What Is Living and What Is Dead of the Philosophy of Hegel

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9781519344144: What Is Living and What Is Dead of the Philosophy of Hegel

English readers of Croce's works already know him as a thinker who philosophizes from a fundamentally Hegelian point of view. They will not be required, therefore, to find him maintaining in this book that the element of permanency in the philosophy of Hegel is the synthesis of opposites in the concrete universal. Only the concrete universal, it is held, and consequently only the Hegelian philosophy, can give an adequate conception of reality, for the reason that a reality is neither simply the one side of any pair of opposites, nor the other, nor yet again the mere opposites of the two, but their synthesis. Croce conceives Hegel to have made the attempt to render thought, which naturally tends to assume a rigid expression, as fluid as is the real. For he had no doubt that the real is fluid, and hence it was that Heracleitus appealed to him; and he felt at the same time that all previous philosophies had been unfaithful to this aspect of reality. He was thus lead to the theory that the synthesis of opposites in the concrete universal is the ground of fluidity and development in reality.
But now Croce introduces a more important speculation, and this concerns that part of Hegelism which is dead. Opponents of Hegel have often ridiculed Hegel's essays into natural philosophy; and even those who adopt his principles usually consider that in such enterprises he was not happy. But they offer no explanation of the statements which give rise to their ridicule or silence. Opponents of Hegel tend to consider it a proof of the unsoundness of his philosophy that it could issue in such absurdities; while advocates of Hegel tend to regard the so-called absurdities as hard sayings or mere lapses. The one side says it was nonsense, the other it was rash to deduce dialectically the total number of the planets; but neither side offers any explanation of the fact that Hegel attempted the deduction. Such an explanation is proposed by Croce. He maintains that there is a radical error in Hegel's thought, that his many hard sayings are not mere lapses but the direct consequence of this error. He maintains, in fact, that Hegel did not distinguish between opposites and distincts; that he often believed distincts to be opposites and in consequence fallaciously applied the dialectic of opposites to them; and that in general he often treated distincts as opposites and opposites as distincts.
Thus, good and evil are true opposites and each is essential for development, hence, they must be synthesized in the concrete universal. But elsewhere art is regarded as thesis, religion as antithesis, and philosophy as synthesis, and this Croce maintains to be utterly mistaken. For art, says Croce, has a reality of its own, and is not in relation to religion what good is in relation to evil,—an abstraction. In short, art and religion are distincts, not opposites, and to them the notion of degrees applies, but not the principle of dialectic synthesis. Croce illustrates the theory from different sides of Hegel's work.
The whole book is highly interesting. As to the main position, there appears to remain some difficulty in deciding what is a pair of opposites and what a pair of distincts. The decision is usually reached by Croce by means of a criterion of unthinkability, opposites being unthinkable apart from each other, while distincts are not; but one is at an entire loss with regard to the meaning of unthinkability.
The style of the author is delightful, and is characterized by apt phraseology and pertinent illustration.
International Journal of Ethics, Vol. 27 [1917]

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Benedetto Croce (1866-1952) was one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century. Among his many works are Philosophy of the Practical; What is Living and What is Dead in the Philosophy of Hegel; Aesthetic; Logic as the Science of Pure Concept; History of the Story of Liberty; and Guide to Aesthetics.

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Text: English, Italian (translation)

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Book Description Createspace, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.English readers of Croce s works already know him as a thinker who philosophizes from a fundamentally Hegelian point of view. They will not be required, therefore, to find him maintaining in this book that the element of permanency in the philosophy of Hegel is the synthesis of opposites in the concrete universal. Only the concrete universal, it is held, and consequently only the Hegelian philosophy, can give an adequate conception of reality, for the reason that a reality is neither simply the one side of any pair of opposites, nor the other, nor yet again the mere opposites of the two, but their synthesis. Croce conceives Hegel to have made the attempt to render thought, which naturally tends to assume a rigid expression, as fluid as is the real. For he had no doubt that the real is fluid, and hence it was that Heracleitus appealed to him; and he felt at the same time that all previous philosophies had been unfaithful to this aspect of reality. He was thus lead to the theory that the synthesis of opposites in the concrete universal is the ground of fluidity and development in reality. But now Croce introduces a more important speculation, and this concerns that part of Hegelism which is dead. Opponents of Hegel have often ridiculed Hegel s essays into natural philosophy; and even those who adopt his principles usually consider that in such enterprises he was not happy. But they offer no explanation of the statements which give rise to their ridicule or silence. Opponents of Hegel tend to consider it a proof of the unsoundness of his philosophy that it could issue in such absurdities; while advocates of Hegel tend to regard the so-called absurdities as hard sayings or mere lapses. The one side says it was nonsense, the other it was rash to deduce dialectically the total number of the planets; but neither side offers any explanation of the fact that Hegel attempted the deduction. Such an explanation is proposed by Croce. He maintains that there is a radical error in Hegel s thought, that his many hard sayings are not mere lapses but the direct consequence of this error. He maintains, in fact, that Hegel did not distinguish between opposites and distincts; that he often believed distincts to be opposites and in consequence fallaciously applied the dialectic of opposites to them; and that in general he often treated distincts as opposites and opposites as distincts. Thus, good and evil are true opposites and each is essential for development, hence, they must be synthesized in the concrete universal. But elsewhere art is regarded as thesis, religion as antithesis, and philosophy as synthesis, and this Croce maintains to be utterly mistaken. For art, says Croce, has a reality of its own, and is not in relation to religion what good is in relation to evil, -an abstraction. In short, art and religion are distincts, not opposites, and to them the notion of degrees applies, but not the principle of dialectic synthesis. Croce illustrates the theory from different sides of Hegel s work. The whole book is highly interesting. As to the main position, there appears to remain some difficulty in deciding what is a pair of opposites and what a pair of distincts. The decision is usually reached by Croce by means of a criterion of unthinkability, opposites being unthinkable apart from each other, while distincts are not; but one is at an entire loss with regard to the meaning of unthinkability. The style of the author is delightful, and is characterized by apt phraseology and pertinent illustration. - International Journal of Ethics, Vol. 27 [1917]. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781519344144

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Book Description Createspace, United States, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. English readers of Croce s works already know him as a thinker who philosophizes from a fundamentally Hegelian point of view. They will not be required, therefore, to find him maintaining in this book that the element of permanency in the philosophy of Hegel is the synthesis of opposites in the concrete universal. Only the concrete universal, it is held, and consequently only the Hegelian philosophy, can give an adequate conception of reality, for the reason that a reality is neither simply the one side of any pair of opposites, nor the other, nor yet again the mere opposites of the two, but their synthesis. Croce conceives Hegel to have made the attempt to render thought, which naturally tends to assume a rigid expression, as fluid as is the real. For he had no doubt that the real is fluid, and hence it was that Heracleitus appealed to him; and he felt at the same time that all previous philosophies had been unfaithful to this aspect of reality. He was thus lead to the theory that the synthesis of opposites in the concrete universal is the ground of fluidity and development in reality. But now Croce introduces a more important speculation, and this concerns that part of Hegelism which is dead. Opponents of Hegel have often ridiculed Hegel s essays into natural philosophy; and even those who adopt his principles usually consider that in such enterprises he was not happy. But they offer no explanation of the statements which give rise to their ridicule or silence. Opponents of Hegel tend to consider it a proof of the unsoundness of his philosophy that it could issue in such absurdities; while advocates of Hegel tend to regard the so-called absurdities as hard sayings or mere lapses. The one side says it was nonsense, the other it was rash to deduce dialectically the total number of the planets; but neither side offers any explanation of the fact that Hegel attempted the deduction. Such an explanation is proposed by Croce. He maintains that there is a radical error in Hegel s thought, that his many hard sayings are not mere lapses but the direct consequence of this error. He maintains, in fact, that Hegel did not distinguish between opposites and distincts; that he often believed distincts to be opposites and in consequence fallaciously applied the dialectic of opposites to them; and that in general he often treated distincts as opposites and opposites as distincts. Thus, good and evil are true opposites and each is essential for development, hence, they must be synthesized in the concrete universal. But elsewhere art is regarded as thesis, religion as antithesis, and philosophy as synthesis, and this Croce maintains to be utterly mistaken. For art, says Croce, has a reality of its own, and is not in relation to religion what good is in relation to evil, -an abstraction. In short, art and religion are distincts, not opposites, and to them the notion of degrees applies, but not the principle of dialectic synthesis. Croce illustrates the theory from different sides of Hegel s work. The whole book is highly interesting. As to the main position, there appears to remain some difficulty in deciding what is a pair of opposites and what a pair of distincts. The decision is usually reached by Croce by means of a criterion of unthinkability, opposites being unthinkable apart from each other, while distincts are not; but one is at an entire loss with regard to the meaning of unthinkability. The style of the author is delightful, and is characterized by apt phraseology and pertinent illustration. - International Journal of Ethics, Vol. 27 [1917]. Bookseller Inventory # APC9781519344144

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