Hegel’s Logic of Freedom

  • William Maker

Abstract

What is the Science of Logic about? One account Hegel gives of it would not sound strange to today’s logicians: it is about the ‘forms of thought’ and the ‘laws of thinking.’3 But in at least two decisive respects Hegel’s conception of a formal logic is different from contemporary versions: He insists that even as ‘pure abstractions’ logical forms are not divorced from content, 4 and he holds further that logic does not merely provide rules for arriving at truth when some given, external content is added,5 but affords truth itself, and not just any old truth but ‘infinite’ ‘absolute’ truth:6 ‘the logical is the absolute form of the truth, and, even more than that, the pure truth itself.’7 Further distancing himself from contemporary views he notes that this truth is not a matter of the ‘correctness of the knowledge of facts,’ for that is ‘not truth itself.’8 Still other comments Hegel makes about logic may also seem sufficiently out of temper with our time to relegate the Science of Logic to the junkheap of error where it has so long dwelled in desuetude. Logic, he tells us, is ‘the colorless communion of the spirit with itself …’9 ‘the spirit which contemplates its own pure essence …’.10 But even as communing with itself, logic has special powers for it ‘must certainly be said to be the supernatural element which permeates every relationship of man to nature, his sensation, intuition, desire, need, instinct, and simply by so doing transforms it into something human.

Keywords

Assure Posit Lost Haldane Culmination 

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Copyright information

© William Maker 2005

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  • William Maker

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