again, 
"everything is a syllogism " {Enc. 181). 

184. We must look, then, for another explanation of the 
terminology. We can find it, I think, in the relation of this 
part of the dialectic to formal logic. Formal logic owes its 
existence to abstraction. When we take its standpoint we 
make abstraction of all but certain qualities of reality. Now 
these qualities, we shall find, are those which are demonstrated 
to be valid in the categories of Subjectivity. 

We find that formal logic assumes that we have the power 
of ascribing general notions as predicates to subjects, and in 
this way arriving at complete truth with regard to these 
subjects. And it also assumes that we are in possession, in 
some way or another, of various general truths of the type All 
A is B, No A is C, Some A is D. 

On the other hand we find that there are other characteristics 
of reality of which formal logic takes no account. It makes no 
distinction between trivial and important propositions. "No 
man is wholly evil" and "No man has green hair" are, for 
formal logic, assertions of exactly the same sort. And, in the 
second place, it only concerns itself with the deduction of one 
proposition from others. It does not enquire into the validity 
of the ultimate propositions from which all deduction must 

Now we shall see that Hegel's Subjectivity begins with the 
conception of universal notions, and that it soon proceeds to 
the further conception of valid general propositions — the two 
assumptions of formal logic. And we shall also see that among 


the defects which Hegel finds in the course of Subjectivity are, 
in the first place, the inability to distinguish between the 
importance of propositions equally true\ and, in the second 
place, the failure to take account of ultimate general proposi- 
tions, while the further failure to take account of ultimate 
particular propositions, though not mentioned by Hegel, must 
be taken into account if we are to justify his transition to 

This will enable us to explain why the divisions of 
Subjectivity drew their names from formal logic. The reason 
is not that these categories apply only to the subject-matter of 
formal logic, but that the procedure of formal logic involves 
the validity of these categories in a way in which it does not 
involve those which come later in the chain. This is, of course, 
the same principle of nomenclature which we have already 
found in so many categories, from Repulsion onwards. 

We can now understand, also, why the whole division is 
called Subjectivity. The reason is that it is contingent, and 
its contingency is the same which we find in formal logic — that 
the principle of classifying which is adopted is entirely in- 
different. For formal logic all universals are of the same 
importance, and it sees no ditference between a classification 
which arranges pictures by their painters, and one which 
arranges them by the size of their frames. 

185. At the end of Essence we had attained to the idea of 
completely necessary determination. The category of Recipro- 
city asserts that everything is so connected with other things 
that the existence and nature of the one is completely dependent 
on the existence and nature of the other, and vice versa. And 
the connexions of this nature, direct or indirect, which belong 
to each thing, extend to everything else in the universe, so that 
the universe forms a connected whole. 

Hegel tells us that in this complete necessity we find 
freedom. " Freedom shows itself as the truth of necessity " 
{G. L. iii. 6. Enc. 158). In examining this apparent paradox, 
we must remember that for Hegel freedom never means the 
power to act without motives, or with an unmotived choice of 

1 Cp. his attempt to demoustrate that particular sorts of predicates are 
appropriate to particular forms of Judgment. 


motives. For him freedom always means absence of external 
restraint. That is free which is what its own nature prompts 
it to be, however inevitable may be its possession of that nature 
and its action in accordance with it. 

If we say, then, that a thing is deficient in freedom, we 
must mean that, while its inner nature, if unthwarted, would 
lead it to be ABC, it is compelled by external influences to be 
ABD instead. Now this appeared possible in the categories 
of Essence. For there we conceived everything as having an 
inner nature, which was connected, indeed, with its external 
relations, but was not identical with them, which could be 
either in or out of harmony with them, and, in the latter case, 
would be constrained. But when we reach Reciprocity we 
have transcended this view. The thing has no nature at all, 
except in so far as it is determined by other things, and in its 
turn determines them. What is thus determined is its inner 
nature. And thus it reaches freedom. Since it has no inner 
nature except the results of this external determination, it is 
clear that its external determinations can never make it do 
anything against its inner nature. This is, indeed, only a 
negative freedom. But any more positive freedom requires 
higher categories. In necessity w^e have gained all the freedom 
which is possible at this stage. 

This point is so important that, to prevent ambiguity, it 
may be well to anticipate some considerations w^hich belong 
more properly to the Idea. In self-conscious beings, we can 
distinguish between free and constrained states, even when we 
recognise that both states are determined in the same way — as 
an inner state determined from outside. A man feels himself 
free if he can do what he wants, and feels himself constrained 
if he cannot. And yet his desire and its gratification are as 
completely determined in the one case as his desire and its 
disappointment are in the other. 

This, however, does not contradict our previous result. For 
an act of volition in a conscious being is not only an occurrence, 
but an occurrence with a meaning — a characteristic which belongs 
to no occurrences except mental acts. And while the occurrence 
of the volition, like any other act, must be in complete harmony 
with the rest of the universe, its meaning may not be in such a 


harmony. If a man in the Arctic Circle desires to see a palm- 
tree, the occurrence of that desire in him will be in perfect 
harmony with the rest of the universe, for it will be connected 
with it by reciprocal causation. But the meaning of the act 
will not be in harmony with the universe. The same nature of 
the universe which determines his desire for a palm-tree will 
determine the absence of palm-trees, and so there will, in this 
sense, be want of harmony between the desire and the universe. 
Hence there will arise constraint and absence of freedom. 

This conflict will require a deeper reconciliation than that 
which proved effectual in Reciprocity. For here there is some- 
thing inner which, however it has arisen, deals with the world 
around it as an independent power. The reconciliation could 
only take place by a demonstration that the two independent 
powers do in fact harmonize with one another. 

The freedom which is attained by the establishment of 
complete necessity is only a negative and imperfect freedom, 
but it is all that can be attained at the point of the dialectic 
where it is introduced. It is also all that is required, since it 
removes all the constraint which is, at this point, possible. 

186. The first division {G. L. iii. 35. Enc. 163) is 

I. The Notion. 

A. Tlie Universal Notion. 

(G. L. iii. 36. Enc. 163.) The deduction of this category 
from the last is found at the end of Essence (G. L. ii. 242) and 
is as follows : " The absolute Substance as absolute Form 
separates itself from itself, and consequently no longer repels 
itself from itself as Necessity, nor falls as Contingency 
into Substances indifferent and external to each other, but 
separates itself On the one hand it separates itself into the 
totality, previously the passive Substance, which is original as 
the reflection into self out of determinateness (Bestimmtheit), 
as the simple whole which contains its positing in itself, and is 
posited as therein identical with itself — the Universal. On the 
other hand it separates itself into the totality, previously the 
causal Substance, which in its reflection out of its deter- 
minateness in itself is negatively determined, and so, as the 


determinateness which is identical with itself, is likewise the 
whole, but is posited as the negativity which is identical with 
itself — the Individual." 

I must confess myself unable to follow this. Why is Deter- 
minateness more negative in the Cause than in the Effect ? 
The one is as definite as the other, and would therefore, it 
should seem, have the same element of negativity. And why 
is the Effect more a simple whole than the Cause ? And 
how^ could it be so, if the relations of Cause and Effect are 
reciprocal ? 

And, again, how does this deduction give us the Universal 
and the Individual which Hegel jDroceeds to use? The Universal 
has to be common to many Individuals, while the Individual 
has to be determined by many Universals. I cannot see how a 
passive aspect of Substance can be common to several active 
aspects, or how one active aspect can be determined by several 
passive aspects. 

187. But, even if we cannot accept Hegel's own deduction, 
it is not, I think, difficult to see why Subjectivity, and the 
Universal Notion in particular, should succeed Reciprocity. 

The Universal Notion is, as we shall see, a common quality 
to be found in two or more things, which are united by their 
participation in it. Things, again, are united by the reciprocal 
determinations which have been established by the category of 
Reciprocity. But these are clearl}' not the Universal Notions 
for which we seek. The relation of things which are connected 
by the same Notion is not a relation of reciprocal causation, but 
a relation of similarity. 

Nevertheless, we know that these things, w^hose nature is 
determined by reciprocal causation, are determined by that 
causation to similarity with one another. For it w^as shown in 
the category of Variety that everything is both like and unlike 
every other thing. From Variety to Reciprocity there are 
many categories, but in none of them is this particular conclu- 
sion transcended. And at the present stage in the dialectic we 
have the result that the various qualities in the reciprocally 
determined things must be such that no thing is entirely like or 
entirely unlike any other thing. 

Things, then, are doubly connected — by similarity and by 


reciprocal causation. And it is obvious that a thing may be, 
and generally is, connected by the one tie to things very 
different from those to which it is connected by the other. 
A sparrow in England resembles very closely a sparrow in New 
Zealand, though the influence exerted by one on the other 
may be as slight as can possibly exist between any two beings 
on the same planet. On the other hand, the English sparrow's 
state is largely determined by his relations — i^ositive and 
negative — to worms and to cats, although their resemblance to 
him is not great. 

Both these connexions have to be worked out further. 
And this the dialectic proceeds to do. It first takes up the 
relation of similarity, and works it out through the course of 
Subjectivity. Then in Objectivity it proceeds to work out the 
relation of determination — not going back arbitrarily to pick it 
up, but led on to it again by dialectical necessity, since 
Subjectivity, when fully worked out, shows itself to have a 
defect which can only be remedied by the further development 
of the relation of determination. Finally, the two are united 
in the Idea as a Synthesis. 

188. This, as we have seen, is not the way in which Hegel 
makes the transition. But it seems to me that in this way it 
is valid, and I can see no valid alternative. It might be 
objected that such a transition would destroy the continuity of 
the dialectic. The dialectic, for Hegel, is unquestionably 
continuous. Each result must come from the one before it. 
And here, it might be thought, we have dropped the result 
gained in Reciprocity, put it aside till we shall have come to 
Objectivity, and, in order to get started in Subjectivity, gone 
back to a result which had been gained toward the beginning of 
the Doctrine of Essence. 

This, however, would be a mistake. For if, in one sense, we 
now start with the conception gained in Variety, that idea has 
been transformed, or we could not use it here. And it can only 
be transformed by the application of the conception of complete 
determination, which came for the first time with the category 
of Reciprocity. Thus both accusations of want of continuity 
are answered. We have not gone back to take up a long past 
result, but are taking it the moment it has been transformed to 



suit our present purpose. We have not dropped the result last 
attained, since it is only through this that the transformation 
has come about. 

Before this point we could not have taken the like and 
unlike qualities as Notions, because those qualities did not — 
as the Notions do — express the whole nature of the thing. 
The thing had these qualities, and they might be said to form 
part of its nature, but there was also an inner core of Nature, 
affected by these connexions with the outside, but not com- 
pletely expressed by them. This is the characteristic position 
of Essence. 

But when, at the end of Essence, we come to Reciprocity, 
this is changed. We saw there that a thing has no inner 
nature distinct from its outer nature, but that the two are 
identical. Thus the whole nature of the thing consists of the 
qualities in which consist its likeness and unlikeness to every- 
thing else. And thus the transition from Reciprocity is the 
natural and proper transition to the Universal Notion, since it 
is Reciprocity which first enables us to regard the like and 
unlike qualities as Notions. 

The transition may then be summed up as follows — the 
whole nature of everything consists in its qualities, which are 
determined by the relations of reciprocal causality which exist 
between it and every thing else. And, as every thing has some 
qualities in common with every other thing, the nature of any 
thing may always be expressed in part by pointing out some 
common quality which it shares with something else. These 
common qualities are Universal Notions. 

189. It is, however, evident that this is only one side of 
the truth. If we found that every thing must have some 
quality in common with every other thing, we also found that 
no two things could have exactly the same qualities. And so, 
if we express in part the nature of A and B by pointing out 
that they have the common quality X, we are able to assert 
that it must also be the case that A possesses some quality F, 
not shared by B, and that B possesses some quality Z, not 
shared by A. These qualities which distinguish the two things, 
united in their possession of X, are what Hegel calls Particular 


B. The Particular Notion. 

(G. L. iii. 42. Enc. 163.) We see from this that a Notion 
can be used both as Universal and as Particular. The quality F 
may be shared by A with other things, and could then be made 
a Universal, with X as a Particular under it. For example, if 
we decide to classify a gallery of pictures by their painters, we 
may bring two pictures together as both painted by Raphael. 
They may be distinguished from one another by having, one a 
good frame and the other a bad frame. Here " painted by 
Raphael " is the Universal, while " having a good frame " and 
"having a bad frame" are the Particulars. But it would be 
possible, from caprice or when deciding on repairs of frames, 
to make the condition of the frames the primary principle of 
classification. The first Raphael might then be separated from 
its companion and classed with a Velasquez. Here the Universal 
would be " having a good frame," and the Particulars would be 
" painted by Raphael " and " painted by Velasquez." 

This brings out the contingency which earns for this part 
of the dialectic the name of Subjectivity. According to this 
category, all of the innumerable classifications possible are 
equally good. Any two things can be brought into the 
same class, for no two things are destitute of some common 
quality. Any two things can be separated, for no two things 
are without some difference in their qualities. There is no 
distinction made here between a classification based on deep 
and fundamental similarities, and one based on similarities 
merely trivial. One similarity is as good as another. 

190. At the same time it must be noticed that, while many 
Notions can be used either as Universals or as Particulars, yet 
some can be used only as Universals and some, perhaps, only 
as Particulars. A Universal is a Notion which unites existent 
things, a Particular is a Notion which divides existent things. 
Any Notion therefore which is true of all existent things can be 
used as a Universal, and not as a Particular, since all things 
are united by their possession of it, and nothing is discriminated, 
by its possession of it, from anything else. And it is clear that 
there is at least one Notion which is true of all existent things, 
namely the Notion of Existence. 


Again, while all Notions, being general, are applicable, so 
far as their own meaning goes, to more things than one, yet it 
might be the case that some Notion applied only to one existent 
thing in the universe. Suppose, for example, the universe were 
such that one being in it, and only one in its whole duration, 
were yellow. Then the quality of being yellow would be a 
Particular Notion, but not a Universal. It could be used to 
discriminate that thing from other existent beings, but not to 
unite it with any other existent being. 

Hegel does not mention — perhaps he did not realise — this 
three-fold division of Notions which could only be Universal, 
Notions which could only be Particular, and Notions which 
could be either. But there is nothing in his language incon- 
sistent with it, nor is the point essential to the dialectic 

191. For there is no Notion which is neither Universal 
nor Particular, and so, by a combination of Universal and 
Particular Notions, we can get all the Notions which are 
applicable to any thing, and so express its whole nature. 
And thus we reach 

G. The Individual. 

(G. L. iii. 60. Enc. 1G4.) It must be noted that, while the 
last two categories are the Universal and Particular Notions, 
this is not the Individual Notion, but the Individual. In the 
Thesis the conception was that the nature of each thino- was 
partially expressed by the Notions which joined it to others. 
In the Antithesis the conception was that the nature of each 
thing was partially expressed by the Notions which separated 
it from others. Here in the Synthesis the conception is 
that by combining both classes of Notions the nature of the 
thing is completely determined. From this point onward the 
thing is called an Individual. 

192. We now pass to 

II. The Judgment 

{G. L. iii. Qb. Enc. 166), and, in the first place {G. L. iii. 75. 
Enc. 172) to 


A. The Judgment of Inherence, 
(a) The Positive Judgment. 

(G. L. iii. 76. Enc. 172.) The reality of an Individual, we 
have seen, was expressible only by a combination of Notions. 
It must therefore be possible to assert some relation between 
the Individual and each of these Notions. And this is what is 
asserted in Judgment. The question which was implicit in the 
categories of the Notion — how an Individual and a Notion can 
be connected with each other — becomes explicit in the categories 
of Judgment. 

This problem, to begin with, takes the form that, starting 
from the Individual, we endeavour to adjust a Notion to it. 
This is the Judgment of Inherence, as distinguished from the 
Judgment of Subsumption, in which we start with the Notion 
and endeavour to connect the Individual with it. The Judgment 
of Inherence comes first, because, in the preceding categories, 
the problem was to determine the Individual. And so we start 
here with the Individual as the datum, to which the Notion 
has to be related. The only relation hitherto considered between 
an Individual and a Notion has been an affirmative one, and so 
we start with a Positive Judgment of Inherence. 

Hegel expresses this Judgment as " the Individual is the 
Universal" {G. L. iii. 77). If Universal were used here in the 
same sense as in the categories of the Notion, this would be an 
inadequate way of expressing the category. For a Notion which 
can only be Particular is true of an Individual as much as any 
other Notion, And with respect to one of those Notions which 
can be either Universal or Particular, there is no reason to call 
it one rather than the other unless we know whether it is being 
used to unite or disunite this particular Individual from others. 
And to determine this, we should have to determine what other 
Individuals are being considered. Now in the Judgment which 
we have at present reached, only one Individual is under con- 

But the fact is that in the course of the Doctrine of the 
Notion the term Universal is used in very different senses. 
This is a defect in nomenclature, but one which need not lead 
to any error on the part of a careful student, as the changes 


made, and' the points at which Hegel makes them, are quite 
definite. Throughout the categories of the Judgment, Uni- 
versal means any general idea which is true of an existent 

Hegel takes as an example of this category " the rose is red," 
and not merely " this is red." This is quite legitimate, if we 
use the example to remind ourselves that the Individual, which 
is the subject of the Universal which we are considering, is also 
the subject of many other Universals — in this case organic, 
vegetable, and so forth. For we have seen that each Individual 
must have more than one Universal (in the new sense of 
Universal introduced in Judgment). But we must not, when 
enquiring how the Universal can be connected with the 
Individual, assume that the Individual is already determined 
by other Universals, since that would beg the question at 
issue — the nature and possibility of the connexion between 
a Universal and an Individual. 

193. How does this category break down, and compel us 
to continue the dialectic process ? Hegel says (G. L. iii, 81. 
Enc. 172) that all statements of the form I is U are necessarily 
false. If, for example, we say of a rose " this is red " there is 
a double falsity. Red is not identical with the rose at which 
we point, for, in the first place, there are many red things in 
the world besides this rose^ And, in the second place, it is 
not identical with it, because every Individual has more than one 
quality. The rose will be organic, vegetable, etc., as well as red. 

It seems at first sight as if this was a mere quibble. " Of 
course," it might be answered, " no one supposed that the is here 
was to be taken in the sense of absolute equivalence, as when 
we say the sum of three and two is five. A change of language 
will remove the difficulty. Say that the subject has the quality 
of being red, and the criticism ceases to have any force." But 
Hegel's objection, though I cannot regard it as valid, goes 
deeper than this. 

Hegel's reply would, I conceive, have been as follows. We 
cannot say that the Individual has the Universal. In the 

^ If the Universal was one of those predicates which belong only to a single 
existent Individual, this would not apply. But even then the Universal would 
not be identical with the Individual, though it would denote nothing else. 


Doctrine of Essence, indeed, we were able to say that the Thing 
had its Properties. But a difficulty has arisen since then. 
Before anything can be said to have something else, it must 
itself be real. If it is not real, it cannot possess anything. 
And so, if we are to say that the Individual has the Universal, 
we must previously assign to the Individual some nature other 
than that Universal. Now in the case of a Thing and its 
Properties, this was possible. For the Thing was conceived as 
a Substratum, of which the Properties were the Surface, but 
which had a nature in some way distinguished from them. 
But this distinction has disappeared in the Notion. Our 
Individual is completely expressed by its Universals. It has 
nothing else in it. Where, then, can we find a nature for the 
Individual which has the Universal ? 

Each Individual, of course, has many Universals. But it is 
not possible to determine the nature of the Individual which is 
asserted to have one Universal, by means of the others which 
are true of it. For the difficulty would recur. The Individual 
is not identical with these Universals any more than with the 
first. We should be compelled to say that it had them. And 
so the difficulty would arise once more. 

194. I do not think, however, that Hegel's argument can 
be finally sustained. It is true, no doubt, that the Individual 
has no nature except what can be expressed by Universals. 
And this would be fatal if it were necessary that a thing, which 
was related to its qualities as possessing them, should have a 
nature logically prior to those qualities. But I do not see that 
this is so. It was doubtless the position in the Doctrine of 
Essence, but by this time Hegel regards it as transcended. 
The nature of a thing is to be sought in its connexions with 
other things — by Universals or by causal relations — and not in 
some inner core of reality distinguished from them. This is 
certainly Hegel's general position with regard to the difference 
between Essence and the Notion, and he has therefore no right 
to fall back, in a category of the Notion, on the transcended 
conceptions of Essence, in order to demonstrate a contradiction. 

Thus I see no contradiction in " the rose is red." We can 
state it, to avoid the ambiguity of " is," in the form " the rose 
has redness." If we ask what it is which has this redness, no 


contradiction arises. Let us take redness, sweetness, and value 
as standing for the whole infinite number of Universals which 
are true of any particular rose. Then, if it is asked, " what is 
the nature of this which has redness, sweetness, and value?" the 
answer is " its nature is to have redness, sweetness, and value." 
This involves no vicious circle. It does involve the rejection 
of the principle that a thing must be logically prior to its 
qualities. But this principle is not true, and is recognised by 
Hegel not to be true. He has therefore no ground, that I can 
see, for rejecting this solution. 

195. He does, however, reject it, and passes on. The 
Positive Judgment, he holds, has broken down because the 
Individual and the Universal could not be made to coincide. 
Now in a Negative Judgment the assertion is precisely that 
they do not coincide. We thus reach 

(h) The Negative Judgment. 

(G. L. iii. 82. E)ic. 172.) Since the Negative Judgment 
is introduced in order to avoid the contradiction which Hegel 
finds in the Positive Judgment, it is clear that the Negative 
Judgment will have to replace the Positive Judgment altogether. 
We must have Negative Judgments, then, which do not involve 
any Positive Judgments. 

Hegel now points out (G. L. iii. 87. Enc. 173) that if we 
take a rose which is not red, it will nevertheless have some 
colour, and so will fall within the wider class of coloured objects. 
And thus we get the Positive Judgment that it is coloured. 
Can we ever get a Negative Judgment without such a Positive 
Judgment ? Only, he says, if we can deny of the Individual A 
a Universal Z, such that no common Universal would be true 
both of A and of all those Individuals of whom Z would be true. 
If we could find a predicate so far removed from A as this, the 
negative relation between it and A would form what Hegel 
calls an Infinite Judgment, to which we now pass. 

(c) The Infinite Judgment 

196. {G. L. iii. 89. Enc. 173.) He now tells us that, 
besides this Infinite Judgment, which he also calls the Negative- 


Infinite Judgment, there is also a Positive-Infinite Judgment, 
the Judgment of Identity. This takes either the form " the 
Individual is the Individual " or else the form " the Universal 
is the Universal " {G. L. iii. 90). 

It is quite true, of course, that if all Universals are denied 
of Individuals, we shall still be able to assert these barren 
tautologies, and they will be the only positive assertions which 
we shall be able to make. But Hegel's treatment of these 
identities as if they were a subdivision of the Infinite Judgment 
is misleading. The true Infiuite Judgment — the Negative- 
Infinite — denies the Universal of the Individual, and is in its 
proper place in the chain of attempts to determine the relation 
of the Individual to the Universal which runs right through 
the Judgments of Inherence and Subsumption. The affirma- 
tions that the Individual is the Individual, and the Universal 
is the Universal, have no place in this chain. They are true 
here, as they are true at every point after Individual and 
Universal have been once introduced. But they do not form 
a category at this point. The attempt to explain the nature of 
existent reality by the affirmation that anything is itself belongs 
to the category of Identity at the beginning of Essence. 

Hegel appears to have intended to express the same view 
in the Encyclopaedia on this point as he had already expressed 
in the Greater Logic (Enc. 173). But he makes the whole 
argument unintelligible by making the Positive-Infinite Judg- 
ment (there called simply Identical) precede the Negative- 
Infinite Judgment (there called simply Infinite). By doing 
this he throws the transition from Negative Judgment into 
obscurity which can only be cleared up by comparison with the 
Greater Logic. This obscurity is increased by the extreme con- 
densation which prevails in the whole treatment of Subjectivity 
in the Encyclopaedia. 

197. Hegel's transition from Infinite Judgment is as 
follows. He takes as examples of Infinite Judgments, " the 
rose is not an elephant," " the understanding is not a table," 
and he says that, although correct or true (richtig oder wahr) 
they are nonsensical and trivial (widersinnig und abgeschmackt) 
{G. L. iii. 90. Enc. 173). And it certainly is true that such 
Judgments are seldom, if ever, worth the trouble of asserting 


A Negative Judgment is interesting in proportion as the 
Individual of whom the Universal is denied, resembles those 
Individuals of whom it could be affirmed. Thus "the elephant 
is not carnivorous " is a more interesting and important pro- 
position than " the oak is not carnivorous," while this, again, is 
better worth asserting than the equally correct proposition "the 
binomial theorem is not carnivorous." 

But this would not be sufficient for Hegel's purpose. For 
to pass from Infinite Judgment to the Judgment of Sub- 
sumption it would be necessary to show that there is some 
contradiction in Infinite Judgment. And this is not done by 
showing that the propositions which, from the point of view of 
Infinite Judgment, would describe the universe, are trivial and 
unimportant. It would be necessary to show that they would 
be, taken by themselves, contradictory, whereas Hegel admits 
them to be correct and true. 

The fact is that Hegel does not do justice to his own 
position. The examples he gives are not contradictory, but 
then they are not Infinite Judgments. " The understanding is 
not a table" is not an Infinite Judgment. For an understanding 
has certain Universals in common with tables. Tables and 
understandings, for example, are both substances and both 
existent. A real Infinite Judgment is impossible. In an 
Infinite Judgment the Subject, of which the Predicate is 
denied, must have no Universal in common with the Individuals 
of whom the Predicate could be affirmed. This is clearly im- 
possible, if all Individuals have any Universal common to all 
of them. And all Individuals have, at any rate, the common 
Universal of Individuality. There cannot, therefore, be any 
Judgment which is really Infinite. 

It seems to me that Hegel was mistaken in making Infinite 
Judgment a separate category, and in making it the Synthesis 
in the triad of Judgment of Inherence. For an Infinite Judg- 
ment is only a Negative Judgment which can be true without 
any Positive Judgment being true. If "A is not Z" is not 
Infinite, then A has some Universal Y in common with the 
Individuals which are Z, and this would be the basis of a 
Positive Judgment. Now the transition from Positive to 
Negative Judgments involved that no Positive Judgments are 


true, and thus in reaching the category of Negative Judgment 
we had akeady reached the position of Infinite Judgment which 
should not, therefore, be a separate category. 

Moreover, Infinite Judgment does not form a proper Syn- 
thesis for the triad of Judgment of Inherence. As a Synthesis 
it ought to transcend the opposition between Positive and 
Negative Judgments, while in fact it merely developes it\ 

198. It would be easy, however, to recast the divisions, so 
as to avoid this defect, without departing from the main line of 
Hegel's argument. The category of Negative Judgment breaks 
down because it requires that only Negative Judgments should 
be true of Individuals, which is impossible, since at any rate 
the Positive Judgment, " this is an Individual," is true of every 
Individual. Then the argument by which Hegel passes to 
Judgment of Subsumption from Infinite Judgment would take 
us from Negative Judgment to a Synthesis which contains the 
principle of Subsumption, and which, by the usual "collapse 
into immediacy" will take us to the Singular Judgment, the 
first subdivision of Subsumption. 

That argument is as follows (G. L. iii. 93). In the Judg- 
ment of Inherence "its movement showed itself in the predicate"" 
while the subject was what was regarded as fundamental. 
But in the Judgment of Subsumption the fundamental element 
is the predicate "by which the subject is to be measured, and 
in correspondence to which the subject is to be determined." 

Both Positive and Negative Judgments of Inherence — this 
appears to be the line of Hegel's thought — have broken down. 
The difficulty has arisen from the inevitable incompatibility of 
the subject and the predicate in the Judgment of Inherence. 
How can this be changed? So far we have started Avith the 
subject and endeavoured to fit the predicate to it. And we 
have failed. There remains the alternative of starting with the 
predicate, and endeavouring to fit the subject to it. Instead, 
that is, of asking what Universal is true of a given Individual,, 
we shall ask of what Individuals a given Universal is true. 
The last triad was called Judgment of Inherence because the 
question was what Universals belonged to, or inhered in, an 

1 This point is partially obscured by Hegel's treatment of Identical Judgment,, 
■which suggests that it is a subdivision of Infinite Judgment. 


Individual. Here the question is what Individuals are brought 
under a Universal, and our new triad is called 

B. The Judgment of Subsumption. 

{G.L. iii. 91. Enc. 174.) This introduces, for the first time, 
the possibility of a distinction of Quantity in Judgment. When 
we started with the Individual, all Judgments applied to one 
Individual only. But the answer to our present question may 
be either that the Universal applies to one Individual, or to 
several. And these several can either be some of those who 
possess a second Universal, or all of those who possess it. Our 
Judgment may be " this is Z" or " some Y are Z," or " all Y 
are Z." It can be either Singular, Particular, or Universal. 

199. Hegel gives another characteristic of this triad, which 
apparently forms the ground for its other title of Judgment of 
Keflection. " If examples are to be given of the predicates of 
Judgments of Reflection, they must be of a different kind 
than those of the Judgments of Determinate Being^ In the 
Judgment of Reflection is given for the first time a really 
determined content, that is, a content at all.... In the Judgment 
of Determinate Being the content is only something immediate, 
abstract, undetermined. Thus the following can serve as 
examples of Judgments of Reflection : man is mortal, things 
are perishable, this thing is useful or hurtful. Hardness and 
elasticity of bodies, happiness, etc., are characteristic predicates 
of this sort. They express an essentiality, which however is a 
determination by means of Relations, or a unifying (zusammen- 
fassende) Universality" {G. L. iii. 92. Enc. 174). 

The point apparently is that a predicate must now assert 
some relation of the subject with another subject. But all the 
examples are not happily chosen. Useful and elastic, indeed, 
assert a relation, but perishable and happy do not seem to 
assert a relation any more than red does, which is taken by 
Hegel as an example of a Judgment of Determined Being. 

I do not think Hegel is justified in ascribing this second 
characteristic to the new triad. He has now made it differ 
from the former in two respects, (a) the predicates must express 

^ It will be remembered that Judgments of Inherence are also called Judgments 
of Determinate Being. 


relations, (b) the predicate, and not the subject, is the datum 
from which we start. If the new category is to have both 
these characteristics, he is bound to show that they are some- 
how connected, so that we are forced, if we modify our previous 
conception in one respect; to modify it also in the other. So 
far as I can see, he does not make any attempt to do this. 
And it seems difficult to conceive how it could be done. What 
is there in the fact that a predicate expresses a relation, that 
should involve the fact that the predicate, rather than the 
subject, should be taken as the datum ? Or what is there in the 
fact that the predicate, rather than the subject, should be 
taken as the datum, which should involve the fact that the 
predicate taken should be one which expresses a relation ? 

If the changes, then, are separate and unconnected, which 
of them is really the characteristic idea of the new triad ? 
It seems clear that it is Subsumption, and not Relational 
Predicates which must be taken as the meaning of the new 
stage, if the argument is to be considered valid. For we saw 
above that the change to Subsumption was a real attempt 
to remove the difficulty which Hegel found in Judgments of 
Inherence — the impossibility of finding a predicate which 
should coincide with the subject. Now a change to Relational 
Predicates does nothing to remove this difficulty. If there 
really were, as Hegel believed, a contradiction in " this rose is 
red," owing to the want of coincidence between the subject and 
the predicate, there would be just the same contradiction in 
" this rose is useful." 

Again, it is clearly essential to the new triad that the 
distinction of Quantity should be introduced. The subdivisions 
of the triad turn entirely on Quantity, and without it we 
should not reach the Universal Judgment, which is vital for the 
rest of the argument of the dialectic. Now, as we have seen, 
the change to Subsumption does involve the introduction of 
Quantity into Judgments. But the change to Relational 
Predicates would not. If we continued to take the subject as 
the datum for starting, there would be no more reason to make 
distinctions of Quantity in predicating utility than in predi- 
cating redness. 

For these reasons I think that we must regard Hegel as 


having illegitimately added the change to Relational Predi- 
cates, when he ought to have confined himself to the change to 

(a) The Singular Judgment. 

200. {G. L. iii. 94. Enc. 175.) All Judgments of Inherence 
are, as we have said, Singular in form. The Judgment of Sub- 
sumption, which is derived from the Judgment of Inherence, 
will consequently start as a Singular Judgment. Its outer 
form, therefore, will be exactly the same as in a Positive 
Judgment of Inherence — for example, " this is red " or " this is 
useful." But the difference is that, in the former triad, the 
singularity of the Judgment was an essential part of its nature 
as a Judgment of Inherence. Here, on the other hand, it is 
merely the form with which we start, which can be modified if 
it is found not to be suitable. 

201. This Hegel considers he has already shown, in his 
criticism of the Positive Judgment. We must pass on to 

(6) Tlie Particular Judgment. 

(G. L. iii. 94. Enc. 175.) The example Hegel gives of this 
is " some men are happy." It will be noticed that the change 
is more than a mere increase in the number of Individuals. 
Our Singular Judgment had only one Universal — the Universal 
in the predicate. For, as we saw above (Section 192), although, 
even in Judgments of Inherence, we may speak of " this rose " 
and not simply " this," it is only to remind us that the Individual 
is, in point of fact, a concrete Individual with many qualities. 
We did not make our assertion of redness in any way dependent 
on the Individual being a rose. It would have been as good 
an example of the category if we had only said " this is red." 
Here, however, it is the nature of our Judgment to have a 
Universal in the subject as well as in the predicate. The 
subject is defined in relation to this Universal. It is "some 

It is necessary that the Particular Judgment should take 
this form, if it is to remove the difficulty which Hegel finds in 
the Singular Judgment. For if we merely took a plurality of 
separate Individuals, instead of a single Individual, we should 


leave the difficulty untouched. It would occur about each 
Individual separately, and the only change would be that it 
would be repeated many times over. It is not transcended till 
we have grouped the Individuals under another Universal, and 
so made the Judgment the expression of the relation between 
two Universals. 

The statement "some X is F" is, however, ambiguous. 
It may mean " some, but not all, X is F," or it may leave it 
doubtful whether there is any X which is not F. Hegel takes 
it here in the former sense. " In the judgment 'some men are 
happy ' is implied the immediate consequence ' some men are 
not happy'" {G. L. iii. 95). In this, however, he seems to me 
to be wrong. He has no right to put any more into this new 
category than is required to avoid the inadequacy of the 
previous category. Now all that is required for that purpose is 
that the Individuals in the subject should be united by all 
being A''. It would not be at all helped by the existence of 
other X's which were not F. 

If we take the Particular Judgment in the second sense — 
as leaving it doubtful if any X is not F — then, apart from the 
necessity of transcending the inadequacy of Singular Judg- 
ments, we can see that, if Individuals have Universals at all, 
Particular Judgments must be true. For the relation of any 
number of Individuals, A, B, G, etc., to the Universal Z, which 
they all possess, can be expressed in a Particular Judgment, 
" some F is Z," if any other Universal F can be found which 
also belongs to A, B, and G. And, whatever A, B, G, etc., are, 
this is always the case. If there are at least two Universals 
which are common to all Individuals, any two Individuals 
which have one common Universal must also have another 
common Universal. And the Universals of existence and 
individuality — not to mention any others — are common to all 
Individuals. So, when we have predicated a Universal of two 
or more Individuals, however dissimilar in other respects those 
Individuals may be, we know that some other Universal may 
always be found, which they have in common, and can express 
the fact in the form of a Particular Judgment. 

Of course, the higher we have to go for the Universal in the 
subject, the less information we get. "Some judges are 

M«T. 14 


corrupt" gives us more information than "some functionaries 
are corrupt," and the latter again gives us more information 
than " some men are corrupt." But though the importance of 
the proposition which we can obtain will vary, some proposition 
of this form will always be true. 

202. But while Particular Judgments are true, the category 
of Particular Judgments developes a contradiction. By taking 
it as a category we undertake to express the nature of the 
existent by it. And this cannot be done. For if a Particular 
Judgment is true, then something else must be true which is 
not expressed in the Particular Judgment. The Particular 
Judgment says of a certain class that some of its members have 
a certain Universal. This leaves it possible that some have not 
got it\ Thus of every member of the class we assert that it 
may or may not have it. But this is not the whole truth. 
For the truth about certain members of the class is that they 
do have it. And the truth about certain members of the class 
may be that they do not have it. Thus assertions of actual 
possession or non-possession must be true about each member, 
while all that the Particular Judgment gives us about each 
member is an assertion of possible possession. 

Now we cannot take them one by one, and, pointing to each 
in turn, say that A has it, B has it not, and so on. For then 
we should have got back to predicating Universals directly of 
Individuals, and this has already been decided to be in- 
admissible. Since the Individuals of the subject, then, are not 
to be taken individually, they must be united by a Universal — 
there is no other way. And it will not be sufficient to unite 
them by a Universal which covers other Individuals besides 
them, since this will give only a Particular Judgment. There 
is only one course left. We must group our Individuals by 
means of a Subject-Universal which just covers them, so that 
we can say that wherever the Subject- Universal is found the 
Predicate-Universal will be found too. In other words, we 
must be able to make general propositions, and say " all X are 
Z," It is not necessary, indeed, that all Z should also be X. 

1 If we take the Particular Judgment as Hegel does himself (G. L. iii. 95, 
loc. cit.) this is not only possible, but necessary. The rest of the argument 
would be unchanged. 



The position may be that all Z are either X or W, and that 
all X, and likewise all W, are Z. But every individual which 
is Z must have some other Universal, which Universal is never 
found in any case without Z. 

(c) The Universal Judgment. 

203. ((r. L. iii. 96. Enc. 175.) The advance which is 
made in this category is evident and striking. Here, for the 
first time, we become entitled to assert general propositions, 
other than the general propositions which make up the Logic 
itself That is to say, for the first time science becomes 
possible. However certain it might be that nothing happened 
without a cause, and that everything was in relations of 
reciprocal causality with everything else, this would not be 
sufiicient for science. Unless the results of that determination 
could be expressed in general propositions, so that we could 
say that some Universals are always or never found in con- 
junction with others, it would be impossible to classify, to 
predict, or to explain. 

This is the point at which scepticism of a certain type 
stops. It will admit that there really are Universals shared by 
more than one Individual, but it denies that there really are 
any general laws connecting one Universal with another. It 
does not merely assert that many general laws which we at 
present accept may possibly be erroneous, which no one could, 
in the present imperfect state of our knowledge, reasonably 
deny. It asserts that there are no true general laws at all, 
known or unknown, and that all inferences are erroneous 
which conclude the presence or absence of one Universal 
in an Individual from the presence or absence of another 

Hegel's answer would be that there must be true general 
propositions, as this is the only way in which the contradiction 
which appears in the Particular Judgment can be removed. 
Let us recapitulate. The Individuals of which a certain 
Universal is predicated must be either isolated or connected. 
If they are connected, it can only be by a second Universal 
introduced into the subject. And this Subject-Universal may 
either include other Individuals, of which the Predicate- 



Universal is not true, or it may include only those of which 
the Predicate-Universal is true. We have thus three cases. 
The first gives the Singular Judgment. The second gives the 
Particular Judgment. We have seen that both of these, when 
taken as categories, involve contradictions, and must therefore 
be transcended. There remains only the third alternative, 
and this gives us Universal Judgments. 

In thus transcending the categories of Singular and 
Particular Judgments we do not assert that no Singular or 
Particular Judgments are true. It may be quite true to say 
" this is red," or " some roses are red." What we have gained 
in this triad is the knowledge that "this" (whatever it may be) 
could not be red unless it possessed some other Universal, 
which is never found except where redness is found also. 
And the same will be true of each individual rose which is, 
in fact, red. 

The whole force of the argument for this category rests, 
of course, on Hegel's view that there is a contradiction in the 
category of Positive Judgment. Without that we could never 
have proceeded to Negative Judgment, or passed over to 
Subsumption. I have endeavoured to show that Hegel was 
not justified in rejecting Positive Judgment for the reasons 
given by him. In that case we must pronounce the transition 
to Universal Judgment unsound, without raising the question 
whether, if the contradiction in Positive Judgment could have 
been justified, Hegel could finally have transcended it by the 
course which he has taken. 

It is possible that the gap which this leaves in the dialectic 
process could be supplied. For example, it might be the case that 
a consideration of what is involved in the complete reciprocal 
determination established at the end of Essence might lead us 
by a shorter path to the validity of the category of Universal 
Judgment. But an attempt to consider this question would 
take us too far from Hegel to permit its introduction here. 

We now leave the direct consideration of the Individual for 
the present, since our Judgment has become a relation between 
Universals. This will develope a certain one-sidedness which 
will be counterbalanced in Objectivity. 


G. The Judgment of Necessity. 

204. {0. L. iii. 101. Enc. 177.) It is to be noticed that 
the Necessity is not in the connexion of Universals, but in the 
determination of Individuals under them. The truth about 
the universe is now taken as expressed in Judgments of the 
type " all X are Z." This Judgment is not held as necessary, 
for there is nothing given as yet to necessitate it. But what is 
now necessary is the determination of the Individual. Of any 
Individual which is X it can be said, not only that it is Z, but 
that, since it is X, it must be Z. And here we get the con- 
ception of Necessity. 

(a) The Categorical Judgment. 

205. {G. L. iii. 101. Enc. 177.) This, as is to be expected, 
is a restatement of the Universal Judgment. When, in the 
Universal Judgment, we found that all X were Z, that could 
not mean only that, in point of fact, each Individual which was 
X was also Z. For then the Universal Judgment would only 
be the abbreviated expression of a series of Singular Judgments, 
and could not, therefore, transcend the defects of Singular 
Judgments. The Universal Judgment must mean that the 
presence of the one Universal involves the presence of the other. 
And the only difference which we find when we pass to the 
Categorical Judgment is that the assertion of the connexion 
between the Universals is rather more explicit. This is marked 
by discarding the form of Subsumption which was still left in 
the Universal Judgment. Instead of saying "all lions are 
mammals," we now say " the lion is a mammal." 

Hegel tells us here, as he did before with Judgments of 
Subsumption, that this form is only appropriate to certain 
Universals. " The rose is a plant " is a legitimate Categorical 
Judgment, but not "the rose is red" {G. L. iii. 102). Presum- 
ably the Universals appropriate to Judgments of Reflection, 
such as transitory or useful, would also be inappropriate here. 
He does not in any way define the class of Universals appropriate 
to Judgments of Necessity. The examples he gives are " the 
rose is a plant," " this ring is gold," and (in the Encyclopaedia) 
" gold is a metal." 


It seems to me that this view, like the corresponding view 
in Judgments of Subsumption, is unjustifiable. If Hegel 
regards the change as first introduced in the passage from 
Universal to Categorical Judgments, which his words seem to 
suggest, this is inconsistent with the fact that he does not treat 
this passage as involving any advance in the dialectic, but 
merely as a restatement. If, on the other hand, he regards 
it as first introduced in the transition from Particular to 
Universal Judgments, he does not give any reason why this 
change should accompany the change from Particularity to 
Universality. He does show why we cannot be satisfied with 
a category of Particularity, and why we must proceed to 
Universality, but he gives no indication of any necessity 
for changing, at the same time, the class of predicates 

And, again, when we come to the Syllogism of Determinate. 
Being, we find that any restriction on the character of Uni- 
versals has disappeared, though it is diflficult to imagine — and 
we find nothing in Hegel to help us — how such a restriction, 
when once made, could again be removed. On all these grounds 
I think that the limitation to a special class of Universals must 
be rejected. 

206. Hegel now proceeds to 

(b) The Hypothetical Judgment. 

{0. L. iii. 103. Enc. 177.) If by this category had been 
meant, as would naturally have been supposed, a view of 
existence which could be expressed in the form "if anything 
is X, then it is Z," there would have been no difiiiculty. It is 
clear that if the lion is a mammal, then, if anything is a lion, 
it is a mammal. The Categorical Judgment involves the 
Hypothetical. The only possible criticism would be that the 
Hypothetical Judgment is a mere restatement of the Categorical, 
and that this relation, though appropriate between a Synthesis 
and a new Thesis, is out of place between a Thesis and an 
Antithesis in the same triad. 

But this is not the Hj^pothetical Judgment which Hegel 
has in view. His example, both in the Greater Logic and in 
the Encyclopaedia, is, " if A is, B is." He expands this in the 


Greater Logic, " the Being of A is not its own Being, but the 
Being of another, of B." 

Here, again, Hegel seems to me quite unjustified in his 
procedure. The whole of Subjectivity is devoted to determin- 
ing the nature of Individuals by means of Universals. This is 
what was being done in Categorical Judgment. It is what is 
done again, in the next category, in Disjunctive Judgment. Is 
it possible that between these there should be inserted a cate- 
gory which determines, not the nature, but the existence, of an 
Individual, and which determines it, not by Universals, but by 
another Individual ? It would at any rate require a very clear 
deduction of the necessity of such a category before we could 
accept it. Now all that Hegel says is "the Categorical Judg- 
ment corresponds for the first time to its objective universality 
by this necessity of its immediate being, and in this way passes 
over to the Hypothetical Judgment " (G. L. iii. 103). This 
might serve to explain the transition from " the X is F" to 
" if anything is X, it is F," where X and F are both Universals. 
It entirely fails to justify the transition from "the X is F" 
to " if A is, B is," where A and B are Individuals. Nor would 
the return from Individuals to Universals at the transition into 
the Disjunctive Judgment be any more intelligible (cp. G. L. 
iii. 105). The category must then, in my opinion, be rejected. 

(c) The Disjunctive Judgment. 

207. {G. L. iii. 105. Enc. 177.) Although Hegel's tran- 
sition from Categorical to Disjunctive Judgments thus breaks 
down, we can see that a transition from Categorical to Dis- 
junctive Judgments is necessary. 

We know that there are cases in which it is true that all X 
are Z, while it is false that all Z are X. The proof of this is 
as follows. Any two Individuals, as we have seen, will have 
some Universals in common, and each of them will have some 
Universals which the other has not. Let us take Z as standing 
for a Universal common to some two Individuals, and Q and R 
as two Universals each of which belongs to one of them only. 
The first Individual will be ZQ, and the second ZR. Now as 
any predication of Universals of any Individual can only be 
made by means of a Universal Judgment, there must be some 


X such that all X will be ZQ. Then all X will be Z, but all Z 
will not be X. For all X are Q, and all Z are not Q, since 
there is the class ZR, of which our second Individual was an 

We know, therefore, that in some of our Universal (or 
Categorical) Judgments the predicate will be wider than the 
subject. All X will be Z, but there are some Z which are not X. 
Now these Individuals, which ai'e not X, cannot be Z as simply 
isolated Individuals. This, according to Hegel, was proved 
when we transcended Positive Judgments. Each of these 
Individuals must have some Universal, with which Z is con- 
nected by means of another Categorical Judgment. How many 
of them there may be we do not know, but we do know that 
every Individual which has Z, must have one of them. Thus 
we arrive at the conclusion that all Z is either X, or W, or V, 
where W and U represent an unknown number of Universals. 

Of course this does not exclude the possibility that in some 
cases the connexion of the Universals is reciprocal, so that not 
only all X is Z, but all Z is X. This cannot, for the reasons 
just given, be true in all cases, but it can in some. Thus we 
may say that the category before us asserts that for every 
Universal Z there may be found a group of Universals, X, W, V, 
such that whatever is X, W, or V is Z, and that whatever is Z 
is either X, W, or V, and asserts further that in some cases the 
group X, W, V, may contain only a single Universal, but that 
it is impossible that this should be so in all cases. 

The necessity of passing from Categorical Judgment to 
Disjunctive Judgment applies, of course, to the nature of 
existence and not to our knowledge about it. If Categorical 
Judgments are true of existence, then Disjunctive Judgments 
are true of existence. But if our knowledo-e enables us to make 
a Categorical Judgment on any subject, it by no means follows 
that it will enable us to make the corresponding Disjunctive. 
I may know that the lion is a mammal, without knowing the 
complete list of species, to one of which every mammal must 
belong. In the same way a Positive Judgment can be known 
without knowing the corresponding Universal. I may know 
that this Individual is red, without being able to determine 
what Universal it possesses, the possession of which involves 


redness, though, if Hegel is right, such a Universal must 

208. The two sides of the Judgment are now, according to 
Hegel, "identical" {G. L. iii. 110). By this he means that 
they have the same denotation. Every Z is either X or W or 
F, while all X, all W, and all Y are Z. Thus the denotation 
of Z is the same as the denotations of X, TF, and V added 
together. " This Unity," he continues, " the Copula of this 
Judgment, in which the extremes have come together through 
their identity, is thereby the Notion itself, and, moreover, the 
Notion as posited ; the mere Judgment of Necessity has thus 
raised itself to the Judgment of the Notion." 

D. The Judgment of the Notion. 

209. {G. L. iii. 110. Enc. 178.) This transition appears 
to relate exclusively to the relation of the Subject with the 
Predicate. But here, as with Judgments of Subsumption and 
Judgments of Necessity, Hegel introduces, along with this 
distinction, the further distinction that only a special sort of 
Predicates are appropriate for Judgments of this form. The 
examples he gives are good, bad, true, beautiful and correct. 
All these, as he remarks, have reference to some ideal (ein 
Sollen). But he establishes no connexion between these 
Predicates on the one hand, and, on the other, the closer 
relation between Subject and Predicate which formed the 
transition to Judgments of the Notion. Nor is there any 
connexion between the use of such Predicates, and the three 
subdivisions of Judgments of the Notion, of which the first is 

(a) The Assertoric Judgment. 

{G. L. iii. 112. Enc. 178.) The example given of this is 
"this deed is good." This does not appear to differ from a 
Categorical Judgment, except in the sort of Predicate used. 
But the Assertoric Judgment does differ from the Categorical 
Judgment in another characteristic, though this characteristic 
does not seem to have any relation to the closer connexion of 
Subject and Predicate which was given in the passage quoted 
above as the characteristic of Judgments of the Notion. 

The new difference concerns, not what is asserted, but the 


justification which he who asserts it possesses for his assertion. 
"Its proof is a subjective assurance" {G. L. iii. 113). 

210. And this gives the transition to the next category, 
for, as Hegel goes on to remark, " over against the assurance 
of the Assertoric Judgment there stands with equal right the 
assurance of its opposite." If the only ground for believing 
this deed to be good is that the assertion is made, then we are 
plunged in doubt. For it is equally possible to make the 
assertion that this deed is not good, and one assertion is as 
good as another. This doubt takes us to {G. L. iii. 114. 
Enc. 178) 

(6) The Problematic Judgment. 

211. Hegel does not give any reason why we must pass 
from this category to the next. He merely gives the transition 
without justifying it. Instead of simply saying "the deed is 
good," we must say " the deed of such and such a nature is 
good." Here the nature of the deed is, in effect, given as a 
reason why we should accept the Judgment that it is good 
rather than the Judgment that it is not good. This is 

(c) The Apodictic Judgment. 

(G. L. iii. 116. Enc. 178.) The characteristic of the Sub- 
ject, thus given as the reason why the Subject should have 
the Predicate, is said by Hegel to be the Copula of the Judg- 
ment become "completed or full of content (erfiillte oder 
inhaltsvolle) ; the unity of the Notion again restored out of 
the Judgment, in the extremes of which it was lost." From 
this Hegel makes his transition to Svllogism. 

212. Is this triad of the Judgment of the Notion valid ? 
I believe that it is not, and that the transition ought to go 
direct from Disjunctive Judgment to Syllogism. In support of 
this I would urge four considerations. 

In the first place, grave suspicion is thrown upon the triad 
by the fact that, if it is accepted, it gives Judgment as a whole 
four subdivisions instead of the three which are essential to 
Hegel's method. The excuse which he gives for this is that of 
the " three chief kinds of Judgment parallel to the stages of 
Being, Essence, and Notion," the second "as required by the 


character of Essence, which is the stage of differentiation, must 
be doubled" {Enc. 171). This however cannot be accepted as 
a justification for Judgment having four subdivisions, when 
other stages have only three. For, throughout the whole 
dialectic, the second subdivision of the three in each stage 
always corresponds to Essence, and, if this involved dividing 
it into two, four subdivisions would be the invariable rule, and 
not the exception. 

The second difficulty is still more serious. The Assertoric, 
Problematic, and Apodictic Judgments are distinguished from 
one another, and from those which precede them, not by any 
distinction in the propositions asserted, but by distinctions as 
to the characteristics of mental states of those who assert the 
propositions. An Assertoric Judgment is one believed firmly, 
but without a reason. A Problematic Judgment is one which 
is regarded as possibly, but not certainly, true. An Apodictic 
Judgment is one which is believed firmly, with a reason for 
believing it. 

Hegel, indeed, denies {G. L. iii. Ill) that these categories 
are thus subjective. But he does not explain what other 
meaning they can have, and when he comes to treat them in 
detail, as we have already seen, his treatment is inexplicable 
except on the hypothesis that they have this meaning. 

For the Assertoric Judgment clearly differs from those 
which go before it in something else besides the sort of 
Predicates applicable. This is evident both from the transition 
to it, and from its name. And if this new feature is not " our 
subjective assurance" of it, why does Hegel, on p. 113, give 
that account of it ? And what else could that new feature be ? 
And how, if it were not a question of beliefs rather than pro- 
positions, could two be opposed to one another with equal 
right, as Hegel in the transition to Problematic Judgments 
asserts that they are ? 

So, too, with the Problematic Judgment. This arises 
because two incompatible Assertoric Judgments about the 
same Subject are held with equal right. Now this cannot 
possibly produce any new Judgment about the Subject, but 
may very well produce a doubt and uncertainty about each of 
them. It seems impossible to deduce anything else here, and 


this makes the distinction relate entirely to the way in which 
we believe the truth. And the name clearly indicates the same 
fact. Problematic means doubtful, and no proposition is doubtful 
except in relation to the knowledge of some particular knower. 
I may be doubtful whether A is B, but A cannot be doubtfully 
B. It is B or it is not. 

The same is, I think, the case with the Apodictic Judgment. 
The examples Hegel gives are not decisive. The nature of the 
deed might be given either as the reason why it was good, or 
as the reason why I believed it to be good. But it seems clear 
to me that Hegel regarded the Apodictic Judgment as differing 
from the Assertoric and Problematic in the same manner in 
which the Assertoric and Problematic differ from one another. 
In that case the Apodictic Judgment is also a category which 
applies to beliefs only, and not to all realities, and the reason 
given in it is not the reason of the fact believed, but the reason 
of the belief 

If Hegel has introduced either two or three categories of 
this sort here, his treatment is clearly invalid. The whole 
argument of the dialectic rests on the supposition that all the 
categories are applicable to the same subject-matter — namely 
all existent reality. Again, the Disjunctive Judgment clearly 
applied to all existence, and not merely to beliefs. How could 
we deduce from it a new category which applies merely to 
beliefs ? It seems impossible to conceive how such a deduction 
could be justified, and certainly Hegel does not attempt to 
justify it. And, in the same way, how could he be justified in 
passing back, from categories which deal merely with beliefs, to 
categories which deal with all existence? And, by the time he 
reaches Syllogism he has certainly done this. 

213. In the third place, the transition to the Judgment of 
the Notion seems to me erroneous. It is no doubt the case, as 
was said above, that Judgments made according to Hegel's 
category of Disjunctive Judgment have the same denotation 
for their Subjects and their Predicates. But I cannot see how 
this would enable us to pass to the Judgment of the Notion, 
where the denotations are not identical, though the connotations 
are said to be more closely connected. Nor can I see why 
Assertoric, Problematic, and Apodictic Judgments should be 


the subdivisions of Judgment of the Notion, defined as Hegel 
has defined it. 

In the fourth place the Judgment of the Notion can be 
removed without destroying the continuity of the dialectic. 
For it is not difficult to see that Syllogism necessarily follows 
from Disjunctive Judgment, Syllogism starts, as we shall see, 
with the position that it is necessary to give some reason why 
the two Universals in a general proposition are connected with 
one another. Now this necessity will be seen so soon as we find 
that two Universals are connected in such a way — that is, in 
the Categorical Judgment. In the Disjunctive Judgment the 
question becomes more pressing, since the alternative nature 
of the connexion renders it more obvious that we must face the 
problem. Z is in some cases X, in some cases W, and in some 
cases V. Why, in each case, is it the one and not the other ? 
Thus Syllogism could follow directly from Disjunctive Judgment. 
For these four reasons I think that the Judgment of the Notion 
must be rejected. 

214. We now pass to 

III. The Syllogism. 

{G. L. iii. 118. Enc. 181.) The essential characteristic 
here is the mediation of the connexion between two Universals. 
The connexion, in the first place, is made by what was, in 
Apodictic Judgment, the reason (cp. above, Section 211). 
This is based on another Universal. The reason that the deed 
was good was that its nature had a certain characteristic, and 
such a characteristic is expressed by a Universal. Thus media- 
tion is by a third Universal, which gives us 

A. The Qualitative Syllogism. 

{G. L. iii. 121. Enc. 183.) This is again divided by Hegel, 
the subdivisions being named after the Figures of formal logic. 
We shall have to consider later whether this is valid, but there 
is at any rate no doubt that, if we are to have these divisions, 
we must begin with the First Figure. For the linking of 
Universals gives Universal Propositions, some of which are 
Affirmative. And Universal Affirmative Propositions can only 
be proved by the First Figure. 


(a) First Figure. 

(G. L. iii. 122. Enc. 183.) Hegel says that this category 
can be expressed as I P U. The Subject of the conclusion, 
that is, is an Individual, the Predicate of the conclusion is a 
Universal, and the Middle Term is a Particular. 

This seems unjustifiable. The distinction between Particular 
and Universal Notions at the beginning of Subjectivity(cp. above, 
Section 190) does not apply to the Middle and Major terms 
of a Syllogism of the First Figure, and if Hegel means anything 
else here by Universal and Particular, he does not tell us what 
it is. 

Nor has he, I think, any right to bring in the Individual 
here. In the Categorical Judgment the result reached was a 
connexion of two Universals. In several places between that 
and the present stage Hegel speaks as if the Subject of the 
Judgment might or must be an Individual, but he never 
expressly acknowledges this transition, or attempts to justify 
it. We have no right here to deal with any connexion except 
that between Universals. 

Nor does the formal logic, of whose Figures he has availed 
himself to provide names for his categories, offer any excuse for 
the introduction of the Individual. For the Individual is not 
recognised by formal logic, which treats "Caesar is mortal" as 
a proposition of exactly the same type as "all Bishops are 

215. How is the inadequacy of the First Figure proved ? 
Hegel makes two objections to its validity. The first is as 
follows. The Subject has many characteristics which may be 
used as Middle Terms, and each Middle Term, again, can 
connect it with many Major Terms. Thus it is "con- 
tingent and capricious" (zufallig und willkiirlich) with what 
Major Term the Subject will be connected, and also what 
Predicate will be given it in the conclusion {G. L. iii. 127. 
Enc. 184). 

This is quite true. All Cambridge Doctors of Divinity are 
Anglican clergymen, and are graduates of the University. 
From the first of these, as a Middle Term, we can conclude 
either that they have been ordained, or that they are incapable 


of sitting in Parliament. From the second we can conclude, 
either that the Graces for their degrees passed the Senate, or 
that they were presented for their degrees by a member of the 
University. All four conclusions are true, but it is quite 
contingent and capricious which we shall take. There is 
nothing in the idea of the Subject "all Cambridge Doctors 
of Divinity " to decide which we shall prefer to the others. 

But how does this produce a contradiction? The Subject 
is united, by two Middle Terras, to four Predicates. But why 
should this not be the case ? If, indeed, we had to choose one 
in preference to others, a difficulty would arise, for no ground 
of preference is given. But there is no necessity to choose. 
For all these Judgments can be true of the Subject together. 
The defect which Hegel thinks that he has found here is 
like the defect which he says constitutes the inadequacy of the 
category of Variety (cp. above, Section 116). But while it 
was a defect there, it is not one here. There the whole point 
of the category was to range things by their Likeness or 
TJnlikeness to one another. And no such arrangement was 
possible, if everything was connected with everything else both 
by Likeness and TJnlikeness. 

Here it is different. No doubt it is the case that Individuals, 
or classes of Individuals, are Like or Unlike one another, by 
reason of the Universals which can be predicated of them. But 
the point here is not arrangement simply as Like or Unlike, 
but arrangement as sharing or not sharing certain Universals. 
Thus arrangement is possible though each Individual or class 
should be Like or Unlike every other, because it would be in 
virtue of different Universals. 

There is thus no necessity to take one grouping rather than 
another, because the different groupings are now compatible, 
which was not the case in the category of Variety. And thus 
the fact that the preference of one grouping to another Avould 
be " contingent and capricious " while it is a valid objection to 
the category of Variety, is not a valid objection here. 

Hegel asserts {G. L. iii. 127) that this contingency involves 
that contradictory Predicates must be held true of the same 
Subject. He bases this on the statement that "Difference, 
which is in the first place indifferent Variety, is just as 


essentially Opposition (Entgegensetzung)." But he makes 
no attempt to prove that the two different Predicates must 
necessarily be incompatible Predicates, which is what his 
sentence must mean if it is to bear out his assertion. And 
his examples (G. L. iii. 128) do not help him. The first which 
he gives — the rest are substantially similar — is " If from the 
Middle Term that a stick was painted blue, it is concluded that 
it therefore is blue, this is concluded correctly ; but the stick, 
in spite of this conclusion, can be green, if it has also been 
covered over with yellow paint, from which last circumstance, 
taken by itself, would result that it was yellow." 

It is true that a stick cannot at once be blue and green. 
But the first conclusion — that it is blue — could only be reached 
from the Minor Premise which Hegel gives, "this stick has 
been painted blue," by the help of the Major Premise " what- 
ever has ever been painted blue is now blue." And this Major 
Premise is notoriously false, so that one of the contradictory 
conclusions has not been proved. In each of the other examples 
he gives the same fallacy is present. The contradictory con- 
clusions do not follow legitimately from the diverse premises, 
but only follow by the aid of other premises which are false. 

216. But Hegel also gives another objection to this category, 
and this, I think, must be accepted as valid. We reached the 
category by taking the position that two Universals which are 
connected with one another must have their connexion mediated 
by a third. But the third Universal, being connected with the 
first and the second, will, on the same principle, require a fourth 
and a fifth Universal to mediate these connexions. The four 
connexions so established will require four fresh Universals, 
and so on infinitely {G. L. iii. 130. Enc. 185). 

The Infinite Series thus established will involve a contra- 
diction, for the earlier members are logically dependent on the 
later, as no Universal can mediate till it is connected with the 
Universals it mediates, and, to be connected, it must itself be 
mediated by Universals given in later members. Thus Hegel 
rejects the category, on this second ground also, as invalid. 

217. Hegel considers that these defects require the altera- 
tion of the Middle Term. The Individual is now become the 
Middle Term, and the Syllogism will no longer be represented 


by I P U, but by P I U. And in this he finds a transition to 
what he calls 

(b) Second Figure. 

(G. L. iii. 132. Enc. 186.) By this, however, he means, as 
he explains in the Greater Logic (iii. 135), what is generally 
called the Third Figure. (In the Encyclopaedia he also uses 
the name in this unusual sense, without any warning that he 
has departed from the common custom.) 

The defect here, according to Hegel {G. L. iii. 134), is that 
the new form "ought to correspond to the Species, that is, the 
Universal Schema, I P U. But to this it does not correspond... 
the Middle Term is on both occasions Subject, in which there- 
fore the other two terms inhere." The fault is thus in the 
position of the Middle Term — the same characteristic which, as 
we see in formal logic, prevents a Syllogism in this Figure from 
having any but a Particular conclusion. 

218. Hegel then tells us that "the Individuality connects 
the Particular and the Universal in so far as it transcends the 
determination of the Particular ;... the extremes are not con- 
nected through their determined relation which they had as 
Middle Term ; it is therefore not their determined unity, and 
the positive unity, which it still has, is only abstract Uni- 
versality" {G. L. iii. 136). The Middle Term is thus U, and 
the new form of the Syllogism is I U P. This, according to 
Hegel, gives us 

(c) Third Figure. 

(G. L. iii. 137. Enc. 187.) This is what is usually called 
the Second Figure. This leads only to negative conclusions. 
Hegel mentions this {G. L. iii. 138), but does not regard it as 
the ground of the inadequacy of the category. The inadequacy 
lies in the fact that the Universal, which is the Middle Term, 
has no inherent connexion with either of the extremes, and 
would have to be connected with them by a fresh process, 
independent of the original Syllogism. All this, he says, is 
just as contingent as in the preceding forms of the Syllogism. 

{d) Fourth Figure. 

219. ((?. L. iii. 139. Enc. 188.) This is not the Fourth 
Figure of formal logic, which he rejects as useless {G. L. iii. 138. 

M^T. 15 


Enc. 187). What he substitutes for it is what he calls the 
Mathematical Syllogism, of which, he tells us, the formula is 
U U U. Its principle, he also tells us, is " if two things are 
equal to a third, they are equal to one another." The three 
equal things are apparently taken as the three terms. 

The relation between the three things in question, however, 
is by no means the relation between the terms of a Syllogism. 
The third thing, whose equality to each of the others is the 
basis of the argument, may be said to mediate between them, 
but not in the same way as the Middle Term of a Syllogism 
does. And if we were to take this Fourth Figure seriously, 
there would be the additional difficulty that it would disregard 
the triadic movement of the dialectic. 

Hegel, however, does not take it seriously. The Fourth 
Figure is not a legitimate and necessary stage in the dialectic 
process. It is only the result which would be reached if we 
took the wrong track. This seems clear from the following 
passage. " The merely negative result is the disappearance of 
qualitative determinations of form in mere quantitative and 
mathematical Syllogisms. But what we really get (was 
wahrhaft vorhanden ist) is the positive result, that the media- 
tion does not take place through an individual qualitative 
determination of form, but through the concrete identity" of 
the extremes. "The defect and the formalism of the three 
Figures of the Syllogism consists just in this that such an 
individual determination had to serve as their Middle Term. 
The mediation has thus determined itself as the indifference of 
immediate or abstract determinations of form, and as positive 
Reflection of the one into the other. The immediate Qualitative 
Syllogism is thus transferred into the Syllogism of Reflection " 
{0. L. iii. 141). Thus the real movement of the dialectic is 
from the Third Figure to the Syllogism of Reflection. Under 
these circumstances it seems curious that Hegel should have 
given the Fourth Figure as a separate heading, as if it were 
a real category. 

220. I have given the transitions from each Figure to the 
next without criticising the validity of each transition taken by 
itself, because I believe that the argument is invalid as a whole. 
The Second and Third Figures appear to me to be unjustified. 


What Hegel calls the First Figure should, in my opinion, be 
the whole of an undivided category of Qualitative Syllogism, 
and from this the transition should be made directly to Syllogism 
of Reflection, 

Hegel gave, as we saw above, two objections to the validity 
of the First Figure. The first was the contingency of the 
Middle Term relatively to the Subject, and of the Predicate 
relatively to the Middle Term. The second was the infinite 
series of mediations which would be required. The first 
objection, as I endeavoured to show, was unfounded. If this 
is really the case, then any valid transition to the Second 
Figure must be determined by the second objection. 

Now this is not what happens. The Second and Third 
Figures do not even profess to remove this defect, or to alter 
it in any way. The infinite series of mediations would arise in 
them just as inevitably, and exactly in the same way, as in the 
First Figure. The transition, therefore, is invalid. 

And not only do the Second and Third Figures fail to 
remove the defects of the First, but they reintroduce defects 
which had been long ago transcended. For the (Hegelian) 
Second Figure can only prove Particular conclusions, and the 
(Hegelian) Third Figure can only prove Negative conclusions, 
and we saw, when we treated of Judgments of Inherence and 
Subsumption, that no category could be possible according to 
which only Negative, or only Particular, propositions were true. 
These categories therefore, so far from being more adequate 
than the First Figure, are less adequate. 

Hegel seems more or less to realise this when he condemns 
the Second Figure on the ground that it does not, as it should 
do, " correspond to the Species, that is, the universal Schema, 
I P U" (G. L. iii. 134; cp. above, Section 217). For I P U 
is, according to Hegel, the Schema of the First Figure. But 
if the Second Figure is wrong because it is not the First, how 
can it take its place in the dialectic series as the successor of 
the First? 

I have not thought it necessary to consider whether Hegel 
was right in appropriating the Schema P I U to his Second 
Figure, and I U P to his Third Figure. The enquiry is 
superfluous if, as I have tried to show, the Second and Third 



Figures have no rightful place in the dialectic at all. And again 
any enquiry as to the particular appropriation is superfluous, 
if, as I have also tried to show (cp. above, Section 214) Hegel was 
wrong in introducing the conceptions of Individual and Particular 
terjns into any of the Figures of Qualitative Syllogism. 

221. The omission of the Second and Third Figures will 
not leave any gap in the dialectic process. For we can pass 
quite legitimately from the First Figure to the Syllogism of 
Reflection. If every connexion of Universals must be mediated 
by a Universal, we are involved in a contradictory infinite 
series. But this might be averted if Universals were mediated 
by something else, for perhaps the connexions of this something 
else with a Universal might not again require mediation. What 
else could mediate the connexion of Universals, except Uni- 
versals ? There is nothing left but Individuals^ We have seen 
above (Section 202) that it is impossible that the Universal 
Judgment should be equivalent to a series of Judgments about 
mere Individuals. We have now to consider whether the 
Universal Judgment can be based on such a series of Judg- 
ments. This would take us direct to Hegel's Syllogism of 
Reflection from his First Figure. 

222. On all these grounds, therefore, I think the Second 
and Third Figures should be rejected. We now arrive, whether 
by the argument just given, or by Hegel's argument quoted 
above, at 

B. The Syllogism of Reflection. 

(a) The Syllogism of Allness. 

(G. L. iii. 149. Enc. 190.) In this category the fact that 
all Z are X is held to be dependent on the facts that this, that, 
and the other things which are Z are also in point of fact X. 
"■ This, that, and the other " here include all the things which 
are Z. Since each of them individually is X, it is certain that 
all Z are X. If the House of Lords has a gallery for strangers, 
and the House of Commons has a gallery for strangers, then 
all houses of the British Parliament have galleries for strangers. 

1 It will be remembered that both the Universal Notion and the Particular 
Notion of the beginning of Subjectivity have, since the beginning of Judgment, 
been classed together as Universals (cp. above, Section 192). 


This category corresponds to the logical process called 
Perfect Induction, and not to any form of Syllogism. Hegel, 
however, speaks of a Syllogism of Allness. His example is 
" all men are mortal, Caius is a man, therefore Caius is mortal." 
This differs, according to him, from the ordinary Syllogism of 
the First Figure, because the Major Premise is reached by a 
complete enumeration of Individuals — though, of course, in the 
example he has taken, this could not be the case. 

It seems to me, however, that Hegel is wrong here. No 
doubt we can use the result of the Perfect Induction as the 
Premise of a Syllogism. Bat what corresponds to the Syllogism 
of previous categories is not the Syllogism which Hegel gives 
here, but the proposition he takes as Major Premise. In 
Qualitative Syllogism two Universals were mediated by a third 
Universal, and this mediation made the Syllogism. Here two 
Universals are mediated by an enumeration of Individuals, and 
it is the proposition thus reached which corresponds to the 
Syllogism in Qualitative Syllogism. The change is that while 
in Qualitative Syllogism we reach the conclusion " all men are 
mortal " by some such argument as " all men are animals, and 
all animals are mortal," here we should reach it by an enumera- 
tion of Individuals. What was done before by Syllogism is not 
now done by Syllogism but by enumeration, and thus the name 
of Syllogism here is incorrect. 

223. Hegel's objection to this Syllogism {G. L. iii. 151. 
Enc. 190) is that the conclusion presupposes the Major Premise. 
We could not know, in this way, that all men were mortal, 
unless, among others, we knew that Caius was mortal. Thus 
we cannot prove the mortality of Caius from the mortality of 
all men. This is, no doubt, correct, but, as was said above, the 
category is exemplified in the assertion that all men ai'e mortal, 
not in the assertion that Caius is mortal, and the objection is 
therefore irrelevant. 

Hegel now proceeds to 

{h) The Syllogism of Induction. 

(G. L. iii. 152. Enc. 190.) Here we have a category which 
corresponds to ordinary Induction. The connexion between the 
two Universals is mediated by the fact that they do occur 


together in sorne of the Individuals included in the denotation 
of the Subject, We conclude that all men are mortal, because 
it is so as a matter of fact in those cases which we have 

The transition to this category is not brought out very 
clearly by Hegel, but we can see that it will remove the defect 
which he found in the last. When we have established by 
induction that all men are mortal, we may conclude that Caius 
is mortal without necessarily arguing in a circle. For Caius 
may not have been one of the men on whose mortality we 
founded the general statement. He may, for example, be still 

The defect which Hegel finds in this category is that our 
enumeration of the Individuals can never be complete. (G. L. 
iii. 154. Enc. 190.) It is not at first evident why we should 
wish to have it complete, since then we should get back to the 
previous category, which has already been abandoned as in- 
adequate. But as he ends his criticism with the words " the 
conclusion of Induction remains problematic " he appears to 
have in his mind the fact that no general conclusion arrived at 
by Induction can be more than probable, and that therefore we 
can never, by means of such a conclusion, arrive at absolute 
certainty as to any Individual. The only Individuals as to 
whom we can be certain are those whose natures formed the - 
basis of our Induction. And these are not the whole number. 

224. The defect of Induction compels us, according to 
Hegel, to pass to 

(c) The Syllogism of Analogy. 

(G. L. iii. 155. Enc. 190.) The example which he gives of 
this is " the earth has inhabitants, the moon is an earth, there- 
fore the moon has inhabitants." If we remove the ambiguity 
in the use of earth, it might be put as follows : " the planet on 
which we live is an earth, and is inhabited ; the moon is an 
earth, therefore it is inhabited." This is an Induction, based 
on a single instance. It does not seem, however, that the fact 
that there is only a single instance, is essential to the category. 
Hegel says {G. L. iii. 157) that earth is taken here "as some- 
thing concrete, which in its truth is just as much a universal 


nature or species, as it is an individual " ; and he continues 
that the category breaks down because we cannot tell whether 
the first Individual has the second quality because it has the 
first quality, or for some other reason. We cannot, e.g., be sure 
whether it is because it is an earth, or for some other reason, 
that this planet is inhabited. If it were for some other reason, 
we could not be sure that the moon shared the quality of being 

It seems, therefore, that Analogy is Induction made explicit. 
When, in Induction, we conclude that, since A, B, C, etc. are all 
both X and F, therefore all things which are X are T, we also 
implicitly conclude that there is some intrinsic connexion, direct 
or indirect, between X and Y. If there is no such intrinsic 
connexion, our conclusion would be illegitimate. And this 
connexion between the qualities X and Y is made explicit in 
Analogy. It is the impossibility of being certain of that 
connexion, as has just been pointed out, Avhich wrecks Analogy. 
And it is this impossibility, also, which prevented us from ever 
reaching an absolutely certain Induction. 

225. From this category Hegel passes to the Syllogism of 
Necessity as follows : " The Syllogism of Reflection, taken as 
a whole, comes under the Schema P I U : in it the Individual 
as such still forms the essential determination of the Middle 
Term ; but in so far as its immediacy has transcended itself, 
and the Middle Term is determined as Universality in and for 
itself, in so far the Syllogism has come under the formal 
Schema I U P, and the Syllogism of Reflection has passed over 
into the Syllogism of Necessity" (G. L. iii. 159). 

This transition seems to me unconvincing. It is true that 
there is a certain appropriateness in calling the Middle Term of 
the explicit Induction of Analogy by the name of Universal. 
And the nature of the Middle Term of the new category is 
also such as to give some appropriateness to the description of 
it as Universal. But in the two cases Universal is used in 
different senses. It means mvich more in the Categorical 
Syllogism, which is the first form of Syllogism of Necessity, 
than it did in the Syllogism of Analogy. 

It is natural that it should do this. For the Categorical 
Syllogism is not, as we should expect from its position, a mere 


restatement of the Syllogism of Analogy after a collapse into 
Immediacy. The Syllogism of Analogy has, according to 
Hegel, broken down, and the transition to the Syllogism of 
Necessity removes a contradiction. The new category must be 
an advance, then, and not a mere restatement, and it is an 
advance, for it contains, as we shall see, an entirely new 

If this is the case, Hegel's account of the transition must 
be wrong, for he speaks as if the Universality of the Middle 
Term in Analogy had already brought us to the Syllogism of 
Necessity, and as if, therefore, there was no real advance. 

226. The criticism which I venture to suggest on the triad 
of Syllogism of Reflection is that, here as in the Qualitative 
Syllogism, the subdivisions are unjustified. The conception 
which Hegel treats, under the Syllogism of Allness should have 
been the sole content of an undivided Syllogism of Reflection. 
No doubt Induction and Analogy, as processes of acquiring 
knowledge, are quite different from so-called Perfect Induction. 
But categories are descriptions of reality and not processes of 
acquiring knowledge, and I cannot see that any separate 
description of reality corresponds to these processes. 

The category which we reached in the Syllogism of Allness 
asserted that the validit}' of Universal Judgments depends on 
the fact that ever}^ Individual, which possesses the Subject- 
Universal, possesses, as a matter of fact, the Predicate-Universal 
also. We have seen that this category corresponds to the 
logical process of Perfect Induction. But how shall we find 
a second category to correspond to the logical process of 
Induction in the ordinary sense of the word ? 

The difference between the processes of acquiring knowledcre 
is that in Perfect Induction the conclusion is based on an 
examination of all the Individuals who possess the Subject- 
Universal, while in ordinary Induction we examine only some 
of them. Hegel's category of Induction w^ould thus have to 
mean that the validity of Universal Judgments depends on the 
fact that some of the Individuals, which possess the Subject- 
Universal, do, as a matter of fact, possess the Predicate- 
Universal also. 

What could be meant by this dependence on some of the 


Individuals ? In the case of the Judgment all X are F, it 
is clear that it cannot mean that the rest of X (those which are 
not included in the "some") are not-F, since the conclusion is 
that they are all F. It could only mean that, while every X 
was F, yet some of them were F in their own right, and 
exercised some power which caused the other X's, to be F, and 
so made the general proposition true. 

This conception would not be in any way an advance on the 
Syllogism of Allness, nor would it remove any of the difficulties 
to which that category was exposed. On the contrary, it would 
add to them by introducing a new complexity — the difference 
between the " some " X's and the other X's — which had not 
been deduced from the previous category, and could not be 

The logical process of Induction can give a natural and 
reasonable meaning to the " some " — namely that though, if the 
law is true, every X is F, yet there are only some cases in 
which this has been ascertained when the Induction is made. 
But the distinction between known and unknown cases is 
irrelevant to the metaphysical category. 

Thus we must reject the category of Induction. And, 
if Analogy is only explicit Induction, Analogy must go too. 
This leaves Allness, as the sole form of the Syllogism of 

Here, as with the Qualitative Syllogism, the error seems to 
have arisen from Hegel's attempt to push a parallel too far. 
There is one category which has a real resemblance to the 
Syllogism of deductive logic, and another which has a real 
resemblance to induction as a whole. But the attempt to find 
categories corresponding to the different figures and the 
different varieties of induction has led to errors. 

And here, as with Qualitative Syllogism, the dialectic process 
goes all the better for the simplification. The undivided 
Syllogism of Reflection is the Antithesis of which Qualitative 
Syllogism was the Thesis. The transition from the one to the 
other was shown above (Section 221). 

And this new Antithesis, we can see, will break down. For 
we saw, in dealing with Judgments of Inherence and Sub- 
sumption, that a Judgment about an Individual could only be 


valid when it was dependent upon a Universal Judgment. 
Since all Individual Judgments must be based upon Universal 
Judgments, it is obviously impossible that all Universal 
Judgments should be based upon Individual Judgments. 

It thus becomes evident that it is impossible that all 
Universal Judgments should be mediated. Whether we 
attempt to mediate them by Universals or by Individuals we 
have found that insuperable difficulties presented themselves. 
Only one alternative remains — to assert that some, at any rate, 
among Universal Judgments, do not require mediation. And 
this takes us on to Hegel's next category 

C. The Syllogism of Necessity, 
{a) The Categorical Syllogism. 

227. (G. L. iii. 161. Enc. 191.) The first feature of the 
Categorical Syllogism is that the Middle Term is the essential 
nature of the Subject of the conclusion, and, in the same way, 
tile Predicate of the conclusion is the essential nature of the 
Middle Term. And thus the contingency disappears, which 
arose from the fact that the Subject might be taken as connected 
with any one of several Middle Terms, and each Middle Terra 
as connected with any one of several Predicates {G. L. iii. 162). 
This contingency, it will be remembered, was treated by Hegel 
as a defect of the First Figure. He regards it as finally 
removed here, making the assumption that a Term can only 
have one " essential nature," so that there is here no alternative 
Middle Term for a Subject, and no alternative Predicate for 
a Middle Term. 

" Since," he continues, " the connections of the extremes 
with the Middle Terms have not that external immediacy 
which they have in the Qualitative Syllogism, the demand for 
a proof does not come in here in the same way as in the 
Qualitative Syllogism, where it led to an Infinite Series" 
{G. L. iii. 162). In this way the second defect of the First 
Figure is removed. It is clear, therefore, that Hegel regards 
the essential connections of the Categorical Syllogism as being 
ultimate connections. They may be used to mediate, but they 
do not themselves require mediation. 


Here, then, for the first time, Hegel regards the defects of 
the First Figure as transcended. And this confirms my view 
that the subdivisions of Qualitative Syllogism and Syllogism 
of Reflection are mistaken. For the special defect of each 
category should be cured when we reach the next Synthesis. 
And, by the simplification I propose. Syllogism of Necessity is 
the next Synthesis after these defects have manifested them- 

The connexions in the new category are, according to Hegel, 
" essential," so as to remove the first defect of the First Figure, 
and ultimate, so as to remove its second defect. If I was 
right in my previous contention that the first defect — the con- 
tingency — has not been shown to involve the inadequacy of 
the First Figure, and that the only real necessity for a transition 
lay in the second defect, we shall have to take a somewhat 
different view, since the " essentiality " of the connexions will 
not have been deduced. We shall only be able to say that the 
connexions are ultimate — that certain propositions of the form 
"all X is Y" are true, without any mediation of the connexion 
being either possible or necessary. 

Whatever other characteristic the connexions may have, 
they are certainly ultimate. And, therefore, I think Hegel is 
wrong in calling this category by the name of Syllogism, for 
reasons analogous to those which made me regard the name of 
Syllogism as improper when applied to Allness, Induction, 
and Analogy (cp. above. Section 222). The categories of 
Qualitative Syllogism were called by the name of Syllogism 
because, from the point of view of those categories, every pro- 
position had to be mediated by two others, which were the 
premises, while it was the conclusion. Now we have reached 
a point where we see that all propositions need not be mediated 
in this way, but that some do not require mediation. Thus the 
characteristic which made the name appropriate is gone. That 
characteristic was the fact that the truth of every proposition 
depended on the truth of two others from which it followed 

The Syllogism which Hegel gets here is one in which 
a derivative and mediated conclusion follows from two ultimate 
premises. And it is, of course, true that many propositions 


have a derivative truth of this kind, dependent on the truth of 
two ultimate propositions. But the essential characteristic 
of this category — the characteristic which enables it to remove 
the defects of the First Figure — is not that the ultimate 
Judgments can mediate, but that they do not themselves 
require mediation. In other words, the essential characteristic 
is not that they can be the premises of Syllogisms, but that 
they need not be the conclusions of Syllogisms. And this 
logical priority of the ultimate Judgments to Syllogisms, makes 
the name of Syllogism inappropriate here. A better name for 
the category, I suggest, would have been Ultimate Laws. 

(b) The Hypothetical Syllogism. 

228. (G. L. iii. 164. Enc. 191.) Hegel's example of this 
is " if A is, B is ; but A is, therefore B is." It seems to me 
that Hegel has erred here in the same way as in the Hypo- 
thetical Judgment (cp. above, Section 206). From the ultimate 
Categorical Judgment "all A is B," it certainly follows that the 
ultimate Hypothetical Judgment, " if anything is ^, it is B," is 
also true, and that this can be made, if we wish to do so, a pre- 
mise in a Syllogism. 

But, as we have just seen, Hegel's Hypothetical Syllogism is 
not this, but something quite different. And how are we to 
pass from " all A are B," where the same Individuals are A 
and B, and " are " is only a copula, to " if A is, B is," where A 
and B are different Individuals, and " is " seems to be an 
assertion of existence ? Hegel does not tell us how this can be 
done — he does not seem indeed to realise the greatness of the 
difference — and I fail to see how such a transition is to be 
demonstrated. Nor do I see how we could make the further 
transition from it to "A is either B, G, or D" of the Dis- 
junctive Syllogism, since that takes us back again to the same 
type of proposition as we found in Categorical Syllogism. 

229. The transition to the Disjunctive Syllogism from the 
Categorical Syllogism is, I think, valid, although it appears to 
violate the triadic movement by moving directly without an 
Antithesis. (The valid Hypothetical "if anything is A, it is 
B " will scarcely serve as an Antithesis, since it is only a re- 
statement of the Categorical.) 


The transition is as follows. We have seen that the nature 
of Individuals must be based on Universal Judgments. And 
we also saw (Section 207) that from the fact that every In- 
dividual is Like and Unlike every other Individual it follows 
that some of these Universal Judgments must be such that it 
is true that all X is Z, when it is false that all Z is X. 

If this is the case, it will follow that there are not only 
true Judgments of this type, but true ultimate Judgments. 
For we have now reached the conclusion that the whole content 
of all Judgments must be found in ultimate Judgments. The 
derivative Judgments only combine what is found in their 
ultimate premises, and give no new truth. The nature of 
Individuals is therefore based on ultimate Universal Judgments. 
And as that nature requires for its expression Judgments that 
all X is Z, while all Z is not X, there must be true ultimate 
Judgments of this type. 

Those Individuals which are Z without being X must be 
connected with Z by one or more other Universals, whose 
connexion with Z is ultimate. And thus we reach the con- 
clusion that the nature of the universe is expressed by Universal 
Judgments of the type that all Z is X, W, or V, where all X, 
all W, and all V are Z, and where Fand W represent a number 
of Universals which may vary indefinitely from zero upwards, 
though we know that in some cases it is greater than zero^ 
Thus we reach 

(c) The Disjunctive Syllogism 

(G. L. iii. 167. Enc. 191.), for this, as given by Hegel, is 
a Syllogism of which the Major Premise is one of these 

230. The position at which we have arrived is that the 
nature of the universe is expressed by ultimate Universal 
Judgments which are such that by their means is expressed 
both the Likeness and the Unlikeness which every Individual 
bears to every other Individual. 

Hegel would regard all these ultimate Judgments as forming 
a single hierarchy, without cross-classifications. For he says 

1 It can be zero in some cases, because these are cases where it is true both 
that all X are Z, and that all Z are X (cp. Section 207). 


that, in the Syllogism of Necessity, every Subject has only one 
possible Middle Term, and every Middle Term only one possible 
Predicate. Thus everything has only one higher class to which 
it can immediately be referred, and cross-classifications would 
be impossible. 

Whether this single system of classification could possibly 
explain the whole complex nature of existence is a difficult 
problem which Hegel does not discuss. In the absence of any 
treatment of the siibject by him, it is sufficient to say here that 
the conclusion that each Subject could only have one possible 
Middle Term, and each Middle Term only one possible Predicate, 
arose from the asserted necessity of removing the " contingency " 
in the First Figure. If, as I have tried to show, that contingency 
is not a defect, and need not be removed, the conclusion will 
not be justified. In that case, the connexion of Universals, 
expressed by the ultimate Judgments can be more complex, and 
can admit of cross-classifications. 

231. In the ultimate Disjunctive Judgments found in Dis- 
junctive Syllogisms we have the conception of the Self- 
Diff'erentiating Notion. (So far as I know, the phrase is not 
Hegel's own. At any rate he does not use it frequently. But 
it is often used by commentators, and it expresses a conception 
which has great importance for Hegel.) This conception is 
simpler than the name would suggest. It means nothing but 
a Notion, which is always accompanied by one of a certain 
number of subordinate Notions, the connexion between the first 
Notion and its subordinates being intrinsic — not due to any 
outside circumstance, but to the nature of the terms — and also 
being ultimate and not derivative. (In the case of the Notions 
contemplated by the present category the subordinate Notions 
are of less extent than the self-differentiating Notion, and they 
are peculiar to it, so that no cross-classification is possible.) 

Let us, for example, assume that it is true that all finite 
spirits must be either angels, men, or brutes. Then if the 
connexion between the terms is not external, but intrinsic, and 
not derivative but ultimate, the Notion of a finite spirit would 
be one which was said to differentiate itself into angels, men, 
and brutes. 

The conception of a self-diff'erentiating Notion has often 


been misunderstood. It has been supposed that by such a 
Notion Hegel meant one from whose nature the nature of 
the subordinate Notions could be deduced by pure thought. 
We should only have to take the conception of the class, and 
examine it with sufficient care, and it would proceed to develops 
the conceptions of its sub-classes. The mythical German who 
conducted his zoological studies by endeavouring to evolve the 
idea of a camel from his inner consciousness was acting very 
much in this manner. 

Such a theory is obviously incorrect, nor do I believe that 
there is the slightest evidence to support the view that Hegel 
held it. The only case in which Hegel professes to evolve 
anything by pure thought is in the dialectic. He there evolves 
only categories, which are themselves forms of pure thought. 
But most of the Notions which Hegel held to be self-differ- 
entiating contain an empirical element. And there is nothing 
to suggest that Hegel believed that a new empirical idea could 
ever be produced by pure thought. 

Nor, even in the dialectic, does Hegel give us a Notion 
differentiating itself by pure thought. The lower (in the sense 
of the less adequate) passes into the higher, but the higher 
(in the sense of the more extensive) never splits itself up into 
the lower. (This very important distinction has, I think, 
sometimes escaped the notice both of disciples and of critics 
of Hegel, and this has sometimes led to considerable con- 

The self-differentiation of a Notion, then, does not imply 
any inherent dialectic. It only means that it is an ultimate 
and intrinsic characteristic of that Notion, that it is always 
united with one of several others. What those others are must 
be discovered by us through observation and experiment, and, 
when they are found, the conjunction must be accepted by us 
as an ultimate fact. 

Some of the mistakes about the self-differentiating Notion 
may be due to the name, which is rather misleading. The 
active participle suggests a logical, if not a temporal process, 
and so leads us to suppose that the unity is the agent which 
produces the plurality, and is therefore prior to it. This 
might to some extent be remedied if we were also to use the 


correlative phrase of a self-unifying multiplicity, which would 
be as true a description of the same fact. 

With tl|e Disjunctive Syllogism we reach the end of Sub- 
jectivity. The treatment of Subjectivity in the Encyclopaedia 
does not differ from that in the Greater Logic, though its 
extreme condensation renders it more obscure. 


232. The divisions of Objectivity are as follows: 

I. Mechanism. (Der Mechanismus.) 

A. The Mechanical Object. (Das mechanische Objekt.) 

B. The Mechanical Process. (Der mechanische Process.) 

(a) The Formal Mechanical Process. (Der formale 
mechanische Process.) 

(6) The Real Mechanical Process. (Der reale me- 
chanische Process.) 

(c) The Product of the Mechanical Process. (Das 
Produkt des mechanischen Processes.) 

C. The Absolute Mechanism. (Der absolute Mechanis- 

(a) The Centre. (Das Centrum.) 
(6) The Law. (Das Gesetz.) 
(c) Transition from Mechanism. (Uebergang des 


II. Chemism. (Der Chemismus.) 

A. The Chemical Object. (Das chemische Objekt.) 

B. The Chemical Process. (Der chemische Process.) 

C. Transition from Chemistry. (Uebergang des Che- 


III. Teleology. (Die Teleologie.) 

A. The Subjective End. (Der subjective Zweck.) 

B. The Means. (Das Mittel.) 

C. The Realised End. (Der ausgefiihrte Zweck.) 

M=T. 16 


233. We saw reason in the last chapter to reject the view 
that Subjectivity meant the inner as opposed to the outer. It 
meant that which is contingent or capricious, as opposed to that 
which is universal and inevitable. It is thus natural that the 
next division should be called Objectivity. The contingent 
and capricious character of the classification, which had been 
present through the subdivisions of Notion and Judgment was 
recognised, at the beginning of Syllogism, in the First Figure, 
as a defect which proved the inadequacy of the category, and 
was finally transcended in the Syllogism of Necessity, the 
classification in which, according to Hegel, was no longer 
contingent and capricious, but universal and necessary. It is 
natural, therefore, that the next division, which preserves this 
result, should be called Objectivity. 

234. Hegel's account of the transition to Objectivity is as 
follows. " The Syllogism is mediation, the complete Notion in 
its position (Gesetztsein). Its movement is the transcending 
of this mediation, in which n<jthing is in and for itself, but each 
is only as it is mediated by another. The result is therefore an 
Immediacy, which has arisen through transcending the media- 
tion, a Being, that is just as much identical with the mediation 
and with the Notion, which has restored itself out of and by 
means of (aus und in) its Otherbeing. This Being is therefore 
a fact, which is in and for itself — Objectivity" {G. L. iii. 170. 
Cp. also Enc. 193). 

I cannot regard this as satisfactory. The line of the argu- 
ment appears to be that at the end of Subjectivity the 
mediation is merged, that this produces immediacy, and that 
this forms the transition to Objectivity. But how has this 
mediation been merged ? Surely it has not been completely 
merged. It is true that in the Disjunctive Syllogism it is an 
immediate fact that Z is either X, or Tf, or V, and that the 
connexions of X, W, and F with Z require no mediation. But, 
in any particular Individual, Z will be connected either with X, 
or with W, or with F, and not with all three. Mediation will 
therefore be necessary to determine with which of them it is 
connected, and a transition based on the absence of mediation 
is incorrect. 

Moreover, when we consider the detail of Objectivity, we 


find that mediation is not dispensed with, but that there is 
mediation, though of a different sort from that in Subjectivity — 
the new sort of mediation being directed to the issue just 
mentioned, the connexion of Z with X, e.g., rather than with W 
or V. 

235. I venture to suggest a line of argument which I 
believe to be valid in itself, and also to lead, as Hegel's own 
does not, to the mediation which he describes in the categories 
of Mechanism. 

In the last chapter (Section 187) I sketched this transition 
in anticipation. In considering the transition from the last 
categories of Essence to Subjectivity, I pointed out that 
" things are doubly connected — by similarity and by reciprocal 
causation. And it is obvious that a thing may be, and generally 
is, connected by the one tie to things very different from those 
to which it is connected by the other." And I submitted 
that the dialectic " first takes up the relation of similarity, and 
works it out through the course of Subjectivity. Then in 
Objectivity it proceeds to work out the relation of determina- 
tion — not going back arbitrarily to pick it up, but led on to it 
again by dialectical necessity, since Subjectivity, when fully 
worked out, shows itself to have a defect which can only be 
remedied by the fuller development of the relation of determi- 

We have now reached the end of Subjectivity, and we have 
found that it does, in fact, possess such a defect. Our position 
at the end of Subjectivity was that the nature of the universe 
could be explained by judgments of the type " every Z is 
either X or W" But such knowledge is necessarily incomplete. 
For of any given Individual which is Z, we know it is either X or 
W, but we do not know which it is. And yet it is certain that 
it is one of them, and that it is not the other. How is this to 
be determined ? Subjectivity cannot do it^ We require a 

1 Hegel makes the ultimate Disjunctive Judgment the Major Premise of a 
Syllogism, the conclusion of -which determines the Individual. "Every Z is 
either X or IF, this Z is not W, therefore it is X." In this case however, he 
has introduced a Minor Premise which is not a Universal Judgment, and has 
thus gone beyond Subjectivity which has transcended, and never re-introduced. 
Judgments other than Universal. 



further determination of objects which their inner nature, as 
we are able at this stage of the dialectic to understand it, 
cannot give us. What can remain ? It can only be determi- 
nation from outside. And thus we are naturally led back at 
the end of Subjectivity to the conception of the reciprocal 
connexion of Individuals by determination — that very con- 
ception which we had temporarily ignored while dealing with 
Subjectivity. Thus the argument takes the course that might 
be anticipated from the nature of the dialectic. When we left 
one element of Reciprocity behind, and, in the Thesis of the 
Doctrine of the Notion, devoted ourselves to developing the 
other side only, we could predict that the incompleteness thus 
created would require us to develop the other element of 
Reciprocity in the Antithesis. And this is exactly what has 
happened. We are now on the point of beginning the Anti- 
thesis — namely Objectivity — and the course of the argument 
has led us back to the ignored element in Reciprocity. 

I. Mechanism. 

236. {G.L. iii. 180. Enc. 195.) In the first place, Hegel 
says, the Individuals, now called Objects, are taken as merely 
externally connected by this reciprocal determination. And 
this is Mechanism, whose character, he tells us, is that " what- 
ever relation takes place between the connected things, that 
relation is alien (fremde) to them, does not belong to their 
nature, and, although it unites them with the appearance of a 
One, remains nothing more than a collocation, mixture, or heap 
(Zusammensetzung, Vermischung, Haufen) " {G. L. iii. 180). 

A. The Mechanical Object. 

(G. L. iii. 181. Enc. 195.) The definition of this, as often 
happens in the dialectic, is identical with that of the larger 
division, of which it is the first subdivision. The other two 
subdivisions modify and correct the characteristic idea of 
Mechanism. But here it is given in its full extent. Each 
Object enters into external relations of reciprocal determination 
with all others outside it, but these external relations are not 
affected by, and do not affect, the internal nature of the Objects 
related. In the Encyclopaedia the category of the Mechanical 


Object is known as Formal Mechanism, and this expresses the 
nature of the conception better than the title in the Greater 

When we are dealing with any subject-matter accessible to 
our experience, so extreme a view as this can only be accepted 
as a methodological expedient. It may sometimes be con- 
venient, for some temporary and limited purpose, to consider 
things as if their external relations had no influence on their 
inner nature, or their inner nature on their external relations. 
But experience teaches us, too plainly to be disregarded, that 
every external relation which holds of any of the things which 
we perceive does affect the inner nature of that thing, and that, 
on the other hand, the external relations which hold of things 
are largely determined by their inner nature. • 

Atoms, however, cannot be directly perceived, and in their 
case, therefore, empirical knowledge is powerless to check the 
errors of theory. And the theory of Atoms has sometimes got 
very near to the position of Formal Mechanism. It would not, 
indeed, assert that the inner nature of the atoms was entirely a 
matter of indifference to their outer relations. They could not, 
for example, repel one another, except by some property of 
impenetrability. But it has been asserted that a change in 
their outer relations makes no change in their inner nature, 
and that their inner nature has no influence in deciding which, 
of various possible relations, should be the one into which they 
should actually enter. 

Hegel says that this is the standpoint of Determinism 
{G. L. iii. 183). The expression does not, at first sight, seem 
very appropriate, since one of the chief characteristics of the 
category is that the inner nature of the Object is not determined 
by its outer relations. But it is the determination of the outer 
relations themselves to which Hegel refers here, and the signifi- 
cance of the name is negative. It denotes the fact that, so far 
as these reciprocal determinations are concerned, there is no 
self-determination on the part of the Object. If we ask why it 
is determined in this way rather than that, we can only attri- 
bute it to determination by another Object. In no case can 
the Object be self-determined in these reciprocal determinations, 
for its inner nature has nothing to do with them. 


237. This category, Hegel tells us, breaks down because of 
the contradiction which arises between the indifference of the 
Objects to one another, and their connexion with one another 
{G. L. iii. 184). He takes the reciprocal determination of two 
Objects as introducing an identical element in each of them. 
This is to be expected, for, as we saw in Chapter VK., he regards 
Cause and Effect as identical, and the reciprocal determination 
which we have here is, of course, reciprocal causation. But 
this error — if, as I have previously maintained, it is an error — 
does not affect the validity of his position that there is a 
contradiction between the indifference of the Objects and their 
connexion by reciprocal determination. 

In the earlier stages of Essence there would have been no 
contradiction in such a case. For there the Surface and the 
Substratum were conceived as having natures more or less 
independent of each other, though more or less connected. 
To determine the Surface would not necessarily involve the 
determination of the Substratum. Thus, if the inner nature 
of the thing were taken as Substratum, and its relations of 
reciprocal determination with other things were taken as Sur- 
face, the two might be as independent as this category requires. 

But in the course of the Doctrine of Essence we learned that 
the inner nature of a thing cannot be merely inner, but that it, 
and the whole of it, must be manifested by the external nature 
of the thing. And, conversely, no outer nature can be entirely 
outer. There can no more be anything in the Surface which 
has not its root in the Substratum, than there can be anything 
in the Substratum which does not manifest itself in the Surface. 

And thus the category of the Mechanical Object contains a 
contradiction. It demands that the inner nature of the Object 
shall be indifferent to its external relations of reciprocal deter- 
mination. But these external relations belong somehow, and 
in some respects, to the Object, or there would be no meaning 
in calling them the external relations of that Object. They 
are not its inner nature. They must, therefore, be its outer 
side, or part of its outer side. Thus the category of the 
Mechanical Object demands an outer side which does not affect 
the inner side. And this is just what was proved in the 
Doctrine of Essence to be impossible. 


If then the outer relations and inner nature of the Object 
are not absolutely independent, how do they stand to one 
another ? The prima facie assumption, since they at any rate 
profess to be different, is that they are two separate realities 
acting on one another. The arguments given above, indeed, 
suggest that the connexion is closer than this, but Hegel 
prefers to approach the truth gradually, by stating and trans- 
cending this view of the interaction of separate realities. This 
forms the second subdivision of Mechanism, and he entitles it 

B. The Medianical Process. 
(G. L. iii. 184. Enc. 196.) In the Encyclopaedia this 
category is called " Differenter Mechanismus," which Wallace 
translates Mechanism with Affinity. The significance of this 
name appears to be that one Object is no longer as suitable as 
another to enter into any particular relations. Since the inner 
nature has some influence on the outer relations, only those 
Objects can enter into any particular relations whose inner 
nature possesses particular qualities. 

238. Hegel divides this category into three subdivisions. 
This seems to me mistaken, for the first subdivision, so far as 
I can see, only repeats the conception of the Mechanical Object, 
while the third is only the transition to Absolute Mechanism. 
Thus the second subdivision gives the only conception peculiar 
to the triad, and might have been taken as the undivided category 
of Mechanical Process. (This course is taken by Hegel in the 
Encyclopaedia.) The first subdivision is called (G. L. iii. 186) 

(a) The Formal Mechanical Process. 

239. Of this Hegel says (G. L. iii. 190) that the determi- 
nation which the Object receives through it is merely external. 
It is this which makes me think it identical with the last 
category, the essential characteristic of which was the externality 
of the determinations. If this is so, the same arguments which 
carried us into Mechanical Process will carry us into its second 

(6) The Real Mechanical Process 
(G. L. iii. 190), where it is admitted that the reciprocal 
determinations do affect the inner nature of the Object, 


To this category, Hegel says (O. L. iii. 192), belongs the 
idea of Fate — a blind Fate, conceived as crushing and ignoring 
the Objects which are in its power. This conception of the 
sacrifice of the Object to the order of things outside it could 
not have arisen in the category of the Mechanical Object, since 
there the interior of any Object was quite untouched by 
external circumstances, and could not be sacrificed to them. 
And in the next category, that of Absolute Mechanism, the 
opposition of inner and outer is replaced by the perception of 
their unity, and with it there vanishes the idea of Fate as an 
alien and crushing power — to return again, on a higher level, 
in the category of Life, but to be again transcended in the 
category of Cognition. But, between the Mechanical Object 
and Absolute Mechanism, our present category is precisely the 
proper sphere of Fate. For outside and inside are connected 
just so much that the former may act on the latter, just so 
little that there is no harmony between them. Fate has the 
individual Objects in its power, " subjectos tanquam suos, viles 
tanquam alienos." 

If we carry this line of thought one step backwards we may 
say that if we looked at man under the category of the 
Mechanical Object, we should get a morality not unlike that 
of the Stoics. For morality is in the long run concerned only 
with the inner states of people, which are the only things which 
possess ultimate valued If everyone was happy, virtuous, and 
otherwise good, all external relations would be quite indifferent 
to morality, which only cares for external matters in so far as 
they affect the goodness (in the widest sense) of conscious 
beings. And if the inner nature of man, as of all other Objects, 
were independent of his external relations, then, whatever his 
circumstances, it would be in the power of each man to be 
completely good. Such a view would, of course, tend to 
produce absolute indifference to the affairs of the external 

But from such a view as this we are necessarily driven, if 

^ The view that nothing but the states of conscious beings possesses value 
as an end is not universal, but is maintained by almost all philosophers. 
The arguments in the text would have no validity for those who denied 
this view. 


we do not refuse to look facts in the face, to the Fatalism 
which we have seen to be characteristic of the category of the 
Mechanical Process. It is all very well to say that a man has 
the power to be free, virtuous and happy under any circum- 
stances. But the circumstances may include a badly trapped 
sewer which sends him out of the world, or a blow on the head 
which sends him into an asylum, or an education which leaves 
him with a complete ignorance of virtue, or a lively distaste 
for it. It is useless to try to escape from our circumstances. 
Such an " escape from Fate is itself the most unhappy of 
all Fates " as Hegel says elsewhere. For the attempt to 
escape generally deprives us of much of our power over our 
circumstances, while it by no means deprives them of their 
power over us. 

240. Hegel does not state explicitly the arguments which 
lead from this category to the next, but we can easily supply 
them, for they were really anticipated when we passed from the 
Mechanical Object to the Mechanical Process. There is no 
opposition between the inner and outer nature of an Object, 
because there is no difference between them. They are only 
the same thing seen from different points of view. The internal 
nature of each Object consists of qualities. And all these 
qualities are only in that Object because they are externally 
determined to be so. The general laws which we dealt with in 
Subjectivity can never by themselves assign any quality to any 
Object. They can only say that if one quality is there, another 
will, or will not, be there. They are only hypothetical. The 
actual existence of any quality in any Object is due to the 
relations of reciprocal determination with other Objects which 
form its outer nature. 

Thus the internal qualities are only the expression of the 
outer relations. But the outer relations are just as much only 
an expression of the inner qualities. If A and B are related 
by reciprocal determination, then A's qualities will be an 
expression of its relation to B, and ^'s qualities of its relation 
to A. But again the relation of ^ to B which determines B's 
qualities will be an expression of ^'s qualities. For if A's 
qualities had been different, it would have determined B 
differentlv. And likewise the relation of ^ to J. which 



determines ^'s qualities will be an expression of B's 

And so, to come back to Fatalism, we see that it is really 
impossible for the inner nature of an Object to be crushed. If 
the inner nature of an Object is said to be XYZ, then either 
it has it, or it has it not. If it has it, it has it, and then 
the inner nature is not crushed, but exists in its fulness. But 
if it has it not, then XYZ is not the Object's inner nature at 
all, and the Object is not in the least crushed or thwarted 
because it is not XYZ. Why should it be XYZ, if in point of 
fact it is not ? 

Of course this would not be a solution of the problem of 
Fate for self-conscious beings, but this is because the nature 
of a self-conscious being cannot be adequately brought under 
our present category. In the case of any being with a power 
of conscious self-determination, the inner nature will include 
volitions of some sort, and if outside circumstances prevent 
those volitions from being realised, then we can intelligibly 
speak of the inner nature being thwarted. For the inner nature 
in such a case is not merely a fact, but it is a fact part of which 
is a demand, and a demand can be real and yet unsatisfied. 

Thus Hegel says " Only self-consciousness has a true 
(eigentlich) fate ; for self-consciousness is free, in the indi- 
viduality of its I it is in and for itself, and can place itself 
over against its objective universality, and treat itself as alien 
against it" {G. L. iii. 193). This true fate is not transcended 
till we reach a higher category. 

We thus reach {G. L. iii. 193) 

(c) The Product of the Mechanical Process, 

which Hegel treats as identical with the first subdivision of 
Absolute Mechanism, to which we now proceed. 

C. The Absolute Mechanism. 

241. {G. L. iii. 194. Enc. 197.) This is divided in the 
Greater Logic into three subdivisions, the first of which is 

^ I venture to think that, if Hegel had worked this out further, it would 
have provided a more satisfactory transition to Teleology than is afforded by 
Chemism. But it would take us too far from Hegel's text to attempt to develope 
this view. 


(a) The Centre. 

(G. L. iii. 194.) According to this category, every Object is 
the centre of a system composed of all the other Objects which 
influence it. As everything in the universe stands in reci- 
procal connexion with everything else, it follows that each of 
these systems embraces the whole of existence, and that they 
are distinguished from each other by the fact that each has 
a different Centre. 

Since Hegel has connected the Mechanical Object with 
Determinism, and the Mechanical Process with Fatalism, we 
may say that in Absolute Mechanism we return again to the 
conception of Freedom, which we reached at the end of 
Essence. For Freedom, according to that conception, only 
consists in acting according to one's natui'e, and we now see 
that there is no power in the universe which could possibly 
make any Object do anything not in accordance with its nature. 
Freedom, in the higher sense in which it is applicable to 
conscious beings, is not reached till the " true fate " has been 
transcended, which Hegel speaks of above {G. L. iii. 193). 

We have, then, the Central Object, the determining Objects, 
and the relations between them. The surrounding Objects are 
called by Hegel the Relative-Central Objects, while the re- 
lations themselves are, somewhat curiously, called the Formal 

Each of these, Hegel points out, may be called the Universal. 
He apparently means by the Universal that term which is taken 
as uniting the other two. And any one of the three may occupy 
that position. The Central Object may be taken as uniting 
the other two, since those determining Objects could only have 
those relations with just that Central Object. (If there were 
a different Central Object they would determine it differently, 
and so be in different relations to it.) But again we may 
consider the determining Objects as the Universal. For that 
Central Object could only have those relations with just those 
determining Objects. And again the relations may be taken as 
Universal. For that Central Object could only be connected 
with those determining Objects by just those relations {G. L. 
iii. 196. Enc. 198). 


242. It should be noticed that the example of the category 
given by Hegel in both Logics {G. L. iii. 197. Enc. 198) is 
misleading. He makes either the State or the Government 
take the place of the Central Object, while the citizens are the 
determining Objects. Now the State and the Government 
differ from the citizens, not only as one citizen does from 
another, but in a more fundamental way. And thus the 
example would suggest that there are some Objects which are 
by their nature fitted to be the Central Objects of systems, 
while others are fitted only for the humbler position of de- 
termining Objects. But this, as we have seen, would be a 
mistake. For every possible Object is equally subjected to the 
category of Mechanical Process, and we saw in the course of 
the deduction that every Object to which the category of 
Mechanical Process was applicable, became the centre of a 
system of Absolute Mechanism. 

Indeed, we may say that the example, in the form which it 
takes in the Encyclopaedia, is not only misleading, but incorrect. 
For there he speaks of the State as the Central Object. Now 
the State is not an Object distinct from the citizens, which can 
act and react on them, as each of them does on the rest. It is, 
as no one realised more fully than Hegel, a unity of which the 
individual citizens are the parts. It is, no doubt, for Hegel 
a very close unity, and not a mere aggregate, but still it is 
a unity which only exists in the citizens, and not side by side 
with them. And thus the citizens cannot be determining 
Objects with the State as their Central Object. 

The example as given in the Greater Logic cannot be called 
positively incorrect. For Hegel there speaks only of the 
Regierung, and not, as in the Encyclopaedia, of the State also. 
Now Hegel probably took Regierung to mean a separate class — 
the king, civil servants, etc. — and, if so, it would form a separate 
Object by the side of the citizens, which could enter into 
relations of Mechanism with them. But the example would 
still be misleading, as suggesting an intrinsic difference between 
those Objects which were fitted to be Central Objects, and those 
which were not. 

243. We now enter on the course of argument which leads 
to Chemism by the gradual obliteration of the independence of 


the Object. This is not fully attained in the Greater Logic till 
the category of Chemical Process, between which and our 
present category three others intervene. In the Encyclopaedia, 
however, where Absolute Mechanism and Chemism are un- 
divided categories, the whole movement is performed in a single 
stage. It will, I think, be better to state and criticise the 
argument in this simpler form, before tracing the more elaborate 
course of the Greater Logic. 

The statement of the Encyclopaedia is as follows (199). 
" The immediacy of existence, which the objects have in 
Absolute Mechanism, is implicitly negatived by the fact that 
their independence is derived from, and due to, their connexions 
with each other, and therefore to their own want of stability. 
Thus the object must be explicitly stated as in its existence 
having an Aflfinity (or a bias) towards its other — as not-in- 

I conceive that Hegel's meaning is this. The whole nature 
of each Object depends on the relation between it and other 
Objects. But each of these relations does not, of course, belong 
exclusively to the one Object, but is shared by it with another. 
The nature of a particular piece of wax consists, for example, 
partly in the fact that it has been melted by a particular fire. 
But this melting is just as much part of the nature of the fire. 
The fact is shared between the wax and the fire, and cannot be 
said to belong to one of them more than to the other. It 
belongs to both of them jointly. 

Thus the only subject of which the relation can be pre- 
dicated will be the system which is formed by these two 
Objects — Objects which are now said to be in Afiinity with 
(different gegen) one another. This, then, will be the true 
unity determined by this relation. But two Objects cannot 
form a closed system, since all Objects in the universe are 
in reciprocal connexion. Our system of two Objects will have 
relations with others, and will be merged with them, in the same 
way in which the original Objects were merged in it, since the 
relations, which alone give individuality, are found to be common 
property, and so merge their terms, instead of keeping them 
distinct. The system in which all the Objects, and all their 
relations, are contained, becomes the only true Object, of which 


all the relations contained in the system are adjectives. The 
individual Objects disappear, and we reach the category of 

I think that this is what Hegel means, and at any rate it is 
quite clear that, when he has reached Chemism, he regards the 
different Objects as having collapsed into one Object. But 
I cannot see that this is justified. The conclusion from the 
essentiality of the relations to the unreality of the terms could 
only be valid if things lost their reality and stability in so far 
as they were connected with others. But the reverse of this is 
true. We have seen, with gradually increasing clearness as the 
dialectic advanced, that it is to their relations with what is 
outside them that all things owe their independence and 

244. We now proceed to the argument of the Greater Logic, 
whose elaboration does not introduce any really new factors, 
though it rather confuses the issue. At the end of his treatment 
of the category of the Centre, Hegel says " the system, which 
is the merely external determination of the Objects, has now 
passed over into an immanent and objective determination ; 
this is the Law" {G. L. iii. 198). 

(6) The Law. 

{G. L. iii. 198.) Of this he says on the same page " This 
reality, which corresponds to the Notion, is an ideal reality, 
different from the former reality which only strove ; the Differ- 
ence, which was previously a plurality of Objects, is taken 
up into its essentiality, and into the pure universality." 

This, however, does not take us more than one step on the 
way to Chemism, for the Objects are still possessed of a separate 
existence. "The soul is still sunk in the body" (G. L. iii. 199). 
The Law, apparently, is recognised as more important than 
the Objects which it connects, but it has not removed their 

245. Now, however, Hegel proceeds to prove their instability 
by an argument similar to that employed in the Encyclopaedia. 
" The Object has its essential stability only in its ideal centrality, 
and in the law of the centrality ; it has therefore no power to 
resist the judgment of the Notion, and to maintain itself in 


abstract undetermined stability and exclusion" {G. L. iii. 200. 
The phrase "judgment of the Notion " has clearly no reference 
to the particular division of Subjectivity which bore that name). 
We thus reach {0. L. iii. 199) 

(c) Transition from Mechanism. 

246. Here we have the Object in its Chemical form, no 
longer stable, but unstable by reason of its Affinity towards the 
related Object. Thus we pass to 

II. Chemism. 

{0. L. iii. 200. Enc. 200.) Chemism is not further divided 
in the Encyclopaedia, but in the Greater Logic it has three sub- 
divisions, of which the first is 

A, The Chemical Object 

{G. L. iii. 200), which appears to be exactly the same as Transi- 
tion from Mechanism ^ We have again Objects, still different 
from one another, but unstable by means of their Affinity. 

247. Now, however, he proceeds to argue, as in the En- 
cyclopaedia, that " the Chemical Object is not comprehensible 
by itself, and that the Being of one is the Being of the other " 
{G. L. iii. 202). With this merging of the Objects into one, he 

B. The Chemical Process. 

{G. L. iii. 202.) Here the full conception of Chemism is 
attained, and we have come to the same point which was 
reached in the Encyclopaedia by the simpler argument given 

The Object produced by merging the other Objects into one 
is called the Neutral Object. This name, and the expression 
that the Object has "sunk back to immediacy" {Enc. 202) 
suggest that the Neutral Object is undiiferentiated. And we 

1 This is not in accordance with the general method of the dialectic. 
Transition from Mechanism is a subdivision of the fifth degree, while the 
Chemical Object is a subdivision of the fourth degree. Thus they do not 
stand to one another as Synthesis and new Thesis, and it is only categories 
which do this which, according to the general method of the dialectic, are 
identical in content. 


can see that this would naturally be the case. For, in pro- 
portion as the related Objects lost their several reality, the 
relation between them would lose its reality. The relation of 
melting only exists between a fire and a piece of wax, if they 
are taken as different, though connected, Objects. If there 
were no fire and no wax there would be no relation of melting. 
Thus besides the separate Objects and their qualities, the 
relations also have gone, and nothing remains which could 
differentiate the Neutral Object. 

248. The category now reached gives us, says Hegel, an 
oscillation between the Neutral Object on the one hand, and, 
on the other hand, two Extremes, distinct, but connected and 
in a state of tension. It is, I think, clear that Hegel is 
asserting a category of alternation and not an alternation 
of categories. It is not, according to him, that we alternately 
regard existence as a Neutral Object and as a tension of 
Extremes, but that we hold throughout our treatment of the 
Chemical Process a position which asserts that the existent 
itself continually passes from one of these forms to the other. 

The passage to Chemical Process — this appears to be Hegel's 
meaning — gives us the Neutral Object. But the Neutral 
Object is undifferentiated, "it has sunk back to immediacy." 
It has therefore no true unity. So it splits up into the 
Extremes, which are the old separate Objects. But the Ex- 
tremes, being " biassed and strained " — that is, in connexion 
with each other, fall back into the Neutral Object, and the 
process goes on ad infinitum. This endless oscillation is 
apparently Hegel's ground for rejecting the category as in- 
adequate. (The account of this in the Encyclopaedia is clearer 
than that in the Greater Logic, but the meaning of both is the 

249. To the validity of this argument there appears to me 
to be two objections. 

In the first place, if such a Neutral Object were reached, it 
would not split up into Extremes, as Hegel makes it do, but 
would vanish altogether. Such a Neutral Object could have 
nothing outside it, for it is to be co-extensive with a mechanical 
system, and we have seen that every mechanical system is co- 
extensive with the universe. And again the Neutral Object, 


being imdiffereutiated, could have nothing inside it. It would 
have no determination left, external or internal. In other 
words, it would have returned to Pure Being, which, as we 
learned at the beginning of the Logic, is equivalent to nothing. 
We should be back again where we started, and the dialectic 
process could never pass this point, but would always return 
back on itself in a circle which could never be transcended. 

But even supposing that the Neutral Object did split up 
into its Extremes, and that the perpetual oscillation between it 
and them could be established, where is the contradiction in 
this that could take us on to the next category? The continual 
oscillation is, of course, what Hegel calls a False Infinite. 
But a False Infinite, as we have seen, though always regarded 
by Hegel as something valueless and unsatisfactory, is not 
regarded by him as necessarily involving a contradiction. It is 
only certain False Infinites which he regards as doing so. He 
gives no reason why this one should be counted among them, 
nor do I see what reason could be given. But, without some 
demonstration that this particular False Infinite is contradictory, 
we have no valid transition to the next category. 

I submit, therefore, that the conception of Chemism is 
unsatisfactory, alike as regards the transition to it, the con- 
ception itself, and the transition from it, and that it must be 
rejected. And, as I said above (Section 240, note), I believe 
a more attentive consideration of the category of Absolute 
Mechanism might very possibly yield a new category, which 
would in its turn offer a valid transition to Teleology. 

250. Hegel's transition to the next category is made by 
arguing that this oscillation shows the inadequacy of the forms 
— Neutral Object on the one hand, and Extremes on the other — 
which succeed one another in the Chemical Process, and that 
this inadequacy leaves the Notion which was (imperfectly) 
shown in each of them, standing free from them (G. L. iii. 208. 
Enc. 203), I quote the account in the Encyclopaedia, which 
seems to me more clearly expressed than the corresponding 
passage in the Greater Logic, though I do not think there is 
any difference in meaning. Speaking of the processes from 
Neutral Object to Extremes, and from Extremes to Neutral 
Object, he says that each "goes its own way without hindrance 

M=T. 17 


from the other. But that want of inner connexion shows that 
they are finite, by their passage into products in which they 
are merged and lost. Conversely the process exhibits the non- 
entity of the pre-supposed immediacy of the not-indifferent 
Objects. — By this negation of immediacy and of externalism 
in which the Notion as such was sunk, it is liberated and 
invested with independent being in the face of that externalism 
and immediacy." 

This is Hegel's argument, and its meaning does not seem 
to me doubtful. Its validity is not so clear. It is not evident 
why the fact that each form gives place to another form, in 
unending oscillation, should enable us to assert that the Notion, 
which is the uniting principle of both, should be able to do 
without either. It is still less evident why we should be 
entitled to assert, as Hegel proceeds to do, that the Notion 
thus freed embodies itself in the form of the category of 

In this way Hegel passes to (G. L. iii. 206) 

C. Transition from Cheniism. 

251. The question arises, with regard to the Notion of 
which Hegel has just spoken (which we may conveniently 
distinguish as the Chemical Notion), whether there are more 
than one of such Notions in the universe, or whether there is 
only one. The answer will be of considerable importance, not 
only with reference to the present category, but throughout the 
divisions of Teleology and Life. Hegel's language gives us no 
reason for one answer rather than another, but it seems to 
follow logically from his treatment of Chemism that there can 
be only one Chemical Notion. For it seems clear that there 
can be only one Chemical system. It is true that there were 
many systems of Absolute Mechanism, and that the transition 
to Chemism profcsaed to show that each system of Absolute 
Mechanism must now be regaided as a Chemical system. But 
apparently they would have all to be regarded as the same 
Chemical system. 

It must be remembered that each system of Absolute 
Mechanism contained all the Objects in the universe. The 
systems were only differentiated from one another by the fact 


that each system had a different Object for its Centre. Now 
this possibility of differentiation disappears in the Chemical 
system. A Chemical system is made up of a Neutral Object 
and Extremes. Two Chemical systems could not be dif- 
ferentiated from each other by means of different Neutral 
Objects, for the Neutral Object is the result of merging all the 
Objects of the universe together, and therefore there could 
only be one in the universe. Moreover, if the Neutral Object 
is undifferentiated, there could be nothing to distinguish one 
Neutral Object from another. And Hegel appears to regard 
the Neutral Object as capable of splitting into Extremes in one 
manner only, so that the Chemical systems could not be 
differentiated from one another by the possession of different 
Extremes. Thus we seem forced to the conclusion that there 
is only one Chemical system, and, therefore, only one Chemical 

252. The category of Transition from Chemism, as a 
Synthesis, is naturally identical with the Thesis of the new 
triad. We pass at once, therefore, to this new triad, which is 

III. Teleology. 

{0. L. iii. 209. Enc. 204.) The Chemical Notion has now, 
Hegel tells us, become the End. The End is the element of 
unity in the categories of Teleology, and the correlative element 
of plurality is the Means. 

Hegel departs considerably from the common usage in the 
meaning which he gives to the terms Teleology, End, and 
Means. What is generally meant by Teleology is what Hegel 
calls "finite and outward design," in which some independently 
existing object is used by some self-conscious being as a means 
for carrying out some plan which he has conceived. In " out- 
ward design " the Means and the End can exist independently ; 
for the End can exist in the mind of the designer, even if there 
are no available Means to carry it out, while the objects which 
are used as Means do not derive their entire existence from 
that use, but may have existed before the End was formed, 
and might still have existed, if the End had never been 



Hegel tells us that his use of these terms resembles Kant's, 
of whose conception of Teleology the best example is to be 
found in organic life {G. L. iii. 218. Enc. 204). By the help 
of this, and of the indications given by Hegel in the discussion 
of the subdivisions of the category, we can, I think, see what 
Hegel means by a Teleological system. It is, on the one hand 
a system the intrinsic nature of whose parts is dependent on 
their place in the system. Not only their external relations, 
but their whole nature, can only be explained, or even described, 
by reference to the system, and, through the system, to the 
other members of it. On the other hand the unity, the End, 
can only be stated as the unity which does connect just those 
parts. It cannot have a sej^arate description, as is the case 
with the Ends of "finite design." 

We can see that a living body offers the best possible 
example of this, though not quite an adequate one\ For the 
parts of an organism at any rate approximate to that degree of 
close connexion in which none of them have any nature at all 
which is not expressed in and dependent on their place in the 
system. And, on the other hand, if we ask what is the nature 
of the unity which holds together the parts of any organism, 
we can only say that it is the unity which does express itself in 
just those parts connected in that way. It is, it must be noted, 
this organic unity which is the End of the organism, in Hegel's 
and Kant's use of the word. The purpose of its creator or its 
parent, in creating or begetting it, or the purposes which the 
spiritual being connected with it uses it to fulfil, are only Ends 
of finite design. 

253. A similar unity to this may be found in a picture, in 
so far as it possesses aesthetic merit. For then the explanation 
and justification of each detail in the picture will be found in 
its place in the scheme of the picture as a whole, and, through 
that, in its relation to the other details. On the other hand, 
if we ask what the scheme of the picture is, what is the unity 
which makes it aesthetically meritorious, we can only say that 
it is the unity which is expressed in just those parts, arranged 
in just that manner. It admits of no separate statement. 

^ The failure of organisms to afford an adequate example of Teleological 
unity will be discussed in the next chapter (Section 266). 


Here, again, we must distinguish this inner unity of the picture, 
which is its End in the Hegelian sense, from the purpose of the 
artist to represent a particular scene in his picture, and from 
the more fundamental purpose which led him to paint the 
picture — desire for fame, for money, or the like. These are 
only Ends of finite design, and they admit of statement in 
other terms than simply that they are the End of this picture. 

In ordinary language the term Means may signify either 
the material in which an End is embodied and realised or the 
instruments by which that material is adapted. If I propose 
as an End to make a statue, both the marble and the chisel 
would be called Means to my End. But when Means is used 
as the correlative to End in the Hegelian sense, there is no 
question of instruments, and the Means are simply the plurality 
in which the unity of the End is embodied. That this is the 
case appears also from the two arguments by which Hegel 
demonstrates the inadequacy of the category of Means (see 
below, Sections 259, 260). 

254. We can now see that Teleology is a Synthesis of 
the positions of Mechanism and Chemism. In Mechanism the 
unity of a system of Objects is one of themselves — the Central 
Object. The unity is not yet a distinct moment in the system, 
correlative to the plurality of Objects. In Chemism, on the 
other hand, the unity of the system is regarded as more funda- 
mental than the plurality, for the result of the category is that 
the Chemical Notion is inadequately expressed by its mani- 
festations. In Teleology the two sides are balanced. The 
unity is a moment in the system distinct from the moment of 
the plurality of the parts of the system, and as fundamental 
as that plurality. On the other hand the unity is no more 
fundamental than the plurality, for it has no separate nature, 
but is just the unity which does unite that particular plurality 
in that particular way. 

The End may be called a Universal, and rightly, since it 
unites the system, and is common to every part of it. But it 
must be noticed that it is quite a different sort of Universal 
from that which we had in Subjectivity. There the Universal 
was a common quality. Here it is an organising principle. 
The highest point of Subjectivity was the Ultimate Dis- 


junctive Judgment which formed the Major Premise of the 
Disjunctive Syllogism. Let us take as an example, "all finite 
spirits must be angels, men, or brutes." Then the fact that a 
certain existent Individual was a finite spirit and a man would 
not in any way determine whether any other finite spirits 
existed, or to which of the three possible varieties they belonged. 
But if there exists a living human stomach, then, in so far as a 
living being is an adequate example of Hegelian Teleology, its 
existence will determine the existence of other living human 
organs which are not stomachs. For the living stomach could 
only exist as a manifestation of the organic unity of a human 
body, and such a unity must also manifest itself in other organs 
which are not stomachs. 

We have here, even more distinctly than at the end of 
Subjectivity, the idea of a self-differentiating unity, by which 
is to be understood, as I said above (Section 231), not a unity, 
from whose nature the nature of its differentiations can be 
deduced by pure thought, but a unity which, not through some 
external accident, but from inner necessity, is only to be found 
in a particular multiplicity. This multiplicity, however, is as 
ultimate and fundamental as the unity. It does not proceed 
from the unity, and is only dependent on it in the same way 
that the unity, in its turn, depends on the multiplicity — 
namely that the existence of each involves the existence of the 

We saw, in treating of this conception in the last chapter, 
that, although the existence of the unity involves that of the 
differentiations, and conversely, yet it does not follow that, if 
we know the nature of the unity, we should be able to deduce 
from it what were the differentiations of that unity. To recur 
to our previous example — a complete knowledge of what is 
meant by a finite spirit will not necessarily enable us to deduce 
that all finite spirits must be men, angels, or brutes. In 
dealing with the self-differentiating Notion of Teleology we 
may go further. We can be quite certain that we shall never 
be able to deduce the nature of the differentiations from our 
knowledge of the nature of the unity. For, as we have seen, 
the End in Teleology does not admit of being stated except as 
the unity which holds together just those differentiations in 


just that manner. And thus we cannot know the nature of the 
unity except in so far as we know the nature of the differentia- 

255. Hegel's use of the terms End and Means in this 
category seems to me very unfortunate. For, in ordinary 
language, the principal point in the significance of these terms 
is that the Means, as Means, exist only for the sake of the End, 
while the End exists for its own sake. The End has ultimate 
value, the Means only derivative value. Now it is an essential 
characteristic of Hegel's category, that the plurality, which he 
calls the Means, is just as fundamental and important as the 
unity, Avhich he calls the End. But the contrary is almost 
irresistibly suggested by the associations called up by the 
words, and even Hegel himself seems sometimes to forget in 
what a different sense from the common one he is professing 
to use them. 

Again, we must remember that, with the Hegelian use of 
the words, there can be no such thing as an unrealised End, or 
an inadequate Means. An End only exists at all in so far as it 
is the unity which unites the Means — i.e. which is realised by 
them, and, conversely, the Means only exist in so far as they 
are unified by, and express, the End, and can therefore offer no 
resistance to its realisation. 

And with this use of the words the conception of a realised 
End loses altogether that implication of value which it has 
when the words are used in their ordinary significance. In the 
latter case, to begin with, the assertion that an End is realised 
is not a tautology. An End adopted is not necessarily realised, 
and the realisation brings in a fresh element. And that fresh 
element is the harmony between the purpose of a conscious 
being on the one hand, and the surrounding reality on the 
other. This certainly involves pleasure, and, if pleasure be 
taken as a good, it also involves good. And thus, with " finite 
and outward " Ends, their realisation takes us into the world of 
values, since, at the lowest, the realisation implies that some 
conscious being has got what he wanted. 

But with Ends, in the Hegelian sense of the word, it is 
quite different. In the first place, to say that an End is 
realised, is now, as was explained above, a mere tautology. 


And, in the second place, an End, in this sense, is only the 
inner unity of existence. It has no necessary relation to the 
purpose of any conscious being, and no implication of value. 

256. The End, we have seen, is a unity as compared to the 
plurality of the Means. But the question still remains whether 
there is only one Teleological system and one End for the whole 
universe, or whether there are a plurality of Ends. Hegel does 
not make this clear. 

Logically, it would seem, there ought only to be one End. 
For there is no doubt that it is the Chemical Notion which 
becomes the End, and we have seen above (Section 251) that 
there can be only one Chemical Notion. 

And there seem very grave difficulties in the way of the 
assertion of a plurality of Ends. Have the separate Ends 
separate Means or not ? If they have, then the universe — the 
whole of existence — is broken up into different systems uncon- 
nected with one another. For the principle of connexion, 
according to this category, lies wholly in the End, and two 
Ends could not be connected. 

Such a view of the universe, at this point of the dialectic 
process, would be completely unjustifiable. It is scarcely 
possible that Hegel could have supposed it justifiable. At 
any rate, if he had made so great and striking a change at 
this point he would certainly have mentioned it explicitly, and 
as he gives no indication whatever of it, the hypothesis of a 
plurality of Ends, each with its distinct Means, must be rejected. 

But it is equally impossible that a plurality of Ends should 

all have the same Means. For the things which are the Means 

will be related to one another in various ways, and these 

various relations will unite them all into a single system. 

Now, as we saw above, the unity which unites just those things 

in just that way, will be an End to those Means. And they 

can have none other than this. It is the unity of the system 

in which they are, and they are not in more than one system, 

for the system means all the relations which exist between them^ 

^ In Absolute Mechanism the same Objects formed many systems. But then 
each system took the whole from the point of view of one Object as Centre, and 
there were many of these points of view. Here, where the unity of the system 
is not found in one of its parts, but is a distinct element, this source of plurality 
has failed. 


Thus a plurality of Ends could neither have separate Means 
nor the same Means, and thus the plurality of Ends is untenable. 
No doubt minor systems might be discovered within the all- 
embracing system, and the unity of each of these might be 
taken as an End, but these systems would have relative Ends. 
The systems would be parts of the all-embracing system, and 
their Ends only Means to the one ultimate End. 

On the other side, it must be admitted that the End is 
transformed into the Organism, and that Hegel unquestionably 
maintains a plurality of Organisms. But, in view of the argu- 
ments given above, it seems that we must say that there is only 
one End to the whole universe, aiid that the transition to the 
plurality of Organisms was unjustifiable. 

A. The Subjective End. 

257. (G. L. iii. 217. Enc. 207.) The full unity between 
Means and End is not attained till we reach the last division of 
Teleology. At first they are only regarded as of equal import- 
ance and as closely united. Each is still a separate entity with 
a separate nature of its own, though it could not exist except 
in conjunction with the other. This view dominates the two 
first subdivisions of Teleology. Whether Hegel could have 
avoided these, and could legitimately have proceeded direct 
from Chemism to the final form of Teleology is a question 
which it seems impossible to answer, on account of the difficulty 
of seeing precisely how he does pass from Chemism to Teleology 
as a whole. 

The first subdivision of Teleology is called by Hegel the 
Subjective End. It regards the Means as possessing no definite 
quality of their own except that they are a plurality. One 
Object is as good as another in any position in the system of 
manifestations of the End. If the Object A fills the place X 
in the manifestation of the End, that does not imply any special 
fitness in A to manifest X. B, or any other Object, would 
have done quite as well. All that the Objects are wanted for 
is to provide a plurality. 

258. The contradiction involved in this category is not 
hard to discover. For, while it asserts the Means to have 
separate natures, apart from that End which they carry out, 


it defines the Means so as to reduce this separate nature, and 
consequently the Means themselves, to nothing. 

The interconnexions of the various Means with one another 
form the End, which the Means carry out. The End is the 
unity of the Means, and it is clearly to the End that these 
interconnexions, which unite the Means to one another, must 
be referred. Now the present category asserts that one Means 
would always do as w^ell as another in carrying out the End, 
and, consequently, that the intrinsic nature of the Means has 
no relation to the End. It follows that the intrinsic nature of 
the different Means has no relation to the connexions between 
them. These connexions, however, form the whole of the 
external nature of the Objects which are considered as Means^ 
and we saw, when we were dealing with Absolute Mechanism, 
that the inner nature is completely expressed in its outer 
nature. To maintain that anything has a core of its own apart 
from and unaffected by its relations to outer things would be to 
go back to the earlier categories of Essence, whose insufficiency 
has been demonstrated much earlier in the dialectic. Therefore 
this intrinsic nature which the Means are asserted to possess 
can neither be theii" outer nature nor their inner nature — and 
what else is left for it to be ? Clearly nothing. And thus the 
Means, having no nature, would be non-existent. 

To suppose, then, that the Means have no intrinsic adapta- 
tion to the End, is to destroy the possibility of their having a 
nature at all, and so the possibility of their existing at all. 
If, therefore, they are still to retain any externality whatever 
to the End, that externality must be harmonious to the End. 
The nature of each Means must consist in its fitness to carry 
out the End — its fitness to fill one particular place in the 
system of which the End is the unity. It thus ceases to be 
indifferent which Means are employed in manifesting the End 
in a particular way — that is, at a particular place in the system. 
Only those Means can do so which are fitted for the task by 
their own nature. We thus approach more closely in one 
respect to the ordinary significance of the word Means, which 
includes some special capability in the Object to carry out the 
End. It is thus appropriate that the next category should be 


B. The Means. 

(G. L. iii. 221. Enc. 208.) Here, as elsewhere, we must 
remember the special meaning of End and Means as Hegel uses 
them. Though the Means have a certain externality to the 
End, and a certain distinction from it, yet it is not held that 
they could exist apart from it. The position throughout 
Teleology is that the Means could not exist if they did not 
embody the End, nor the End if it were not embodied by the 
Means. And so it may be misleading to speak here of the 
Means as fitted to embody the End. The relation of the Means 
to the End is not a mere potentiality, as when, in the non- 
Hegelian sense of the terms, we say that a spade is a Means for 
digging. For Hegel the Means only exist as embodying the 
End, and when we speak of them as being fitted for it, we only 
mean that their intrinsic nature co-operates in the manifestation, 
and is no longer considered as indifferent to it. 

259. This category, in its turn, is found to be inadequate. 
Of this Hegel gives two demonstrations, the first of which is to 
be found in the Greater Logic only, while the second occurs 
both there and in the Encyclopaedia. They may be said to be 
based on the same general principle, but raise perfectly distinct 
points, and must be considered separately. 

In the first {G. L. iii. 229) he says that if we accepted the 
position of this category we should be forced to insert, between 
the End and the Means, a second Means, and then, between the 
End and this second Means, a third Means, and so on ad 
infinitum, and that this involves a contradiction. Let us 
expand this argument. 

If the End and the Means are to be taken as distinguishable 
entities, then it is clear that each of them must conform to all 
the conditions which are necessary to the existence of any 
entity. Now we have seen in the course of the dialectic that 
no entity of any sort can be a blank or undifferentiated unity. 
Therefore the End cannot be such a unity, but must be 
differentiated. This, indeed, has already been admitted, and 
the work of the Means is to differentiate it. But — and here 
the root of the inadequacy appears — if the End has an existence 
distinguishable from the Means, it must have a differentiation 


distinguishable from the Means. Now the element of differ- 
entiation in a differentiated unity cannot be evolved from or 
produced by the element of unity. It must be correlative with 
it, and equally ultimate. 

Within the End, therefore, and apart from the Means, there 
must be such an element of differentiation. But the definition 
of a Means, as we have seen, is just the plurality which 
differentiates a unity in this way, and this element of differ- 
entiation will therefore be a second Means, between the End 
and the first Means. And, now that it is a Means, it will, 
according to the present category, be a separate entity from the 
End. By the same reasoning as before, the End will require 
some differentiation independent of this new Means, and this 
differentiation will become a third Means, between the End and 
the second Means. And this process will go on ad infinitum. 

Such an infinite process as this clearly involves a contra- 
diction. By the hypothesis the End and the first Means are 
united. But we now find that their union must be mediated. 
It depends on the union between the End and the second 
Means, But this union again requires mediation, and so on. 
All mediated connexions must depend on some immediate 
connexion. But in this chain every connexion requires 
mediation, and there is no immediate connexion. Then there 
can be no mediated connexion either, and so no connexion at 
all. But, by the hypothesis, there is a connexion. And thus 
we reach a contradiction. 

260. Hegel's second argument {G. L. iii. 230. Enc. 211) 
is that the Realised End will, according to the present category, 
be nothing but a Means, that it will consequently require 
another Realised End beyond it, which in turn will be nothing 
but a Means, and so on ad infinitum. This also requires some 

When End and Means are taken in their common and un- 
Hegelian sense, there is a clear distinction between the Means 
and the Realised End. A block of marble and a chisel may be 
taken as Means to the End of making a statue, but no one 
could mistake either the block or the chisel for the statue which 
is their Realised End. But it is different when the terms have 
their Hegelian sense. For then the Means is not merely an 


Object which might be made to realise the End. It is an 
Object which does realise it, and which realises it necessarily, 
and by its intrinsic nature. The Means therefore is an Object 
whose nature is such that it realises the End. (If we are 
speaking of a single Object, it is better, except for the sake of 
brevity, to say " which participates in realising the End," since 
of course an End can only be realised in a plurality of Means.) 

Now what is the Realised End ? Is it anything more than 
this ? It can be nothing more. The only form a Realised End 
can take is that of an Object whose nature is such that it 
manifests the End. And therefore, for Hegelian Teleology, 
there is no difference between the Means and the Realised 

This conclusion we shall find later on to be the truth. But 
it is inconsistent with the position of the present category, and 
the attempt to combine the two produces a contradiction. For 
the Realised End is the union of the End and Means, and, if 
these are taken as in any way distinguishable, it cannot be the 
same as either of them. Hence when we find that our Realised 
End is identical with the Means, we cannot regard it as really 
the Realised End. If it is one extreme of the relation it cannot 
be the union of both. We take it then, according" to Hegel, 
simply as the Means, and look for another Realised End beyond 
it. (It may be added, though Hegel does not mention it, that 
it would have been equally correct to take it simply as the 
Realised End, and then to look for another Means to mediate 
between it and the End. The infinite series thus started would 
lead to a contradiction, in the manner indicated in Section 2.59.) 
But the new Realised End would also necessarily be identical 
with the Means, for the same reasons as before, and our search 
would have to be continued ad infinitum. Such an infinite 
series would involve a contradiction, for there would be no term 
in which the End was realised, and therefore it would not be 
realised at all, while, by the hypothesis, it is realised. 

261. The category which involves such contradictions must 
be transcended. And the way to transcend it is clear. The 
whole of the difficulty arose from the fact that End and Means 
were taken as separate entities. It was this that forced us to 
insert, between Means and End, an infinite series of new Means. 


And it was this which gave us the choice, either to insert 
another infinite series of Means between Means and Realised 
End, or else to prolong the series of Means infinitely forward, 
in the vain attempt to reach a Realised End which was different 
from a Means. We can get rid of the contradictions only by 
dropping our supposition that End and Means are in any way 
separate entities. We know from the first category of Teleology 
that they can only exist if they are connected. But now we 
are driven to the conclusion that they are two aspects of the 
same entity. Existence is a differentiated unity. The End 
is the aspect of unity, the Means the aspect of differentiation. 
The relation of the aspect of unity to the aspect of differentia- 
tion, and the relation of the various differentiations to one 
another were considered above (Sections 252 — 254). With 
this we pass to the final subdivision, to which Hegel gives the 
name of 

G. The Realised End. 

{G. L. iii. 224. Enc. 209.) The appropriateness of this 
name lies in the fact that the Realised End is the unity of the 
End and Means, and that we have come to the conclusion that 
End and Means are not two realities connected with each other, 
but two aspects distinguishable within a single reality. And 
thus this category takes its name from the unity of the two 
sides — that is to say, from the Realised End. (The unity of the 
two sides with one another, must, of course, be cai-efully dis- 
tinguished from the unity of the differentiations, which is one 
of those two sides.) 

Thus we learn that the universe is as much One as it 
is Many. It is a reality in which the aspect of unity — the 
End— which makes it One, is as fundamental, and no more 
fundamental, than the aspect of plurality — the Means — which 
makes it Many. This equipoise of unity and plurality may 
not be reached here for the first time in the dialectic, but our 
return to it when both unity and differentiation have been so 
fully developed, has a greater significance than its previous 
occurrence could have. And thus we reach the end of Objec- 


The treatment of Objectivity in the Encyclopaedia only 
varies in the fact that Mechanical Process, Absolute Mechanism, 
and Chemism are not, as in the Greater Logic, further divided. 
The first two, at any rate, of these changes, seem to be 



262. The last section of the dialectic is divided as follows : 

I. Life. (Das Leben.) 

A. The Living Individual. (Das lebendige Individuum.) 

B. The Life-Process. (Das Lebens-Process.) 

C. The Kind. (Die Gattimg.) 

II. The Idea of Cognition. (Die Idee des Erkennen.) 

A. The Idea of the True. (Die Idee des Wahren.) 

(a) Analytic Cognition. (Das analytische Erkennen.) 

(b) Synthetic Cognition. (Das synthetische Erken- 


B. The Idea of the Good. (Die Idee des Guten.) 

III. The Absolute Idea. (Die absolute Idee.) 

It should be noticed that within II. there are only two 
divisions, the Synthesis being absent, and that the same is the 
case with the subdivisions of II. A. Cognition (Erkennen) has 
its meaning so extended that, as will be seen later, it covers 
Volition as well as Knowledge, 

263. In the last division of Objectivity, Realised End, we 
had reached the result that the whole of existence forms a 
system of differentiated parts, the unity of the system being as 
fundamental as the differentiation of the parts, and the differ- 
entiation of the parts, again, being as fundamental as the unity 
of the system. In this system the intrinsic nature of each part 
is dependent on its place in the system. It can only be 
explained, or even described, by reference to the system, and, 

I. LIFE 273 

through the system, to the other members of it. On the other 
hand, the unity can only be described as the unity which does 
connect these parts. It has no nature which can be stated 
apart from them, just as they have no nature which can be 
stated apart from the unity. 

This conception, which formed the Synthesis of the last triad 
of Objectivity, is naturally reproduced in the Thesis of the first 
triad of the Idea. And this is the conception which we find in 
the category of the Living Individual. 

The general conception of the Idea is, according to Hegel, 
the unity of the Subjective Notion and Objectivity. {G. L. iii. 
240. He also calls it the unity of the Notion and Objectivity. 
G. L. iii. 238. Eiic. 213. This phrase is less appropriate than 
the other, since Objectivity is also part of the Notion.) In 
Subjectivity the Individuals were connected by their similarities 
and dissimilarities, which were realised as forming their inner 
and intrinsic nature. In Objectivity there was added to this 
connexion the further connexion of each Individual with other 
Individuals by means of causal relations^ But this was con- 
ceived at first as a species of connexion which was external to 
the Individuals connected, and did not form part of their 
natures. This externality was gradually eliminated, but did 
not completely disappear until the final category of Realised 
End. Then the determination of each Individual by others 
was found to consist in their relation to one another in a Teleo- 
logical System, while the inner nature of each is found to be an 
expression of its place in the Teleological System. Thus in 
Idea the connexion of Individuals is, as in Objectivity, inclusive 
of the mutual determination of each Individual by every other 
Individual, while, at the same time, the whole connexion of 
Individuals is, as in Subjectivity, part of their inner nature. 

Hegel, however, says that " in a more general sense " the 
Idea is also "the unity of Notion and Reality (Realitat)" 
(G. L. iii. 240). This seems incorrect. By Reality Hegel 
appears to mean the plurality in which the Notion is expressed. 
Now if he speaks of the conception of such a plurality in which 

1 This connexion by causal relation was, of course, first reached in Re- 
ciprocity, but its development was not taken up again until Objectivity had 
been reached. 

M-^T. 18 

274 CH. X. THE IDEA 

the Notion is expressed, that conception is not reached for the 
first time in the Idea, since both in Subjectivity and Objectivity 
the Idea was recognised as having such a plurality. If, on the 
other hand, he speaks of a detailed knowledge of that plurality, 
or of the actual existent plurality itself, these are not reached 
in the Idea. The whole dialectic deals only with a priori 
conceptions, and we cannot acquire by it any knowledge of the 
different characteristics of particular Individuals, which — for us 
at any rate — can only be known empirically. Still less can the 
actual Individuals themselves be part of the dialectic. 

I. Life. 

264. {G. L. iii. 244. Enc. 216.) We must, of course, bear 
in mind here, as with other categories named from concrete 
phenomena, the relation between those phenomena and the 
category. The category of Life does not apply only to what 
are commonly called living beings, but is equally true of all 
reality. Nor does Hegel profess to deduce by the dialectic 
process all the empirical characteristics of biological life. The 
choice of the name is due to the fact that this is the category 
of pure thought which is most usually and naturally employed 
in dealing with the phenomena of life. 

Hegel is, I think, clearly right in saying that it is this 
category which is thus employed in dealing with the phenomena 
of life. In so far as any matter is held to form a living organism, 
it is held that the nature of each part of that whole is only 
capable of explication or description by reference to the organism 
as a whole, while that organism can only be described as the 
unity which is the unity of just those parts\ (This is the case 
when the organism is looked at by itself, and for itself If the 
organism is regarded as connected with a conscious Spirit, and 
as used by that Spirit as a means to its own ends, more can be 
said about the organism. But then we are considering some- 
thing beyond biological life.) 

1 We may compare Kant's account of an organised being. (Critique of 
Judgment, Section 65.) "In the first place it is requisite that its parts (as 
regards their presence and their form) are only possible through their reference 
to the whole. ...It is requisite secondly that its parts should so combine in the 
unity of a whole that they are reciprocally cause and effect of each other's 

I. LIFE 275 

It is for this reason that he calls this category Life, and that 
he calls the element of unity by the oarae of Seele, and the 
element of plurality by the name of Body. It is not easy 
to find an English equivalent for Seele, in the sense in which it 
is used by Hegel, and I have therefore retained the German 
word. Soul would be misleading, since the modern use of that 
word is to designate what is otherwise called Spirit. But Seele 
means for Hegel nothing but the unity of which the body 
is the plurality — the element of unity in biological life. 

In the case of Life Hegel makes it even more explicit than 
he does when dealing with other categories with concrete names, 
that he intends to keep strictly to pure thought, and to avoid 
all empirical intermixture. For he expressly warns us against 
supposing the Life spoken of in the dialectic to be identical 
with the life of concrete experience, whether the latter be taken 
by itself, or as a manifestation of Spirit (G. L. iii. 245 — 246). 
But he fails to carry out his intentions. The category of Life, as 
treated by him, possesses two important features which are found 
in the phenomena studied in biology, but which cannot, as it 
seems to me, be legitimately deduced by the dialectic process, and 
which ought not, therefore, to have been ascribed to the category. 

265. In the first place, the question arises whether the 
universe consists of one example of the category of Life, or of 
many such examples. Each of these examples may be called 
an Organism. Are there many such Organisms, or only one ? 

It seems to me that the right answer to this would have 
been that there is only one. The whole universe, as I have 
maintained in the last chapter, forms one Teleological System, 
and, as it is the Teleological System which, in the new Thesis, 
is re-stated as the Organism, there should be only one Organism. 
And in the next category, Cognition, the individual cognizing 
Selves appear to correspond to the parts of the Organism, while 
the cognized Whole — which embraces the whole universe — 
corresponds to the Organism. This, also, indicates that the 
universe ought to be conceived as one Organism. 

But Hegel takes a different view. According to him the 
universe, as seen under this category, consists of a plurality of 
Organisms, each of which has a plurality of parts. The Organ- 
isms are in relation to one another, and so may be said to form 


276 CH. X. THE IDEA 

a unity of some sort, but this larger unity — which does embrace 
the whole universe — is not an Organic unity. 

He seems to have been led into this error by the analogy 
offered by biology, which deals with a multitude of living 
beings, each of which is an organic unity, while they do not 
together form an organic unity. And this error vitiates, I think, 
his whole treatment of the categories of Life. 

266. The second case in which, as it seems to me, Hegel 
has been misled by biological analogies is in treating the living 
Body^ as an inadequate manifestation of the Seele. On this, as 
we shall see, he endeavours to base the transition to the next 
category. Now there is nothing in the dialectic to warrant this 
view. In the Teleological System the nature of the unity was 
just that it was the unity which did connect those parts. 
If Hegel had not demonstrated the validity of this conceptioQ, 
he would have had no right to affirm the category of Teleology, 
nor, consequently, the category of Life. But if he had demon- 
strated its validity, how could he be justified in saying that the 
parts are not an adequate manifestation of the unity ? 

But the analogy of biology would suggest that the mani- 
festation could be inadequate. For, although biological life 
is the best example known to us of this category, it is not 
a perfect example. The parts of a biological organism have 
some existence independently of the organism of which they 
form part, since the same matter which now forms part of 
a living body, existed before that body was formed, and will 
exist when it has decomposed. Its condition while in the body 
is in some respects different from its condition outside the body, 
but it retains certain characteristics unchanged. 

Hegel quotes with approval (Enc. 216) Aristotle's remark 
that a hand separated from the body is only a hand in name, 
not in fact. But if this is given as a characteristic which is 
confined to the parts of living beings, the statement cannot be 
justified. A hand is changed more or less by being cut off — 
but so is a piece of granite changed, when it is cut out of the 
quarry. The granite remains more or less the same after the 

^ Here, and wherever I write Body with a capital initial, I mean the element 
of plurality in Hegel's category of Life. When I mean the body as known to 
biology I write the word without a capital. 

I. LIFE 277 

separation, and so does the hand. Even when the hand 
eventually decays, the atoms, or other units, into which it is 
resolved, are in many respects the same as they were before the 
hand was cut off. Thus the difference here between the organic 
and the inorganic is only a matter of degree. 

And, on the other hand, the organism in biology is inde- 
pendent, to a certain degree, of its parts. For during the life 
of an organism, much matter is added to it, and much, which 
previously belonged to it, is excluded from it, while the organism 
is regarded as being the same through all these changes. 

Since the biological organism and its parts are thus more or 
less independent of one another, the possil)ility of an inadequate 
manifestation of the organism by its parts would arise. But this 
relative independence is not a characteristic of the category of 
Life, as given in the dialectic, and Hegel is not justified in asserting 
the possibility, under that category, of an imperfect manifestation. 

The approval which Hegel gives to Aristotle's statement 
about the hand, seems to indicate that he did not fully realise 
the imperfect nature of biological unity, to which, as I submit, 
the possibility of an inadequate manifestation is due. But the 
fact that biological manifestations were sometimes inadequate — 
and that so the organism died — was clearly before him. And it 
was this, I think, which led him to suppose the possibility of 
inadequate manifestation in his category of Life. 

Hegel says that Life is the Idea in the form of immediacy 
(G. L. iii. 249. Enc. 216). It appears from what he says later 
with reference to the process by which this category is trans- 
cended, that he connects the immediacy of Life with the 
possibility of an inadequate manifestation. A particular arrange- 
ment of parts, which in point of fact exists, may or may not 
manifest the Seele adequately. If it does manifest it adequately 
this is a mere fact, which can be recognised as true, but cannot 
be demonstrated as necessary. 

A. The Living Individual^. 

267. {G. L. iii. 249. Enc. 218.) Three characteristics 
of the Living Individual are given by Hegel — Sensibility, 

^ Individual here stands for Das Individuum, and not, as elsewhere in this 
book, for Das Einzelne. 

278 CH. X. THE IDEA 

Irritability, and Reproduction. These correspond, he says, to 
the Universal, the Particular, and the Individual (Das Einzelne). 
They are not divided off, either in the text or in the table of 
contents, as separate subdivisions of the category of Life, but 
it would seem that Hegel does regard them as such, since the 
third seems to be taken as a Synthesis of the other two, and to 
form the transition to the next category of the Life-Process. 
The transition from the Thesis to the Antithesis, however, is 
not very clear. It would seem that both are reached directly 
from the general idea of Life, rather than the second from the 
first. All three assume that there is something outside each 
Organism. This naturally follows from Hegel's view that there 
is a plurality of Organisms, for then each of them will have 
other Organisms outside it. 

In the first place, then, an Organism which is related to 
other things outside it, will be affected by them, and will 
receive impressions from them. By reason of the unity of the 
Organism, these impressions will not only affect that part of 
the Organism which first receives them, but will also affect the 
Organism as a whole and in its unity. This affection of the 
whole by what happens in any part is what Hegel calls Sensi- 
bility {G. L. iii. 2.53. Enc. 218). (Here, as afterwards with 
Irritability and Reproduction, the name, like the name of Life, 
is only applied to the logical conception because that conception 
is exemplified in what is commonly called Sensibility. It does 
not imply that all existence has the empirical characteristic of 

In the second place, the Organism will in its turn affect 
whatever is outside it. It will do this by means of the part of 
its Body which is in immediate relation with the particular 
outside thing in question. But this part of the Body will be 
determined to its particular nature by the Seele, the unity of 
the Organism. And this action of the whole Organism, through 
its part, on what is outside it, is called Irritability {G. L. iii. 254. 
Enc. 218). 

The third stage is the maintenance of the Organism as a 
whole, through, and by means of, its relation to what is external 
to it. In the Greater Logic he says that this, on its theoretical 
side, may be called Feeling (Gefiihl) and on its "real" side 

I. LIFE 279 

may be called Reproduction (Reproduktion) {G. L. iii. 254). 
In the Encyclopaedia only the name Reproduction is used 
{Em. 218). 

When Reproduction is found in a series of names which are 
taken from biological science, we should naturally suppose it to 
mean that the characteristic after which this category was 
named was the power possessed by living beings of producing 
other beings of their own species. But this is not the case. 
Hegel's language, in both Logics, is clearly incompatible with 
this, and moreover the propagation of the species is found later 
on as an example of a more advanced stage of the category 
of Life. 

The Organism, then, preserves itself in its own identity 
through its relation to what is outside it. Throughout this 
triad of the Living Individual, it is assumed that each 
Organism must enter into relation with what is outside it, and 
that it is by means of these relations that it will maintain 
and express its own nature. This necessarily follows, if it is 
admitted that there is a plurality of Organisms, and that, 
consequently, every Organism must have something outside it. 
For the different parts of the universe cannot be unconnected, 
nor can their connexion be anything merely external to them. 
It must be a connexion in which the nature of those different 
parts must be expressed. This results from previous stages of 
the dialectic. The only illegitimate assumption is the primary 
assumption that there is a plurality of Organisms. 

268. With this conception of the relation of the Organism 
to the outside world we reach 

B. The Life-Process 

(G. L. iii. 255. Enc. 219), which consists in just such a self- 
maintenance of the Organism by means of its external relations. 
The empirical characteristic of living beings which Hegel com- 
pares to this category is the process of assimilation, by which 
the animal or vegetable not only maintains itself by its relation 
to what is external to its body, but, in that process of main- 
tenance, actually converts it into a part of its body {G. L. 
iii. 258. Enc. 219). 

In this connexion Hegel says that the living being " stands 

280 CH. X. THE IDKA 

face to face with an inorganic nature" {Enc. 219). This, taken 
literally, could not apply to the relations of the Organism under 
this category. All the universe is not, according to Hegel, one 
Organism, but it consists of nothing but Organisms, and thus 
no Organism could be in relation to anything inorganic, since 
nothing inorganic exists. 

This, however, does not affect the accuracy of the category. 
For all that the category requires is that the Organism should 
stand in relation to something with which it is not in organic 
relation. And this condition, as we have seen, is satisfied 
if the Organism stands in relation to other Organisms. 

In speaking of this category in the Gr'eater Logic Hegel 
says that " the self-determination of the living being has the 
form of objective externality, and since the living being is at 
the same time identical with itself, it is the absolute contra- 
diction (Widerspruch) " {G. L. iii. 256). I do not see why 
he should have said this. Of course this category, like all 
categories from Becoming onwards, contains, synthesised in its 
unity, moments which if unsynthesised would contradict each 
other. But they do not contradict each other when synthesised, 
so that the name of Contradiction is not appropriate. And, if 
it were appropriate to a category which synthesised moments 
which contradict one another, it would be equally applicable to 
all categories except Being and Nothing. 

In connexion with this contradiction, and the division 
(Entzvveiung) which it involves, Hegel introduces Pain. It 
may be doubted whether it is worth while to carry so far the 
parallelism between the empirical characteristics known in 
biology and the characteristics of the logical category. If it 
were, it would seem as if Pain should rather be introduced in 
connexion with the inadequacy of the manifestation — a point 
not yet reached. 

269. The transition to the next category appears to be by 
the idea of Universality. In the Life-Process the Particularity 
of the Organism is transcended, and it is elevated to Universality, 
by reason of its connexion of itself with that which is external 
to it, while it maintains its own nature in that connexion. 
" Through the external Life-Process it has thus posited itself 
as real, universal Life, as Kind" {G. L. iii, 259). 

I. LIFE 281 

a The Kind. 

(G. L. iii. 259. Enc. 220.) Hegel's view is, apparently, 
that the idea of the Kind is now the Seele, or principle of 
unity, of each Organism. And it is the inadequacy of any 
particular Body to manifest the general idea of the Kind, on 
which he relies to demonstrate the inadequacy of all Organic 

270. This view seems to me to be quite unjustified. It is 
true that the Universal element in the Organism becomes more 
explicit when we realise that it not only manifests itself in its 
own Body, but maintains itself in and by means of its relation 
to what is outside its Organism. And it is true that a Kind, 
or species, is Universal as compared to the Individuals which 
belong to it. But the transition from one to the other is quite 
illegitimate, for they are two quite different Universals. The 
Universal which constitutes a Kind is a Universal such as was 
discussed under Subjectivity — a common quality, or group of 
qualities, which can be shared by various Individuals. It was 
because this sort of Universal proved inadequate as a description 
of existence that the dialectic passed in Objectivity to the 
Universals of Systems. The Universal throughout Objectivity, 
and now in Life, has been the Universal which is the unity of 
a System, a Universal which belongs to and unites certain 
differentiations, so that each of them has its definite place in 
the System, and, by means of this systematic connexion, the 
existence of one differentiation determines the existence of 
another. This is clearly quite a different notion from such a 
Universal as " lion." The latter denotes a group of qualities 
which may be, as in point of fact it is, shared by many beings, 
but which does not unite them in any sort of system, since the 
existence of one lion does not determine the existence of any 
others — at least, does not determine it by virtue of their com- 
mon Universal. If all lions but one were annihilated, the 
survivor would not be any less a lion, while, on the other hand, 
if all the organs of a living body but one were annihilated, the 
one which remained would no longer be part of an organic unity, 

Hegel has therefore no right to substitute one conception of 
Universal for the other at this point as if they were equivalent 

282 CH, X. THE IDEA 

— especially as in doing so he substitutes a conception which 
he had demonstrated to be defective for the higher conception 
which had transcended the defect. 

271. Since, according to Hegel's view, the Seele of the 
Organism is its Kind-Universal, the Organism, as being only 
a particular Individual, is unable to manifest this Seele ade- 
quately. The inadequacy is displayed in two ways. Firstly, 
the Individual propagates its Kind, by producing other ludi- 
viduals which belong to the Kind (G. L. iii. 261. Enc. 220). 
Secondly, the Individual dies {G. L. iii. 262. Enc. 221). 

I cannot see that Hegel has justified his view that the 
Body of the Organism will be inadequate to manifest its Seele. 
He has transformed the System-Universal, with which Organism 
started, to a Class-Universal, which is not the Seele of the 
Organism. And there seems no reason whatever to say that a 
particular Organism cannot manifest such a Class-Universal of 
a Kind. The Class-Universal of the Kind of lions, for example, 
consists of certain general qualities— the qualities of being 
vertebrate, mammal, carnivorous, etc. There is no reason why 
a particular Organism should not possess all these qualities, 
and, if it does, it is an adequate manifestation of the Class- 
Universal ^ 

The statement that the inadequacy is shown in Propagation 
also seems to me mistaken, because I cannot see what character- 
istic of the category of Organism, as reached in the dialectic, 
could possibly correspond to Propagation. The other biological 
facts whose names have been used — Life, Seele, Body, Sensi- 
bility, Irritability, Assimilation, are, as we have seen, examples 
of certain characteristics of the category. But there has been 
no demonstration in the dialectic that one of the Organisms of 
a particular Kind would be produced by another Organism of 

1 It is possible that Hegel may have vaguely conceived the Idea of the Kind 
as including an Ideal of the way in which the Class-Universal should be pos- 
sessed, so that a lion who was not a lion in the best sort of way was not an 
adequate manifestation of the Idea of a lion. But he has not explicitly stated, 
still less justified, the introduction of this fresh element into the Idea of a Kind. 
And all that would follow would be the possibility that no lions were, in this 
sense, adequate manifestations of the Idea of the Kind. It would not 
follow that no lion could be an adequate manifestation, which is what Hegel 

I. LIFE 283 

the same Kind, nor anything which even suggests that this 
would be the case. And nothing but a production of one 
Organism by another could appropriately be named after the 
biological fact of propagation. 

The biological fact of death could doubtless be taken as an 
example of the change which would take place if an Organism, 
as defined by the category, broke up so that the parts of its 
Body ceased to be connected with one another by the Seele, 
and so ceased to form an organic Body. Such a dissolution 
would be incompatible with the conception of Organism, as 
Hegel first deduced it, for according to that the parts would 
have no nature apart from their connexion in the Organism, 
and could not, therefore, exist when it was dissolved. But 
Hegel, as we have seen, takes the Organism to be an imperfect 
manifestation of its Seele, and so the parts, which do exist in 
the Organism, might possibly exist otherwise. 

But while the inadequacy of the manifestation would thus 
cdloiu of the dissolution of the Organism, Hegel's attempt to 
treat that dissolution as an expression of the inadequacy of the 
Organism must be condemned as invalid. For the inadequacy 
of the Organism to express its Seele is, according to Hegel, 
necessary and invariable. If the inadequacy is inconsistent 
with the existence of the Organism, the Organism can never 
come into existence at all, and therefore can never dissolve. 
If the inadequacy is not inconsistent with the existence of the 
Organism, then the dissolution of the Organism cannot be 
accounted for by the inadequacy ^ 

272. Death and propagation, while they proclaim the 
inadequacy of the manifestation, also, according to Hegel, 
furnish the escape from the inadequacy. "The process of Kind, 
in which the individual Individuals (die einzelnen Individuen) 
lose in one another their indifferent immediate existence, and 
die in this negative unity, has also for the other aspect of its 
product the Realised Kind, which has posited itself as identical 

1 There remains the possibility that the inadequacy, though not inconsistent 
with the existence of the Organism, would cause such friction among its parts as 
to wear it out after a time. But such a quantitative relation could never, I think, 
be proved a priori, as it must be if it is to form part of the dialectic. And 
certainly Hegel makes no attempt to prove it. 



with the Notion. In the Kind-process the separated indi- 
vidualities of the individual lives pass away; the negative 
identity, in which the Kind returns to itself, while it is on one 
side the production of individuality, is on the other side the 
transcending of individuality, and thus is the Kind which 
comes together with itself, the Universality of the Idea which 
is becoming for itself" {G. L. iii. 262. Cp. Em. 221, 222). 

Thus Hegel finds the solution of the inadequacy in the 
conception of the Kind as a whole, which remains while its 
members die. He reaches this conception by means of the 
conception of Propagation, which, as I have endeavoured to 
show above, is unjustified. But this need not invalidate the 
present step, since we should have a right to conceive of the 
Kind as a whole, even if its members were not connected by 
any tie analogous to propagation in biology. And, again, while 
Hegel was not justified in taking Death— the dissolution of the 
Organism — as the expression of the inadequacy of the mani- 
festation of the Seele, it is still possible that Organisms may 

But, when we have reached the conception of the Realised 
Kind, is the idea of the Kind manifested with less inadequacy 
than it was before ? It seems to me that this is not the case. 
The idea of the Kind, as we have seen, is simply that group of 
Universals which are possessed by every member, actual or 
possible, of the Kind. These are manifested in the separate 
members of the Kind, or nowhere. It is, for example, the 
individual lions who are carnivorous, not the species as a unity, 
for the species as a unity cannot eat flesh. Now Hegel has 
arrived, rightly or wrongly, at the conclusion that the individual 
Organisms cannot, in any case, adequately manifest the idea of 
the Kind, which is their Seele. And, if that is correct, they 
cannot manifest it adequately when we take them all together, 
and call them the Realised Kind. The grouping them together 
will make no difference to the inadequacy in the case of each 
Organism, since the inadequacy, according to Hegel, is a 
necessary characteristic of an Organism. And, if the mani- 
festation is not adequate in the case of particular Organisms, 
it cannot be adequate at all, for it only occurs in the particular 

I. LIFE 285 

273. It may be replied, possibly, that Hegel has, legiti- 
mately or illegitimately, changed his conception of the idea 
of a Kind, and that that idea is not, for him, a Class-Universal, 
but a System-Universal, which can be realised in all the 
members of the Kind taken together, though it cannot be 
realised in any one of them separately. 

There seem to me, however, three objections to this view. 
In the first place, if Hegel had meant this, he would have held 
that all the members of each Kind formed together one single 
Organism, for an Organism, for him, means a system of parts 
which manifests, as a whole, a unity which none of the parts 
could manifest separately. Now there is nothing in Hegel's 
language to suggest that the Kind is now to be regarded as 
itself an Organism. He never assigns to it either Sensibility, 
Irritability, or Reproduction, all of which he considers as 
essential for an Organism. 

In the second place, if he had taken this view, he would 
have departed very materially from the analogy of biology, 
where a species, or other kind, does not mean an organic whole, 
the existence of one member of which involves the existence of 
all the rest, but a class composed of all the beings who have 
certain common qualities. We have seen that, up to this point, 
Hegel has been keeping very close to the biological analogy of 
the category — much closer than he was justified in doing. Is 
it probable that, at this point, while still using biological names 
profusely, he should have so far departed from the biological 
analogy, without a word of warning or justification ? 

In the third place, if the Kind really were meant now to be 
a System-Universal, which would only be manifested through 
all the members of the Kind taken together, then, if Death 
were brought in at all, it could only be on the view that Death 
did not really remove the individual from the Kind, and so did 
not destroy the totality required for the manifestation. But 
this is certainly not Hegel's view. It is clear from the passage 
last quoted that the adequacy of the manifestation in the 
Realised Kind is not dependent on the irrelevancy of Death 
to the question of manifestation. On the contrary, it is only 
because " the separated individualities of the individual lives 
pass away" that the manifestation can become adequate. 

286 CH. X. THE IDEA 

Those lives, therefore, cannot be members of an Organism in 
which the adequate manifestation occurs, and as they are 
members of the Kind, the Kind is not an Organism. 

274. Thus we must, I think, take the Kind-Universal to 
be, as is certainly suggested by its name, a Class-Universal and 
not a System-Universal. And in that case, as I pointed out 
above, the Realised Kind cannot give a more adequate mani- 
festation than the separate members. Nor does the introduction 
of Death help the matter, though Hegel seems to think that it 
does so. The inadequate manifestations successively pass away, 
in the successive dissolutions of Organisms, but they leave 
nothing better behind them. So long as there are any 
Organisms left, they are only inadequate manifestations of the 
idea of the Kind. If, on the other hand, they all passed away, 
there would not be a Realised Kind at all. 

We must, therefore, I consider, reject as invalid the solution 
which Hegel offers us in the conception of Realised Kind. And 
there is a further objection. The next category to Kind is the 
category of the Idea of the True. Since Realised Kind removes 
according to Hegel the defects of the category of Kind, it would 
follow that, when we have reached the conception of Realised 
Kind, we should find ourselves already to have passed into 
Cognition, and, more particularly, into the Idea of the True. 
And this is apparently what Hegel thinks has now happened. 
He says (continuing the passage quoted above, G. L. iii. 262) 
"In propagation the immediacy of living individuality dies; 
the death of this life is the emergence of Spirit. The Idea, 
which as Kind is implicit (an sich) is now for itself, since it 
transcends the particularity, which is produced by the living 
generations (Geschlechter), and has thus given itself a reality, 
which is simple universality. Thus it is the Idea which relates 
itself to itself as Idea, the Universal, which has universality as 
its determination and definite being (Bestimmtheit und Dasein), 
the Idea of Cognition." This, however, does not seem justifiable. 
But before considering this point we must determine exactly 
what Hegel means by the Idea of Cognition. 


II. The Idea of Cognition. 

275. (G. L. iii. 263. Fnc. 223.) He describes it as follows. 
" The Notion is for itself as Notion, in so far as it exists freely 
as abstract universality, or as Kind. So it is its pure identity 
with itself, Avhich so creates such a division in itself, that what 
is separated is not an Objectivity, but liberates itself and takes 
the form of Subjectivity, or of a simple equality with self, and 
thus is the Object (Gegenstand) of the Notion, the Notion 
itself.... The elevation of the Notion above Life consists in this, 
that its Reality is the Notion-form, freed and in the form of 
universality. Through this division (Urtheil) the Idea is 
doubled, on the one hand the subjective Notion, of which it 
itself is the Reality, and on the other hand, the objective 
Notion, which it is as Life. — Thought, Spirit, Self-consciousness, 
are determinations of the Idea, in so far as it has itself as an 
Object, and its Determinate Being (Dasein), that is, the de- 
termination of its Being (Bestimmtheit ihres Seins), is its own 
difference from itself" (G. L. iii. 263). 

This is not very clear, but, with the aid of the concrete 
states vvhich Hegel takes as examples of this category, we can, 
I think, see what the logical conception of the category must 
be. Those examples are a complete system of correct knowledge, 
and a complete system of gratified volition. 

The conception, I believe, is as follows. The whole Universe 
forms an Organic system. The parts can only be explained or 
described by reference to the system, and, through the system, 
to the other members of it, while the unity of the system can 
only be explained as the unity which does connect those 
parts. But the fresh element is this — each of these jjarts, 
which may now be called Individuals, has within it a system, 
which corresponds to the larger system — the system of the 

But what sort of correspondence? It cannot be merely that 
there is one part in each Individual-System for each part in 
the Universe-Sjstem. For that correspondence would be equally 
exemplified if the Individual judged about each part of the 
Universe, but judged wrongly, or if the Individual willed about 
each part of the Universe, but willed it to be other than it is. 

288 CH. X. THE IDEA 

And it is clear, as we shall see later, that Hegel would not 
regard such a state as exemplifying the category. 

But it is equally clear that the correspondence of the parts 
does not mean identity of nature. If each part of an Individual- 
System had the same content with the corresponding part of 
the Universe-System, then the two systems would have exactly 
the same nature. For if the parts were exactly the same in 
the two systems, then the relations between the parts must also 
be the same. And as the unity in each case is just the unity 
which is formed by these parts in these relations, the unities 
would have the same nature in each system. Thus the two 
systems would be of exactly the same nature, which is im- 
possible, since one is an Individual, which the other is not, and 
one is the Universe, which the other is not. 

The examples, moreover, show that correspondence here 
does not mean exact similarity in nature. My correct know- 
ledge that A is courageous does not resemble J.'s courage at all 
closely. Nor, if my will approves the fact that A is modest, 
does my gratified volition closely resemble his modesty. 

276. If we try to state more positively what this cor- 
respondence is, all that we can say, I think, is that each part of 
the Individual corresponds with a part of the Universe, and 
each part of the Universe with a part of the Individual ; that 
the correspondence consists of a relation between the natures of 
the two correspondent terms, which is not a relation of identity; 
that the relation of a true belief to the fact in which it is a 
belief is one example of such a correspondence; that the relation 
of a volition to the fact which gratifies the volition is another 
example ; and that no other example can be given. 

For such a correspondence as this the expression "harmony" 
suggests itself, and we shall, I think, do well to use it. But it 
must be remembered that harmony does not here indicate the 
co-operation of two beings for some purpose or design outside 
themselves. Nor does it indicate any relation which the two 
harmonious beings jointly bear to a third — as when we say 
that the sounds of two different instruments unite to form a 
harmonious whole for the listener. The relation of harmony in 
this category is simply a relation between the two harmonious 
beings — the Uuiverse and the Individual — without reference 


to anything else. (The different Individuals, indeed, are not 
unconnected with each other, but it is only through their 
relation with the Universe.) 

Thus the advance on the last category consists in the fact 
that the parts under the category of Cognition, not only, as 
with Life, form a system which collectively expresses the idea 
of the system, but, in addition, do this by means of the exist- 
ence, in each part, of a system in harmony with the system of 
the whole. 

This gives a greater relative prominence, in the new 
category, to the parts — i.e. the Individuals. For although, 
since the Universe is an organic system, they only express 
the idea of that system in so far as, taken together, they form 
the system, yet it is also the case that each Individual by itself 
may be said in another sense to be an expression of the 
Universe, since it contains a system in harmony with the 
system of the Universe ^ Whether these two characteristics 
are compatible will be considered later. At present I merely 
urge that they are both to be found in the category. 

It is probably the greater prominence given to the parts 
in this category, which causes Hegel to speak of it as an 
Urtheil {G. L. iii. 262, 263. Enc. 223). For, while he generally 
uses this word in its ordinary sense of Judgment, he always 
lays great weight on the fact that etymologically it indicates 

In reaching the category of Cognition Hegel says that we 
have left behind the Immediacy which characterised Life. 
This Immediacy, apparently, consisted in the fact that par- 
ticular parts might or might not be so arranged as to manifest 
the Seele of an Organism. From the absence of any necessity 
that it should be so, he apparently deduced the possibility of an 
inadequate manifestation — though it would be impossible to 
find in it the necessity, which he asserts, that the manifestation 
should be inadequate. 

If such an Immediacy did belong to the category of Life, I 
do not see how it has been eliminated. But the truth seems 
to be that there is no need to eliminate it, because it should 

1 In this second sense it would be equally correct, as will be seen later, to 
say that the Universe is an expression of each Individual. 

M'^T. 19 

290 CH. X. THE IDEA 

uever have been introduced. If Hegel had proved the validity 
of the category of Life at all, he had proved that the parts not 
only could, but must, be arranged in organic unity. That he 
should have thought it only a possibility is connected with his 
view of the possibility and necessity of inadequate manifesta- 
tions, which we found reason above to reject as erroneous. 

277. This, then, is the nature of the category to which 
Hegel passes from the category of Life. Is he justified in the 
transition ? I cannot see that he is justified. In the first 
place, the whole of Existence appears, under this category, to 
form a single organic system. Now in Teleology, as we have 
seen, Hegel had taken all existence to form one organic system. 
But he gave this up in Life — gave it up, as I have tried to 
show above, illegitimately, and misled by biological analogies. 
And having ouce given it up, he has no right to bring it back, 
except by a fresh demonstration of it, which he does not profess 
to give us. 

Even if we supposed that the Realised Kind was held by 
Hegel to be an organic unity (a theory which, as I explained 
above, I think must be rejected) the difficulty would not be 
removed. For it seems clear that Hegel meant by the Kind 
something analogous to a biological species, of which there are 
more than one in the Universe, so that the organic unity of a 
Kind would not mean that the Universe formed one organic 
unity. And, moreover, if Hegel had regarded the Realised 
Kind as an organic unity, his position would have been illegiti- 
mate, since the Kind when first introduced is not an organic 
unity, and no demonstration is given of the validity of a 
transition. Thus, by basing the organic unity of the Universe in 
the category of Cognition on the organic unity of the Realised 
Kind, we should not avoid an illegitimate transition, but merely 
throw it a little earlier in the dialectic process. 

In the second place, there is a still more fundamental 
objection to the transition. So far as I can see, there is not 
the slightest attempt to demonstrate the characteristic which 
forms the essential difference of Cognition from Life — the 
existence, in each part, of a system corresponding to the 
system of the whole. The essential characteristic of Realised 
Kind was the subordination of the particular Organisms to the 


idea of the Kind. What the connexion is between this and the 
existence of the systems within Individuals is left in complete 

Hegel was no doubt justified in naming this category after 
a concrete state of the human mind. For knowledge, in so far 
as correct, and volition, in so far as gratified, do form systems 
which correspond to the objects which are known or which 
gratify the volition in the way defined above. Indeed, no 
other examples of this category can, I think, be found. 
Certainly Hegel does not give any other examples. Indeed, 
it might be said that he has not completely defined the new 
category at all, but has left part of the definition implicit 
in the statement that the correspondence in question is 
the one of which true knowledge and gratified volition are 

278. We have seen in earlier stages of the dialectic that, 
when categories are named after concrete states, there is con- 
siderable risk of falling into error by attributing to the categories 
characteristics which are true of the concrete states, but which 
have not been demonstrated of the categories. Here the 
difficulty of avoiding this error is greater than elsewhere. In 
Mechanism and Chemism Hegel is able to give other examples 
of the category besides those drawn from Mechanics and 
Chemistry. In Life he does not himself give any examples 
besides those drawn from biology, but it is possible to supply 
the deficiency. The unity which is expressed in the different 
parts of a beautiful object — a Persian rug, for example, or an 
Adam ceiling — is an example of what Hegel calls an organic 
unity. And the distinction of the category from the biological 
state is rendered easier by the fact, which we have remarked, 
that the biological state is never a perfect example of the 

Here matters are different. No example of the category 
has been given, by Hegel or anyone else, except that of a system, 
each of whose parts is in relation, by knowledge or volition, 
with all the other parts. And this would be a perfect example 
if the knowledge and volition had reached that perfection 
towards which all knowledge and volition are directed. And, 
as mentioned above, it may be held that the category has not 


292 CH. X. THE IDEA 

been completely defined except by reference to these concrete 

The danger of the error is therefore greater here than else- 
where. I do not think, as I shall explain later, that Hegel has 
entirely avoided it. But it has not affected his argument so 
seriously as it did in the category of Life. 

While it is certainly appropriate to name this category after 
a state of the human mind, the actual name of Cognition seems 
unfortunate. Volition, as well as knowledge, is an example of 
this category, while, as we shall see, volition is the only example 
of one of its subdivisions. Cognition, then, would only be 
appropriate if it were possible to stretch its meaning to include 
Volition, and this does not seem possible, either with the English 
Cognition, or the German Erkennen. It seems to me that 
some more general term — perhaps Consciousness — would have 
been better. 

279. Cognition has, according to Hegel, only two sub- 
divisions, without any Synthesis being explicitly given. These 
he calls the Idea of the True and the Idea of the Good. In the 
Encyclopaedia the first of these subdivisions is called Cognition, 
and the second Volition, the name of Cognition being also used, 
as in the Greatey^ Logic, for the category as a whole. 

Since there is to be a harmony between the Individual- 
systems and the Universe-system the question naturally arises, 
which side is active and which side passive. The alternatives, 
as will be seen later, are not really exhaustive, and neither 
answer to the question will be finally tenable. But it is, 
according to Hegel, the natural way in which to begin regarding 
the matter. If we find two things necessarily agreeing with 
each other, the natural inference is that one is dependent on the 
other, or else both on a third. Now here there is no third. 
There is only the Universe-system on the one hand and the 
Individual-systems on the other. We seem, therefore, bound to 
conclude either that the harmony is produced by the nature of 
the Individuals being dependent on the nature of the Universe, 
or else by the nature of the Universe being dependent on the 
nature of the Individuals. 

Of these two alternatives we must start with the former. 
If we took the latter, there would be no guarantee that the 


Individual-systems, whose nature would then be taken as 
ultimate, did not differ in such a way that the Universe-system 
could not be in harmony with them all. In that case the 
requirements of the category of Cognition, which Hegel regards 
as already demonstrated, could not be complied with. But if 
the single Universe-systeai is taken as ultimate, and the many 
Individual-systems are taken as dependent on it, no such 
difficulty arises. 

Hegel therefore starts with the conception of the Universe- 
system as determining the Individual-systems, and this gives 

A. The Idea of the True. 

(G. L. iii. 274. Enc. 226.) The category has this name 
because the only example which can be given of it is a system 
of knowledge in the Individual which truly represents the 

280. If we compare knowledge and volition, we find that 
the object of each is to produce a harmony, and that they differ 
in the fact that in the one the object, and in the other the 
subject, is the determining side of the harmony. This can be 
tested by looking at a case where the harmony is discovered to 
be imperfect. In such a case, should it occur in knowledge, we 
condemn the knowledge as being incorrect ; and we endeavour 
to amend it by altering our beliefs till they harmonise with the 
objects. With volition it is just the reverse. Here we condemn 
the outside reality which does not accord with our desires, and 
we endeavour to restore harmony by altering the objects so 
that they may be as we desire them. 

Thus in knowledge the aim of the knowing subject is that 
its state should be a representation of the state of the world at 
large. Of course this does not imply that the mind is purely 
passive in the process, and has nothing to do but receive effects 
from outside. The question is not about the way results are 
produced, but about the test of them when they are produced. 
However active the process of knowledge may be, the fact 
remains that its correctness depends on its agreement with the 
object known. 

Thus knowledge is an example of this category, and it is 
the only one which can be given, since volition — the only other 

294 CH. X. THE IDEA 

example of the wider category of Cognition — would not be 
appropriate in this subdivision. 

We must of course remember, here as elsewhere, that what 
we are entitled to predicate of all existence is not the possession 
of all the characteristics of knowledge which are empirically 
known to us, but only those which are involved in the logical 

It is further to be remembered that, according to the category, 
each Individual-system has to harmonise with the whole of the 
Universe-system, and that there is nothing in the Individual 
except this system which harmonises with the Universal. 
Accordingly, if we look at an actual knowing individual — such 
as each of us is — we find that his nature, as it empirically 
appears to us, fails to exemplify the category in two ways. It 
is too large, and not large enough. On the one hand, I do not 
know the whole universe perfectly. On the other hand, I am 
not merely a knowing being, but have also volitions and 

The Encyclopaedia, as was mentioned above, calls this 
category Cognition. It is inconvenient, of course, that the 
same name should be used both for the wider category and for 
its subdivision \ but otherwise the nomenclature of the En- 
cyclopaedia seems better. For what exemplifies the category 
is not truths or true propositions — non-existent realities,which 
are just as real whether they are or are not ever known 
by anyone. The category is exemplified by knowledge — by 
existent states of existent conscious Individuals. And this 
is expressed more clearly if the category is called Cognition 
than if it is called the Idea of the True. 

What have we gained by the establishment of this category? 
We have not proved that there is some knowledge — that some 
beliefs are true. The assertion that there is some knowledge 
could never be proved, for any proof offered would consist of 
assertions, which, if valid, would be knowledge. Thus the 
proof would assume the conclusion to be proved. On the other 
hand, any attempt to disprove it, or even to deny or doubt it, 
would equally assume its truth. 

^ Wallace, in his translation, avoids this inconvenience by calling the sub- 
division Cognition Proper. 


This then, could not be proved, and, moreover, the dialectic 
is here concerned, not with knowledge itself, but with a category, 
of which knowledge furnishes indeed the only example known 
to us, but which must nevertheless be carefully distinguished 
from that example. 

What is really gained by this category is that we know 
that the Universe is an organic system of Individuals, the 
nature of each of which forms another system, in harmony with 
the system of the Universe, and determined by it. 

281. The Idea of the True is divided by Hegel into 
Analytic Cognition and Synthetic Cognition. These appear to 
be Thesis and Antithesis respectively, but the Synthesis is 
lacking. It seems curious that he did not take Philosophical 
Thought as the Synthesis, since he certainly regards this as 
being both analytical and synthetical (cp. Enc. 238). 

Hegel discusses Analytic and Synthetic Cognition at con- 
siderable length {G. L. iii. 278—319. Enc. 227—232). What 
he says about them is sufficiently simple and straightforward. 
I omit it here because it seems entirely irrelevant to the 
category which we are considering. Once more Hegel has been 
misled by the concrete state which he has taken as an example 
of his category. 

The distinction which he draws here is not between analytic 
and synthetic propositions, but that between knowledge obtained 
by a process of analysis and knowledge obtained by a process 
of synthesis. Both of these processes can yield synthetic 

Now the distinction between these two processes may be 
very relevant when we consider the state of knowledge as 
empirically known to us. But there is no corresponding dis- 
tinction to be found in the category of the dialectic, with which 
Hegel is dealing here. Indeed, we may go further. Not only 
are we unable to see what distinction in the category should 
correspond to the distinction between analytic and synthetic 
knowledge, but Ave are able to see clearly that there can be no 
such distinction. 

For the distinction between analytic and synthetic know- 
ledge relates wholly to the method of acquiring it. The 
distinction does not exist in the nature of the knowledge, as 

296 CH. X. THE IDEA 

known. If I know that Caesar is mortal, I know the same 
truth, whether I learn it by seeing him die, or by deduction 
from the truth that all men are mortal. The other truths 
acquired along with it by the same process may be different in 
the two cases. In the first, I may learn along with the fact 
that Caesar is mortal, the fact that Brutus stabbed him. In 
the second, I may learn along with the fact that Caesar is 
mortal, the fact that Brutus is mortal. But the knowledge 
that Caesar is mortal will be the same, by whichever method it 
is acquired. 

This distinction can therefore have no place in the present 
category, the example of which is not the acquisition of know- 
ledge, but the possession of the knowledge when acquired. 
When the dialectic passed from the lower categories of Teleology 
to Realised End, it became clear that the application of the 
category to any subject-matter involved, not that the Means 
were becoming the manifestation of the End, but that they 
ivere the manifestation of the End. Nothing that has happened 
since that point has given us a right to change that conclusion. 
The Means expressing the End have developed into the Indi- 
vidual-systems which harmonise with the Universal-system, but 
the relation between the whole and the parts has remained 
a relation of manifestation, not a relation of a process towards 

Nor is anything in Hegel's treatment of Life inconsistent 
with this view. He takes the Body, indeed, as an inadequate 
and temporary manifestation of the Seele, but still, such as the 
manifestation is, it is always present when the category of Life 
is present. The category does not deal with the gradual 
production of Life. 

Thus the principle on which these subdivisions. Analytic 
and Synthetic Cognition, have been introduced seems unjustified. 
And the mass of detail given under them, while applicable 
enough to the concrete process of acquiring knowledge, contains 
nothing which has any significance with regard to the category. 
I therefore believe myself justified in omitting it. 

282. Hegel's error in introducing these subdivisions does 
not destroy the line of his argument, for we can go directly 
from the undivided categforv of the Idea of the True to the 


next category — the Idea of the Good. Hegel himself indeed 
makes the transition from the subdivision of Synthetic Cognition, 
but, if it was not for the error which led to the introduction of 
the subdivisions, he could have made the transition just as well 
from the undivided category. 

The transition, according to Hegel, rests on the necessity of 
Cognition {G. L. iii. 319. Enc. 232). As the account in the 
Encyclopaedia is both clearer and shorter than the account in 
the Greater Logic, I will quote the Encyclopaedia. The two 
accounts do not, I think, differ in meaning. " The necessity," 
says Hegel, " which finite cognition produces in the Demonstra- 
tion, is, in the first place, an external necessity, intended for 
the subjective intelligence alone. But in necessity as such, 
cognition itself has left behind its pre-supposition and starting- 
point, which consisted in accepting its content as given or found. 
Necessity qua necessity is implicitly the self-relating notion. 
The subjective idea has thus implicitly reached an original and 
objective determinateness — a something not-given, and for that 
reason immanent in the subject. It has passed over into the 
idea of Will." 

It is obvious from this that Hegel regards the necessity of 
the harmony of the Individuals with the Universe as giving so 
much stability and self-centredness to the Individuals that we 
must add to the statement that they harmonise with the Uni- 
verse, the further statement that the Universe harmonises with 
them. If the harmony of the Individuals with the Universe 
were gradually attained, then the necessity of the harmony 
would also be gradually attained. And since his comparison of 
the harmony with the concrete state of knowledge has led him 
to regard the harmony as gradually attained, he regards the 
necessity as gradually attained also. He supposes it to be 
attained by something analogous to the process of Demonstration, 
which he treats under Synthetic Cognition, and therefore does 
not find himself in a position to make the transition to the Idea 
of the Good till he has reached the end of Synthetic Cognition. 

If, however, we realise that the harmony must exist in its 
full completeness if the category of the Idea of the True is 
applicable at all, we shall see that in reaching the Idea of the 
True we have reached the conception that the harmony is 

298 CH. X. THE IDEA 

necessary. If the category is valid, then the Individual-systems 
are determined by the Universe-system to harmonise with it. 
And therefore the harmony is necessary — which is, as Hegel 
himself asserts, sufficient to allow us to pass to the Idea 
of the Good. 

283. Hegel is, I think, right in maintaining that the 
necessity of the harmony, considered as determined from the 
side of the Universe, entitles us to conceive it as being equally 
determined from the side of the Individual. If a harmony is 
imperfect, if it is only accidentally perfect, or if the necessity 
of its perfection is due to some outside cause, there is some 
meaning in saying that the harmony is determined by one side 
rather than the other — by A and not by B. For in all these 
three cases a want of a perfect harmony can be conceived, and 
our assertion means that, in such a case, we should regard B, 
and not A, as defective in harmony. We say that the actions 
of a citizen are in harmony with the law, and not that the law 
is in harmony with them. For we can conceive that the citizen 
should cease to be law-abiding ; and, if he did, we should 
condemn his actions, and not the law, for the discrepancy. 

And, again, it might be that A could exist without being in 
harmony with B, while B could not exist without being in 
harmony with A. In this case, also, we might say that A 
rather than B determined the harmony, on account of the 
logical priority of A. 

But it is not so here. The harmony between the Universal 
and the Individual is perfect, necessary, and not due to any 
outside cause, but to the intrinsic nature of the related terms. 
The absence of the harmony is inconceivable. We cannot 
therefore say that one term rather than the other is shown 
to be defective by any possible discrepancy, and so declare the 
other term to be the determinant. 

Nor can we pronounce either term determinant on the other 
possible ground — that it is independent of the harmony while 
the other is not independent. For, if the category is correct, 
the Universe depends on the harmony quite as much as the 
Individual. They only exist in virtue of the harmony between 
their systems and the system of the Universe. But the same is 
true of the Universe. And therefore it is no truer to say that 


the Universe determines the Individuals than it is to say that 
the Individuals determine the Universe. 

284. The first use that Hegel makes of this result is to 
conclude that, as one is no truer than the other, we must say 
both. To the statement that the Universe-system determines 
the Individual-systems, we must add the statement that the 
Individual-systems determine the Universe-system. So we 

B. The Idea of the Good 
(G. L. iii. 320. Enc. 233), which is called in the Encyclo- 
paedia by the name of Volition (Wollen). Volition mast not 
be taken here as meaning the desire to change, or to resist 
change, which is the form in which Volition usually shows 
itself. If this were the case there would be nothing appropriate 
in naming this category after it, since the category involves 
a perfect harmony, and also a necessary harmony, so that there 
can be no question either of promoting or of resisting change. 
It is not this, however, which Hegel means by Volition here. 
He means by it the judgment of the existent by the standard 
of Good. Such a judgment, of course, leads us to desire action 
if it reveals a difference between the fact and the ideal, but 
involves no desire of action when the harmony between the 
fact and the ideal is already perfect. Taken in this sense 
Volition is an appropriate name for a category which asserts 
that the Individual determines the nature of the Universe, since 
in volition, as we said above, it is the object, and not the self, 
which is regarded as defective if the harmony is imperfect. 

The Idea of the Good is a better name for this category 
than Volition in so far as it does not, like Volition, suggest the 
idea of change. In other respects, however. Volition is the 
better name, since the example Hegel means to take is clearly 
a psychical state and not the ethical idea of Goodness. 

It is, I think, evident that Hegel took the essence of the 
psychical state of volition to be as described above, since the 
category of Volition, as treated by him, includes a state of 
perfect harmony, which could certainly not have as its example 
a desire for changed 

1 Lotze takes a similar view of the essence of Volition. Cp. Microcosmus, 
Book IX, Chapter 5 (trans. Vol. 2, p. 706). 

300 CH. X. THE IDEA 

285. But it must be noticed that he fell into an error with 
regard to this category analogous to that which he committed 
with regard to the Idea of the True. He conceives the category 
as dealing with the process of producing such a harmony, before 
it deals with the established perfect harmony. This is erroneous. 
For, in the first place, the reasons given above (Sections 281, 
282) to show that the Idea of the True deals only with 
a harmony inevitably and originally perfect, and not with the 
production of such a harmony, are also applicable here. 

In the second place, even if the production of the harmony 
could have found a place in the Idea of the True, it could not 
do so in the Idea of the Good. For at the end of the Idea of 
the True, the harmony, Hegel says, has been established in its 
necessity and perfection. Now it is from this point that his 
treatment of the Idea of the Good begins. And since his 
argument, as seen above, is that the necessary and perfect 
harmony, under the earlier category, involves necessary and 
perfect harmony under the later category, then the later category 
must have the necessary and perfect harmony throughout, even 
if the earlier did not. 

The order of these two categories could not have been 
inverted. It is impossible that the Universe-system should be 
determined by the Individual-systems so as to be in harmony 
with all of them, if the Individual-systems varied indefinitely 
from one another in content (cp. above. Section 279). And 
the possibility of this is only disproved by showing that 
the Individual-systems are all determined by the Universe- 
system, so as to be in harmony with it. Thus we could not 
have the Idea of the Good, in which the Individuals are 
determinant, until we have had the Idea of the True, in which 
the Universe is determinant. 

286. Hegel says of the Idea of the Good that it is higher 
than the Idea of the True, " because it has not only the value 
of the Universal, but also the value of the simply Actual" 
{G. L. iii. 320). It would seem from this that the second 
category — the Idea of the Good — has both values, that of the 
Universal and that of the Actual. As the Universality is 
regarded by Hegel as the characteristic of the Idea of the True, 
it follows that the second category contains the first, besides 


containing also fresh content. Its standpoint is one which 
finds its example, not in gratified volition by itself, but in the 
combination of true knowledge and gratified volition. 

Hegel is entitled to take this position, for the argument 
which led us on to the Idea of the Good did not do so by 
showing that there was any contradiction in the harmony with 
the Universe taken as the determinant, but that the validity of 
that conception involved the validity of the harmony with the 
Individuals taken as determinant. The second conception was 
added to the first, and did not replace it. 

This is not inconsistent with the general principle of the 
dialectic method, for, tliough the two categories in question 
stand, apparently^ in the relation of Thesis and Antithesis, 
yet we are here so close to the end of the dialectic that 
its movement, according to the law laid down by Hegel^ 
has become almost a direct advance from each category to 
the next. 

It is thus the combination of the two standpoints, exemplified 
by knowledge and volition, which is regarded by Hegel as being 
higher than the standpoint exemplified by knowledge. There 
is nothing to suggest that he would consider the standpoint 
exemplified by volition as being by itself higher than that 
exemplified by knowledge. Indeed, his application of the 
dialectic to concrete facts strongly suggests that he would not 
consider the standpoint exemplified by volition as being higher. 
For nothing is clearer about Hegel than that he does not 
regard the concrete spiritual state of volition as higher than 
that of knowledge, and that he does not regard virtue as 
a higher excellence than wisdom. 

287. Hegel clearly considers that the establishment of this 
category gives us the right to assert that the Universe is com- 
pletely good. Can this be legitimately deduced from the result 
reached in the category — that the nature of the Universe 
conforms to a description whose only example, known or 
imaginable, includes gratified volition ? The question does 

1 This is only an inference, as no third term is explicitly given. But I cannot 
doubt that the term left to be supplied is the Synthesis, and that the two which 
are given are the Thesis and Antithesis. 

•^ Cp. e.g. my Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, Chapter iv. 

302 CH. X. THE IDEA 

not really belong to the dialectic itself, but to its cosmological 
applications, and does not concern us here\ 

288. The transition from this category rests on the fact 
that the complete harmony, with the Individual as determinant, 
involves (as we have previously seen) the complete harmony, 
with the Universe as determinant. " In this result Cognition 
is restored, and united with the practical Idea, the given 
Actuality is at the same time determined as the realised 
absolute End, but not, as in the process of Cognition (im 
suchenden Erkennen) simply as an objective world without the 
subjectivity of the Notion, but as the objective world of which 
the Notion is the inner ground and actual existence " (G. L. iii. 
327. Cp. Enc. 235). 

The argument is that it is impossible to adhere to the 
position at which we now stand — that, in the harmony of the 
Universe and the Individual, the Universe determines the 
Individual, and the Individual also determines the Universe. 

It will be remembered that the transition to the Idea of the 
Good was effected by the argument that, since the harmony 
between the Universe and the Individual was necessary, perfect, 
and intrinsic, any question as to which would be pronounced 
defective if the harmony were defective was absurd, and that, 
since the harmony was essential to the existence of either term, 
neither could be said to be logically prior to the other in the 
harmony. From this the result was reached that it was no 
truer to say that the Universe determines the Individuals than 
to say that the Individuals determine the Universe. From this 
Hegel starts by saying that, since one proposition is no truer 
than the other, both are true. This gave us the category of 
the Idea of the Good (cp. above, Section 284). 

1 Even if the Universe were completely good, Hegel would not be justified 
in bis corollary: "All unsatisfied endeavour ceases, wben we recognise tbat tbe 
final purpose of tbe world is accomplisbed no less tban ever accomplishing 
itself" {Enc. 234). If the Universe is seen as it truly is, then, according to 
Hegel, there could be no unsatisfied endeavour, or endeavour of any kind. And 
so endeavour could not cease because of its superfluity, since it never existed. 
If, on the other band, tbe Universe is looked at in such a partially illusory 
manner that endeavour appears to exist, then tbe utility of the endeavour may 
be as real as its existence. When Hegel came to apply bis philosophy to the 
time-world, he realised this. He did not, for example, condemn the efforts of 
Socrates, or of Luther, as useless. 


But this, Hegel now goes on, is inadequate, and must be 
transcended. For the real result of what has been shown is to 
put the two sides of the harmony on a level, not by making 
them each determine the other, but by removing altogether the 
conception of either side being determinant. That side is 
determinant to which, in one way or the other, the other is 
subordinate. We see now that neither side is subordinate 
to the other, since neither is logically subsequent to the other, 
and neither is to be condemned as defective for an actual or 
possible want of harmony. The consequence of this is not that 
each of them is determinant, but that neither is. 

Thus we see that the harmony is ultimate. It is essential 
to the nature of existence that it should form a Universe 
composed of Individuals, that the Universe and that each 
Individual should form an organic system, and that the 
Universe-system and each of the Individual-systems sliould 
be in perfect harmony with one another. 

289. Hegel takes this as the transition to the Absolute 
Idea. If the symmetry of the dialectic was to be preserved, he 
should have first passed to a third subdivision of Cognition, 
which should complete the triad of which the Idea of the True 
and the Idea of the Good are the first two members, and then, 
from this new category, have passed over to the Absolute Idea. 

If the Absolute Idea, like Cognition, had been subdivided, 
the last subdivision in Cognition would have been identical in 
content with the first subdivision of the Absolute Idea. But 
the Absolute Idea is not subdivided, and the last subdivision in 
Cognition could not consistently with the general method of the 
dialectic be identical in content with the Absolute Idea as 
a whole. Hegel, apparently, could discover no intermediate 
stage between the category of the Idea of the Good, and the 
category of the Absolute Idea. And I can make no suggestion 
to fill the gap. The transition remains unsymmetrical, but not, 
I think, invalid. 

III. The Absolute Idea. 

290. (G. L. iii. 327. Enc. 236.) In this not only the Idea 
of the True and the Idea of the Good are synthesised, but also 
Life and Cognition. Cognition, as is natural so close to the 

304 CH. X. THE IDEA 

end of the dialectic, is so direct an advance upon Life, that we 
do not find many characteristics of Life in the Absolute Idea 
which were not also in Cognition, But in the Absolute Idea, 
as we have seen, the harmony is recognised as ultimate — not as 
due to the dependence of one side on the other. And in this 
the Absolute Idea may be said to have returned to a character- 
istic which belonged to the category of Life, when the expression 
of the Seele in and by the Body was conceived as an ultimate 
fact, not due to the subordination of either side to the others 

The transition, as I said above, seems to me valid, for the 
Absolute Idea, to judge by Hegel's words, does just mean what 
the category of Cognition would mean after the elimination 
of the erroneous conception that one side is determined by the 

The nearest approach to a definition given in the Greater 
Logic is as follows : " The Notion is not only Seele, but free 
subjective Notion, which is for itself and therefore has Person- 
ality; it is the practical objective Notion, determined in and 
for itself, which, as a Person, is impenetrable, atomic Subjec- 
tivity, but which is just as much not exclusive Individuality, 
but Universality for itself, and Cognition, and which has in its 
Other its own Objectivity as Object (Gegenstand). All else is 
error, confusion, opinion, strife, caprice, and impermanence ; the 
Absolute Idea alone is Being, permanent Life, Truth which 
knows itself. It is all Truth " {G. L. iii. 327). In the Encyclo- 
paedia he says, " The Idea, as unity of the Subjective and 
Objective Idea, is the Notion of the Idea — a Notion for which 
the Idea as such is Object (Gegenstand) and Object (Objekt) — 
an Object (Objekt) in which all determinations have come 
together" (Enc. 236). 

291. What does Hegel mean by this ? We must first 
/ consider a suggestion which he makes — as I think, erroneously. 
We find it stated most clearly in the Encyclopaedia. The 
content of the Absolute Idea he says " is the system of Logic. 
All that is at this stage left as form for the Idea is the Method 
of this content — the specific consciousness of the value and 

1 Perhaps it should rather be said that this characteristic should have 
belonged to the category of Life, since it scarcely seems consistent with Hegel's 
treatment of the expression of the Seele by the Body as necessarily inadequate. 


currency of the moments in its development. To speak of the 
Absolute Idea may suggest the conception that we are at length 
reaching the right thing and the sum of the whole matter. It 
is certainly possible to indulge in a vast amount of senseless 
declamation about the Absolute Idea. But its true content 
is only the whole system of which we have been hitherto 
studying the development " {Enc. 237). And again in the 
Greater Logic : " Thus what here still has to be observed is not 
a Content as such, but the Universal of its Form — that is, the 
Method " {G. L. iii. 329). 

There is doubtless an element of truth in this. The step 
we take in reaching the Absolute Idea is no different in 
character from previous stages in the dialectic process, nor is 
the advance we gain in it greater than in previous steps. We 
have reached the absolute truth about reality now, but we had 
very nearly reached it in the previous category. Hegel would 
be perfectly justified if he merely wished to warn us against 
expecting anything in the last stage of the dialectic which 
should be much more mystical or wonderful than the stages 
immediately preceding it. 

But Hegel means more than this, and in doing so I think 
he falls into error. The meaning of the Absolute Idea is not, 
and cannot be, simply that it is the idea which is reached at 
the end of the dialectic process. Each category in the process 
asserts certain characteristics of existence, and has therefore 
a meaning which cannot be reduced to its place in the dialectic. 
In fact, it only has its place in the process by reason of the rela- 
tion which the determination of existence given by it bears to 
the determinations given by the other categories in the process, 
r- The Absolute Idea, therefore, has a content. And, although 
much of its content is to be found also in previous categories, 
it is not necessary to go back through the whole series of 
previous categories whenever we wish to state the content of 
the Absolute Idea — though of course the validity of the 
Absolute Idea can only be proved by going through all these 
previous stages. It is not necessary to go through them to 
state the content of the Absolute Idea because that Idea 
contains the truth of them all, not by containing the separate 
categories as a process, but by containing that part of their 
y M«i. 20 

306 CH. X. THE IDEA 

content which is true, synthesised into a single unity, the 
false and inadequate part of the content of those lower 
categories having been transcended. It is not, therefore, 
necessary to go through the categories, nor would it be suffi- 
cient, since, after all, the Absolute Idea is an advance, even on 
the Idea of the Good, and so there is something in it which is 
not in any of the other categories. 

Besides, Hegel is here inconsistent. In the passages quoted 
above {G. L. iii. 327. Enc. 236. Cp. above. Section 290) 
he has given accounts of the nature of the Absohite Idea 
which are not in the least statements of the Method of the 
dialectic, but, on the contrary, statements of what existence 
is conceived to be, when it is taken under this category. 

292. Returning to these two accounts, we find, I think, 
that they are what Hegel is justly entitled to assert about the 
Absolute Idea in consequence of the transition by which, as 
he has demonstrated, it is reached from the Idea of the Good. 
It will be, as was said above, the same in content with the Idea 
of the Good, except that the two sides of the harmony are no 
longer asserted each to determine the other. That is, in affirm- 
ing it we assert that all that exists forms a Universe com- 
posed of Individuals, that the Universe and that each Individual 
is an organic system, and that the relation which exists between 
the Universe-system and each of the Individual-systems is one 
of perfect harmony. 

This is what Hegel is entitled to assert as the content of 
the Absolute Idea ; and this, I think, is what he does assert. In 
both the Greater Logic and the Encyclopaedia, he states that 
the Idea is its own Object, The use of tiie word Object 
suggests that the relation in question is analogous to the 
relation between a state of consciousness and its object, while 
the statement that the Object of the Idea is the Idea itself 
suggests that the whole of the content is to be found on both 
sides of the relation. So far, then, his words support my view 
of what he means by this category. The fact that he says that 
it is the Idea which is its own Object — while, if I am right, 
what he means is, that, according to the Idea, the Universe 
is the Object — can be no objection to anyone familiar with 
Hegel's methods of expression. 


According to the view I have put forward, indeed, there 
are other characteristics which must be included in the Absolute 
Idea. The Universe is differentiated. It consists of an organic 
system of Individuals. And the Subject-Object relation of 
which Hegel speaks is one where the Universe as a whole 
is Object to each of the Individuals as Subjects. These further 
characteristics are not mentioned by Hegel here. But there is 
nothing in what he says which is inconsistent with them. And 
as there is, I think, no doubt, that all of them are found in the 
category of Cognition, and as there is nothing in the transition 
from that category which could involve their removal, we are 
entitled to hold that they are all found in the category of the 
Absolute Idea. 

293. We may add something which is not mentioned by 
Hegel, but which seems a fair deduction from his position. 
Each Individual, we have seen, is in harmony with the Universe, 
and the Universe is an organic unity consisting of all the 
Individuals. From this it follows that each Individual is in 
harmony with all the other Individuals. This statement would 
not be an adequate substitute for the previous statement— that 
the Universe and each Individual are in harmony. For, in 
saying that the harmony is between the Universe and each 
Individual, we bring out the fact that the harmony is between 
the whole and its part — a fact which is essential to the category. 
And this is not brought out when we say that each Individual 
is in harmony with all other Individuals. But if one state- 
ment is true the other will be. And, when the results of the 
dialectic are to be applied to concrete problems, it may be a 
matter of some importance to remember that each Individual's 
harmony with the Universe implies his harmony with all other 

It may be objected that the new statement ignores the 
organic unity of the Universe. It is not the case that the 
Universe is equivalent to the Individuals in isolation, or as 
a mere aggregate, or as a mechanically determined system. It 
is only equivalent to the Individuals when they are joined 
in just this organic system. And, it might be said, this is 
ignored if we treat the harmony of each Individual with the 
Universe as involving its harmony with all other Individuals. 

308 CH. X. THE IDEA 

I should reply to this that it is the objection itself which 
fails to do justice to the organic unity of the Universe, and so 
falls into a kind of spiritual atomism. For it assumes that it 
is at any rate conceivable that Individuals could exist as 
isolated, or as merely aggregated, or as mechanically deter- 
mined. Now this is just what €he dialectic has disproved if it 
has done anything at all. It has shown, not only that the 
Individuals are in fact connected in an organic unity, but that 
it is essential to their nature that they should be, and that 
if they were not connected in this particular way they would 
not be Individuals at all. Thus to speak of an Individual is to 
speak of an Individual in organic unity with the others, just as 
to speak of a triangle is to speak of a figure w^hose angles are 
equal to two right angles. To object that, when the Individuals 
are mentioned without mentioning the organic unity, that 
unity is neglected, is to ignore this essentiality of the organic 
unity to the Individuals, and it is thus the objection which is 
unduly atomistic. 

294. In this category the dialectic ends, and we reach, 
according to Hegel, the absolute truth, so far as it can be 
reached by pure thought. " All else," as he has told us, " is 
error, confusion, opinion, strife, caprice, and impermanence." 
There are, he asserts, no defects to be found in this conception, 
which compel us to proceed to a higher category to remove 
them. There is, indeed, one defect which reveals itself here, as 
in every other case where pure thought is taken in abstraction 
from the other elements of existence, and by means of which 
Hegel's philosophy is driven on, beyond the Logic, to the 
conception of Nature, and from that to the conception of 
Spirit — the final and supreme truth about all existence. But 
with the Absolute Idea we reach the highest and final form of 
pure thought. 

The proof that this is the final form of pure thought must 
always remain negative. The reason why each previous category 
was pronounced not to be final was that in each some in- 
adequacy was discovered, which rendered it necessary, on pain 
of contradiction, to go beyond it. Our belief in the finality of 
the Absolute Idea rests on our inability to find such an 
inadequacy. Hegel's position will hold good, unless some 


future philosopher shall discover some inadequacy in the 
Absolute Idea which requires removal by means of another 

Most of the space devoted by Hegel to the Absolute I(iea, 
both in the Greater Logic and in the Encyclopaedia, is concerned 
with questions relating to the dialectic method. That such 
questions should be discussed here follows, of course, from the 
position, discussed above, that the content of the Absolute Idea 
is the dialectic method itself. But, in any case, the end of the 
dialectic would be a natural place for a review of the method 
which had been followed. To discuss the dialectic method 
would, however, be beyond the object I have proposed to 
myself in this book. 

295. Is the Absolute Idea exemplified in any concrete state 
known to us, in the same way that the category of Cognition 
was ? It seems clear to me that Hegel regarded it as exemplified 
by consciousness of some sort. In the first place there are the 
references to personality in the passage quoted above from the 
Greater Logic (iii. 327). The Notion is here, "as a Person, 
impenetrable atomic Subjectivity." This does not, I think, 
indicate that the nature of the Universe as a whole is exemplified 
by personality, since the Universe would never be described by 
Hegel as impenetrable or atomic. It is, I think, the parts of 
the Universe which are to be regarded as having these character- 
istics, and as therefore having a nature exemplified in personality. 
In the second place, we have the statement that the Idea js it s 
own Object, and again that the Absolute Idea is the_truth 
which knows itself. Moreover, the harmony in the Absolute 
Idea is the same as the harmony in Cognition, except that 
neither side is taken as determinant. Now Cognition was 
regarded by Hegel as exemplified in states of consciousness. 

But what sort of consciousness gives us an example of the 
category of the Absolute Idea? It cannot be knowledge, or 
volition. For knowledge, as we have seen, exemplifies the 
Idea of the True — the category in which the Universe is the 
determinant of the harmony. And volition exemplifies the 
Idea of the Good — the category in which the Individual is also 
the determinant of the harmony. In the Absolute Idea neither 
side of the harmony is determinant. 

310 CH. X. THE IDEA 

Hegel does not, so far as I can see, consider this point at 
all. I believe that the state of consciousness which would 
exemplify the Absolute Idea is love, since in love we have 
a state of harmony in which neither the subject nor the object 
can be considered as determinant. To discuss this here, how- 
ever, would take us beyond the sphere of the Logic, since love, 
though it may exemplify the Absolute Idea, is not itself a 
category, but a concrete state of spirits 

Would Hegel have agreed with this ? As I have just said, 
he does not consider the question in the Logic. On the other 
hand, we are not left without means of judging what his 
opinion would be. For, according to Hegel, the Absolute Idea 
must be true of all that really exists, and Spirit really exists — 
in fact, nothing but Spirit exists. If, therefore, among the 
various forms under which Spirit appears to us, we can find 
one which adequately expresses the nature of Spirit, while 
none of the others do so, then that form will be an example of 
the Absolute Idea (and, also, though this does not concern us 
in the Logic, the onl}' instance of it). 

There is no doubt, I think, that Hegel believes himself to 
have, in the Pliilosophy of Spirit, a dialectic process such that 
the last term, and the last term alone, gives us the truth about 
Spirit. This then would seem to be the example of the Absolute 
Idea. But this term is not love, but philosophy. Whether 
Hegel was justified in holding this may be doubted-, but the 
fact that he did hold it seems to indicate that he would not 
have accepted love as the state of con.sciousness which is an 
[__ example of the Absolute Idea. 

On the other hand, in the Philosophy of Religion, " the 
kingdom of the Holy, Ghost" is apparently taken as the 
absolutely true description of Spirit. And that is represented 
as a Community bound together by love. The question must, 
I think, remain undecided. 

296. A Commentary such as this necessarily throws more 
ernphasis on points of difference than on points of agreement. 

^ For a discussion of this question cp. e.g. my Studies in Hegelian Cosmology, 
Chapter IX. especially Section 284. 

- Cp. e.g. my Studies in the Hegelian Dialectic, Sections 204 — 206. 


I should wish, therefore, in concluding the exposition of Hegel's 
philosophy which has been the chief object of my life for 
twenty-one years, to express my conviction that Hegel has 
penetrated further into the true nature of reality than any 

' philosopher before or after him. It seems to me that the next 
task of philosophy should be to make a fresh investigation of 
that nature by a dialectic method substantially, though not 

, entirely, the same as Hegel's, What results such an investi- 
gation may produce cannot be known till it has been tried, but 
much of Hegel's reasoning seems to me to vary so little from 
the truth, where it varies at all, that I believe the results, like 
the method, would have much resemblance to Hegel's own. 






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