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Variation of Infinity: Contents and Structure of Phenomenology of Spirit

Author: LiuYi
Tutor: HeWeiPing
School: Wuhan University
Course: Foreign Philosophy
Keywords: Hegel Phenomenology of Spirit infinity
CLC: B516.35
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 203
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Abstract


The Phenomenology of Spirit in 1807 offers an appearance of Hegelian science under the form of experience of consciousness. It is a inverted-form of the truth, a standpoint remote the standpoint of science. For that matter, the negation of "phenomenology" is the affirmation of "science as such", and self-sublating of "phenomenology" is a progress towards "science as such". Thus, it is no doubt that the Phenomenology is considered as an introduction of the system of science, and it does play a role like this. However, the Phenomenology of Spirit is also the first part of the system. That is to say, it is a moment of the system as such, since the Phenomenology is not only a standpoint out of the science, a purely distorted form of the truth, but also a science of phenomenology, an absolute inversion of the truth. From this point of view, "phenomenology" is the coming-to-be of "science as such", the externalization or determinate being of truth as such. On the oter side, it also means that only through the finite inverted form of the truth, through phenomenology, we can meet its infinite form, or attain the absolute form of it. If the absolute truth is to be considered as "infinity", then, as the determinate being of this absolute, phenomenology is to be considered as "finite". But the finite has its limit and the negation of it in itself, because of its own determination, thus the finite immediately makes transition to its opposite, the infinite, and the alternate process of this immediate transition is the so called "bad infinity". In the bad infinity, there is a true infinity, or a true concept of infinity. Only through a kind of speculative insight, which can eliminate the illusory of Understanding, that this true infinity be grasped. It is the "we" in the Phenomenology that has this insight. Therefore, different from the traditional interpretation, which makes phenomenology as a kind of embryology of the truth, or a pre-history of the science, this paper tries to comprehend the "phenomenology" as the variation of the truth, as something which is nothing more than the science as such. This comprehension is under the horizon of "infinity". The unity of "phenomenology" and "science as such" is an analogy of unity of the "thesis" and "variation" in music, and that is what this paper’s main title "Variation of infinity" means. In this paper, the author successively examines the three shapes of experience of consciousness:Consciousness, Self-consciuseness, and Reason, and the specific expressions of infinity: the infinity of force, the infinity of life, and the infinity of category. These expressions are to be used as the mediums, through which the way of shapes of consciousness’s existing as variations of infinity, and of infinity’s relating to those specific topics of the experience of consciousness are elucidated. These parts roughly constituted the so called "contents of Phenomenology of Spirit". Besides, under the insight of "variation of infinity", this paper makes an tentative research on the matter of the structure of the Phenomenology. The author disapproves the popular assumption of Ur-Phenomenology—the representative standpoint of this assumption comes from Michael N.Foster—and insists on the continuity and unity of the shapes of consciousness in the Phenomenology. After a critique of the assumption of Ur-Phenomenology, this paper presents a specific comprehension of the structure of the Phenomenology.

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CLC: > Philosophy, religion > European philosophy > European Philosophy > German philosophy > The early philosophy of the 18th century to the nineteenth century > Hegel ( Hegel, Under- G.W.F.1770 1831 )
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