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Hegel et al. Discussion split from Ask a Red III

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by luiz, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Do modern reds still read Hegel or do you guys now see his writings for what they really are (gibberish)?
     
  2. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    Not understanding Hegel doesn't imply his writings are "gibberish".
     
  3. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    :lol:
    Thinking to understand that load of crap speaks volumes...

    Please, tell me what you think about his theory on the philosophical explanation for the gap between the planets and his "proof" that there must be exactly seven planets :lol:

    As Schopenhauer once remarked, anyone who tries too hard to make sense out of that endless flow of gibberish suffers an irreparable damage to the intellect...
     
  4. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    How do you expect people who haven't read it to know it's gibberish?
    And the latter doesn't imply the former.
    How come?
     
  5. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    True, true. I meant "read" as in "study" or "try to make sense out of it".
    Of course, if one is familiar with say Bertrand Russel's analysis of Hegel's work then there is no need to read the original to know it's complete and utter nonsense.

    Because his philosophy is "a colossal piece of mystification which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudo-philosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage..."
     
  6. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    If he thinks his philosophy can prove there can only be seven planets, that's a strong hint it's garbage in my book.

    But my real problem with him is how he just plainly invented stuff and claimed them as natural laws. He went beyond the limit of "wild speculation" right into the "plain fraud" territory.
     
  7. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    That rather assumes that all areas of his work are totally interdependent, which would make him fairly unique in the history of human philosophy. I know that he liked to think as much, system-builder that he was, but there's no reason to take his word for it. Isaac Newton spent most of his time trying to turn lead into gold; we don't conclude that this invalidates calculus or a theory of gravity.

    Besides, saying that somebody is wrong doesn't mean that he's useless; philosophy isn't a positivistic science. Dialogue is important. If it wasn't, people wouldn't study, e.g. Descartes, a man who is generally accepted to have been wrong about basically everything. The trick is that he was wrong in interesting and important ways, and it may be the case that the same is true of Hegel. As I said, I withhold judgement.
     
  8. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    I have Philosophy of History and Philosophy of Art History on my shelf. I read through the latter once, parts of it made sense, parts of it did not. I consulted a few philosopher friends, including Fifty, on what a few passages meant, and even they could not dissect it into something meaningful. Hegel was one of those German university philosophers like Kant, they are notoriously dense and obfuscate. I will read Philosophy of History one day, for both the interest in the history of Marxist thought, but also for its influence on historiography.

    I didn't realize you had sworn to the Red Banner...
     
  9. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Hegel is even worse than Kant, because while Kant wrote in obtuse technical German, Hegel wrote in obtuse technical Württemberger Swabian. It like if Adam Smith wrote only in Doric Scots, turned up to 11.
     
  10. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Comparing Hegel to Newton must be the most unfair comparison in the history of the human race :p

    While Newton did write quite a lot on alchemy and the Scriptures, even when he addressed those topics he did so as a honest (and competent) researcher and, why not, a scientist. During his time chemistry was barely starting, and alchemy was pretty much what we had.

    Hegel, OTOH, was wrong because he just made stuff up. His theories have no empirical base whatsoever, he never allowed reality to stand in the way of his writing, and yet he claimed to have come up not only with a "theory of everything" but with a "theory of how everything was, is and will be".

    I am not saying that everyone who was wrong about anything should be disregarded - all great scientists were wrong about something. What I'm saying is that people who were wrong because they made up from thin air absurd and laughable theories should indeed be disregarded. Hegel certainly fits the bill.

    I think being able to formulate your ideas clearly is a big part of what being a philosopher is about. Those who rely on verbiage and obfuscation are usually hiding a complete lack of content (this is true of a lot of the so-called "continental philosophy").
     
  11. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Your contention seems to be that he was an idealist, more than anything else. That's certainly something that you can criticise, but I don't think that you can just throw our his entire body of work simply because he is an idealist.
     
  12. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    You think I should re-apply? (The Communist Party in the Netherlands has been dissolved, so that might be a bit problematic.)
     
  13. aelf

    aelf Ashen One

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    Well, you certainly claim to understand enough to call it gibberish.

    Quite a dilemma there.
     
  14. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    The same as if one is familiar with say, A. James Gregor's analysis of Hegel, then there's no need to read Russel to know he's either an idiot or a liar.

    Well, I suppose I can discount all non-English speaking philosophers then.

    So in other words, because you read someone who didn't understand it, you assume there is no value to it?
     
  15. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    It's a good thing Hegel never claimed such a thing. He just proved that Bode's law not only doesn't follow empirical evidence, but it doesn't even make for good math.

    Also, if you have a problem with the idea that there is no eighth planet located between Jupiter and Mars, that's a strong hint of garbage in my book.
     
  16. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    You could see if that fake one that was scamming money out of the Chinese is still going. That looked fun.
     
  17. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Well, if the unifying charateristic of idealists is that they make ridiculous stuff up, then yeah, we certainly ought to disregard them. And I do believe German Idealism was the foundation of an endless wave of charlatanism (and sometimes plain sociopathy masquerading as philosophy).
    (Ortega y Gasset stated that the defining feature of German Idealism was a complete lack of commitment with truthfulness).

    But I don't really understand Hegel. In fact he wrote his works works not caring very much to be understood; as I said he clearly hid his lack of content behind verbiage and obfuscation (a technique still used be some pseudo-philosophers today!). But I can recognise gibberish when I see it (see below when I'll present a direct translation of Hegel's definition of sound).

    Surely you're not saying that Bertrand Russell was either an idiot or a liar?

    If you meant Hegel, while he was certainly a liar (in the sense he made stuff up), I doubt he was an idiot (though many of his contemporaries thought so). After all his pseudo-philosophy of state-worship made him quite popular (and prosperous) on Frederick William's court.

    Do all non-English speaking philosophers hide behind wilfull obfuscation and verbiage? Because those are the two terms I used. Hegel (and many other "continental philosophers", to be sure) were not clear even for people who spoke their native language, because they didn't want to be clear.
    Philosophers who write clearly in their native language can be well translated into others.

    That's a Schopenhauer quote, and nobody understood Hegel as well as Schopenhauer.

    But if you don't trust him, trust Russell, or Ortega y Gasset, or Popper, or Arendt, or any honest philosopher who tried to analyse Hegel's nonsense.

    Or better yet, read Hegel. This is what the "philosopher" wrote about sound on his Philosophy of Nature (this is a direct and as accurate as possible translation to English):

    (Paragraph 302)
    "Sound is the change in the specific condition of seggregation of the material parts, and in the negation of this condition;- merely an abstract or an ideal ideality, as it were, of that specification. But this change, accordingly, is itself immediately the negation of the material subsistence; which is, therefore, real ideality of specific gravity and cohesion -i.e., -heat. The heating up of sounding bodies, just as of beaten or rubbed ones, is the appearence of heat, originating conceptually together with sound".

    Did you understand this? Of course not, because it's nothing but gibberish he invented without any actual empiricial basis! It's nonsense, it's dishonest, it's a load of crap. And poorly written at that.

    If you think you understood it, then as Schopenhauer said your brain is already damaged and you'll start rambling like all Hegelian pseudo-philosophers.

    You mean Ceres, the dwarf-planet located between Mars and Jupiter (as Hegel claimed was impossible, God knows why), which had just been discovered shortly before Hegel wrote that load of garbage on astronomy (which he didn't understand at all)?

    As for Hegel's other "accomplishments" is astronomy. Let me see. He claimed to have "proved" by purely philosophical methods that the planets must move according to Kepler's laws (114 years after Newton's Principia).

    And of course he can't even interpret the Principia correctly. In his analysis of book 1, section II, prop 1 of the Principia, Hegel thinks it shows that both the arcs and the areas are proportional to time. Which is obviously wrong: in an elliptical orbit, the body moves faster at apogee, and traces out less arc in unit time than when at perigee.
    At some point he seems to decide that the tangent to the elipse representes centrifugal force...

    On gravitation, he wrote that "in the famous application of the law of centripetal force to the motion of the moon and to the planets with their satellites, there is no reference to any relation between the masses. Clearly this gravitation law is a law merely of the phenomenon of motion and not a force law at all " and goes further "that law can be inverted which says that the gravitation force stands in inverse ratio to the square of the distances, so we can say instead that it stands in direct ratio to the square of distances"

    Some of his other "scientific achievements" are his "philosophical proofs" that magnetizing iron means increasing its weight, and that Newton's theories of inertia and gravity contradict each other.

    I am left wondering why on the 10+ physics disciplines I took in college nobody ever mentioned Hegel...

    So yeah, please tell me of his achievements. To me it seems Schopenhauer was spot on.
     
  18. ParkCungHee

    ParkCungHee Deity

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    Yeah, screw math.

    Then how do you know he has nothing of value to say?

    Sure, and I didn't even need to read Russel to know it.


    No, but I can't understand a word they're saying. Ergo, they're terrible philosophers.

    So you're saying Schopenhauer suffered from mental damage? I thought "Thinking to understand that load of crap speaks volumes..."

    Why bother? I don't need to read Philosophers, or understand them to dismiss them.

    I thought you said that was unnecessary.

    Like Schopenhauer himself?

    Yes, the "Dwarf Planet". Not Planet. Remember the argument Hegel was engaging was there must be a planet between a planet between Mars and Jupiter, because otherwise there is cosmological chaos.

    Do you agree with this notion?

    Or do you have a problem with Hegels math?

    He didn't. He claimed it wasn't a priori necessary. It's really easy to discount someone's philosophy if you simply make things up.

    If Hegel is impenetrable, how did you determine all this? For someone who criticizes others for writing nonsense, your argument seems to be made up of nothing but deliberate self-contradictions.

    Is Hegel saying nothing, or is he saying something that is wrong?


    That's no farther afield then Chesterton.

    Fairly devastating critique of the conception of Freedom as it was understood at the time (and is still largely accepted), various writings on idealism that ensured it would be the dominant philosophy of Germany for two centuries, most genuinely original political philosophy except maybe for Marx in the past two centuries, etc.
     
  19. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Luiz, you insist that Hegel can be dismissed because his philosophy is non-empirical. But empiricism is itself a specific epistemological position, entailing specific philosophical assumptions. So rejecting Hegel out of hand because he non-empirical amounts to rejecting him out of hand because he doesn't share your assumptions. Does that not seem a little unsound to you?
     
  20. luiz

    luiz Trendy Revolutionary

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    Hegel didn't understand math at all.

    Because it's incoherent gibberish. I don't understand it very well because it can't be very well understood.

    You actually don't have to read Russel to know he was neither.

    Haha, funny.

    As I said, even people who spoke Hegel's dialect couldn't understand him. So it's not a language barrier, it's a façade of obfuscation and verbiage.

    He understood Hegel's motives, not his incromprehensible gibberish.

    You definetly need to try to to understand them.

    If you find they wrote made-up crap like Hegel did on sound, gravity, orbits, magnetism, etc. etc. then you can indeed dismiss them entirely.

    It is, but if you don't believe me it will further my point.

    I don't doubt Schopenhauer lost years of his life trying to decipher that huge load of garbage that Fichte, Hegel and co. produced.

    How is a dwarf planet not a planet in the sense that Hegel meant?

    And no, Hegel claimed he could a priori prove that there was no planet between Mars and Jupiter. That was the whole point of his Philosophy of Nature, to establish that it was possible to determine a priori with philosophical methods the laws that govern the universe. In other words, garbage and an assault on science.

    He got his math all wrong, as in the quotes I provided where he pretty much rapes physics and maths and logic.


    Except he did.

    It actually takes a lot of effort to decipher what he's saying, and then we find out it's all garbage.

    Is that supposed be an excuse for making nonsense up on sound, gravity, orbits, etc. etc.??

    I am not versed on Chesterton, and I don't see what he has to do with anything. Does the existence of another charlatain absolves all charlatains?

    I notice you didn't address his definition of sound, BTW. Do you agree with it?

    Ha. Good one.

    There was hardly anything original in Hegel (of what can be understood anyway). The only accurate description of his "Philosophy of Nature" is fraud.

    But Hegel was undeniably influent (I don't see how influence makes his garbage any more respectable, but anyway). Why was he so influential? Well, for starters he had the authority of the Prussian state behind him. He became the first official philosopher of Prussianism, appointed in the period of feudal restoration after the Napoleonic wars. The Prussian state later also backed his pupils, and they backed one another.

    That is part of the answer. The other part is "that some philosophers like to keep around themselves the atmosphere of the magician. Philosophy is considered an abtruse kind of thing, dealing with those mysteries with which religion deals, but not in a way that can be revealed to common people; it is considered to be too profound for that, and to be the religion and theology of the intellectuals, of the learned and wise. Hegelianism fits this views admirably; it is exactly what these kind of superstitions supposes philosophy to be. It knows all about everything. It has ready answers to every question".
     

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