Hegel and the Trinity

Discussion of articles that appear in the magazine.

Moderators: AMod, iMod

Post Reply
Philosophy Now
Posts: 971
Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2010 8:49 am

Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Philosophy Now »

Peter Benson explains why Hegel was obsessed with the number three.

https://philosophynow.org/issues/42/Heg ... he_Trinity
User avatar
Hobbes' Choice
Posts: 8364
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Hobbes' Choice »


"Hegel thought that, if enough was known about a thing to distinguish it from all other things , then all its properties could be inferred by logic. This was a mistake, and from this mistake arose the whole edifice of his system. This illustrates an important truth, namely, that the worse your logic, the more interesting the consequences
." -Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy


Hegel was an obscurantist reactionary who said nothing of any lasting worth. Rather he made a dog's dinner of a once respectable Idealism which those the liked to critique it, were happy to use him as a rubric of ridicule.
Dubious
Posts: 2520
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Dubious »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
"Hegel thought that, if enough was known about a thing to distinguish it from all other things , then all its properties could be inferred by logic. This was a mistake, and from this mistake arose the whole edifice of his system. This illustrates an important truth, namely, that the worse your logic, the more interesting the consequences
." -Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy


Hegel was an obscurantist reactionary who said nothing of any lasting worth. Rather he made a dog's dinner of a once respectable Idealism which those the liked to critique it, were happy to use him as a rubric of ridicule.
Russell's opinions are often due to his own lack of comprehension. If something wasn't immediately comprehensible to him after spending a day or so on the subject he was prone to ridicule whatever he didn't understand. He was also in a hurry to get the book done. His finances required a fast solution. His chapter on Nietzsche alone proved what total bunk he was capable of coming up with. If these writers are so inconsequential, why do they loom so large in the history of Western Philosophy!
User avatar
Hobbes' Choice
Posts: 8364
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Dubious wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote:
"Hegel thought that, if enough was known about a thing to distinguish it from all other things , then all its properties could be inferred by logic. This was a mistake, and from this mistake arose the whole edifice of his system. This illustrates an important truth, namely, that the worse your logic, the more interesting the consequences
." -Bertrand Russell, History of Western Philosophy


Hegel was an obscurantist reactionary who said nothing of any lasting worth. Rather he made a dog's dinner of a once respectable Idealism which those the liked to critique it, were happy to use him as a rubric of ridicule.
Russell's opinions are often due to his own lack of comprehension. If something wasn't immediately comprehensible to him after spending a day or so on the subject he was prone to ridicule whatever he didn't understand. He was also in a hurry to get the book done. His finances required a fast solution. His chapter on Nietzsche alone proved what total bunk he was capable of coming up with. If these writers are so inconsequential, why do they loom so large in the history of Western Philosophy!
I reject and disagree with you entirely. Russell's appreciation of philosophy was great.
Where did you get the financial information? Russell wrote 90+ books in his career I doubt that this particular one was that important, not to mention the fact that he was working for British intelligence whilst he was planning it, and was receiving a good wage. I refute the change that his appreciation of Hegel was due to a hurried read. By the time his History was publishes he was already over 70 years old and had a keen understanding of the history of philosophy following a varied career in it, with over twenty active years to go.


As for Nietzsche - he also was a windbag.
His PhD thesis was masterful, but the ranting increased with age and the depredations of syphilis.

[Edited by iMod]
Dubious
Posts: 2520
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Dubious »

Hobbes' Choice wrote: I reject and disagree with you entirely. Russell's appreciation of philosophy was great.
Where did you get the financial information? Russell wrote 90+ books in his career I doubt that this particular one was that important, not to mention the fact that he was working for British intelligence whilst he was planning it, and was receiving a good wage. I refute the change that his appreciation of Hegel was due to a hurried read. By the time his History was publishes he was already over 70 years old and had a keen understanding of the history of philosophy following a varied career in it, with over twenty active years to go.

As for Nietzsche - he also was a windbag.
His PhD thesis was masterful, but the ranting increased with age and the depredations of syphilis.
No doubt that "Russell's appreciation of philosophy was great" even though he did grow tired of it occasionally through-out his long life. He was, without argument extremely brilliant as was his prose style, the fluency of which is partly the problem when writing the History of Western Philosophy. As one writer pointed out he was "the Oscar Wilde of philosophy" where bias and witticisms were power for the course.

This kind of style made philosophy much more entertaining with the public that he depended on for sales. In his autobiography he wrote that a man without bias cannot write interesting history which is partly true but doesn't negate the responsibility to come to terms especially with those philosophers whose ideas he may find more difficult or less pleasing; instead he glosses over it with a lot of gratuitous wit and surplus bias without further attempting to understand its context in terms of time and meaning.

You mention "he was working for British intelligence whilst he was planning it, and was receiving a good wage." I never read that in any article I encountered. Can you deliver a link to confirm it?

Russell was in the US from 1938 to 1944 per the following from Britannica:

From 1938 to 1944 Russell lived in the United States, where he taught at Chicago and the University of California at Los Angeles, but he was prevented from taking a post at the City College of New York because of objections to his views on sex and marriage. On the brink of financial ruin, he secured a job teaching the history of philosophy at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Although he soon fell out with its founder, Albert C. Barnes, and lost his job, Russell was able to turn the lectures he delivered at the foundation into a book, A History of Western Philosophy (1945), which proved to be a best-seller and was for many years his main source of income.

It sure doesn't sound that he was working for British Intelligence while planning for the book in the US. If he was, he certainly wasn't paid very well. Care to clarify?

Also, Nietzsche almost certainly did not die of syphilis. The symptoms of his final breakdown do not conform with the usual ones of tertiary syphilis. As for N being a windbag is right in line with Mozart being a chintzy composer. My opinion of your opinion is that you have a brain on crutches.
Londoner
Posts: 783
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:47 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Londoner »

It would seem odd that Russell, somebody who had been jailed for his political views during WW1 would be seen as a useful agent of British intelligence. Although he later expressed reservations about Soviet Russia, that was not because he supported capitalist Britain. I'm sure we can find connections with British intelligence, but as a member of a vastly wealthy family in the centre of the political establishment he would have connections with everyone.

Regarding money, Russell seems to have been always ready to give it away, as he did with his inheritance. He also had an ex-wife and children to support, which again he did willingly. So I do not think he would have remotely considered working for British intelligence because of the money.
Scott Mayers
Posts: 1813
Joined: Wed Jul 08, 2015 1:53 am
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Scott Mayers »

Good article. I agree to most of what he says except for his interpretation that "synthesis" is not a feature of the 'trinity'.

I never read enough of Hegel directly but to most especially how Karl Marx used this with regards to history. Although I remembered finding difficulty in what I read of his years ago, I completely understand the underlying logic and disagree with Bertrand Russel's take on it as commented above. I too highly value Russel's work, btw, and you guys must note that his greatest effective philosophy was done at the turn of the century. His 'loss' of any fortunes may reasonably be due to his and Whitehead's investment in "Principia Mathematica" a GIANT three-volume tome that, while well invested in to trying to prove everything logically from 'scratch', would hardly be something that a mere handful of people EVER read!! And worse, Godel's "Incompleteness Theorem" was sufficient by the dates above to indicate no one would waste their time to buy any more of Bertrand's largest investment.

But that is a digression and a topic for some other place. As to Hegel and the Trinity, I assure you that while we don't have a lot of extant material discussing the origins of this in history, it HAD to be a process of the thinking from even as far back as ancient ancient Egyptian history as you can see tell-tale traces of the thinking in what we actually have of their religion and language.

I almost think that I'm like a reincarnation in part of Hegel and so can actually address this in modern terms. It has to begin by questioning META-logic, the logic of logic itself. I have a feeling that I could write a book here and so to avoid my own desire to completely explain this from scratch, let me point out the 'logic of Trinity'.

In most traditional forms of logic, one must find a way to begin with rules ABOUT the logic one is going to use. But most such logic can be derived in various ways, just as there are a potential infinite ways to redesign a computer programming language (a logic). As such, many have tried to reduce this to what is most 'minimal'. A search for understanding reality begins in logic and for some, like Hegel, this must begin by assuming ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. But we are biased to think that at the least, and ABSOLUTE SOMETHING must be true merely based on our presence to even question reality. (I'm guessing Decartes may have had his contemporary "Method" in mind that also certainly derived from lost ancient dialectic.)

Given some ABSOLUTE concept like, 'totality' OR our own existence as, 'I', the question to first ask is whether something or nothing was an origin. To most, as I've pointed out, nothing, and especially an absolute form of it, could not cause anything because it lacks anything-ness to initiate reality. I prefer to point out though that if we begin with some ABSOLUTE NOTHING, not even "laws" themselves exist there. So this means not even a 'law' of logical form that distinguishes between what is or is not contradictory. NOR could it speak on what is 'consistent', a necessary universal idea derived as "identity" [con- (with), -sis- (same), -ness (nature or state)].

So if you begin with ABSOLUTE NOTHING, it is both 'true' and 'false', among an infinity of other things. The 'true' part of it though suggests that it MUST be 'consistent', or stay BEING ABSOLUTE NOTHING. How can it require such a 'law' when it is 'lawless', though? It isn't necessary to question how or why, but given that an infinity of what isn't real can be imagined, it seems reasonable that where no law is concerned, it can also BREAK that 'law' simply because there is no resistance against this. As such, Absolute Nothing BECOMES Something.

But as SOON as it is, the state of reality needs to SPLIT to provide a place for remaining ABSOLUTE NOTHING AND ANYTHING OTHER. This conjunction IS that third factor. It is what we refer to as "contradiction". But now that it has established itself, existence itself "SYNTHESIZES" a kind of 'repair'. The 'splitting' of totality occurs at each contradiction that exists given any (1)X, that assures some (2)non-X, but proves that there is a greater 'place' that includes them both as (3) X and non-X.

The third factor is what is the 'conflict' AND the FORCE of reality that demands resolution, the 'synthesis'. We usually discard contradictions. But if reality itself does this, it does not, it just distinctly MAKES IT WORK: The resolution of (3) is to MAKE it true by definition. This to logic is a process of "denial". So, to make (3) non-contradictory is to realize (X and non-X) is identical to denying it as NOT(X and non-X). To those attuned to logic, this is done by negating the terms distributively: (not-X not-and not-non-X) == (non-X OR X). But this is thus keeping the original (3) but look at it by a DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.

I've drawn a diagram at some point on this very site that illustrates this but don't know where it is right now. Basically it is like this:
Perspective of A&B versus AorB
Perspective of A&B versus AorB
2016-11-24_AorB.png (5.47 KiB) Viewed 2403 times
Looking vertically, (A AND B) is included in that line; Distinctly (disjuctively), taking EACH distinctly, the distinct arrows horizontally, this is
(A OR B).

So, where originally, if you start out horizonally, and making A = not B,
My logical 'trinity' example
My logical 'trinity' example
Trinity in logic.png (11.89 KiB) Viewed 2404 times
[I used A = X and B = non-X; Also, though I didn't indicate it, the third is representative of a conjuction horizontally and a disjuction vertically. That is the 'dimensioning' I refer to in this post. Also, if this is to represent spatial description, you can rearrange this by placing (2) to the right instead to get a sense of the 'symmetry' when dealing with actual coordinate spaces.]

The first A, is the "Thesis" (proposition), the second is its denial or "Anti-thesis", and the third is the state of contradiction being (A and not-A).
The contradiction justifies resolving the conflict by finding a 'new' direction or dimension AT the point of contradiction! That is the vertical part that from looking from the top to bottom is (not-A not-and A). This is identical to saying (not-A OR A).

This should give you a hint at what the logic of Trinities are from in 'form'. The third state is BOTH the conflict AND its resolution "synthesis" because of it. In fact. I use this to generate my own logical-to-physical argument from "first principles". Just extend these to real spaces itself.

NOTE that this is what some call a "paraconsistent logic" because it denies using the default assumptions of the following logical assumptions that all other logics use:

1) The Law of Identity: that things are consistent or stay true of themselves
2) The Law of non-Contradiciton: that things should not contradict being both 'true and false' simultaneously
3) The Law of Excluded Middle: that there is NO middle value between 'true and false'.

As you can see, these are actually just forms of the same idea most often derived from "consistency". So this is at least HOW Hegel thought of addressing thinking. Abandon an assumption of 'value' to the first thing in some issue; then deny that 'value'; which leads to conflict AND its inevitable resolution.

Karl Marx caught on correctly to point out how "history repeats itself" in political stages. Ironically, if anyone understood, then they would have even realized that his Communism would be doomed to this as a cycle. That its intention to be most 'liberal' to require "LAW" (anarchy) voluntarily, leads to chaos because it only takes one's own personal idea to express their freedom to use force and rule, which leads to eventual conflicts. I think he thought that 'communism' was just like a new or next DIMENSION to this process.
User avatar
Hobbes' Choice
Posts: 8364
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Dubious wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: I reject and disagree with you entirely. Russell's appreciation of philosophy was great.
Where did you get the financial information? Russell wrote 90+ books in his career I doubt that this particular one was that important, not to mention the fact that he was working for British intelligence whilst he was planning it, and was receiving a good wage. I refute the charge that his appreciation of Hegel was due to a hurried read. By the time his History was publishes he was already over 70 years old and had a keen understanding of the history of philosophy following a varied career in it, with over twenty active years to go.

As for Nietzsche - he also was a windbag.
His PhD thesis was masterful, but the ranting increased with age and the depredations of syphilis.
No doubt that "Russell's appreciation of philosophy was great" even though he did grow tired of it occasionally through-out his long life. He was, without argument extremely brilliant as was his prose style, the fluency of which is partly the problem when writing the History of Western Philosophy. As one writer pointed out he was "the Oscar Wilde of philosophy" where bias and witticisms were power for the course.

This kind of style made philosophy much more entertaining with the public that he depended on for sales. In his autobiography he wrote that a man without bias cannot write interesting history which is partly true but doesn't negate the responsibility to come to terms especially with those philosophers whose ideas he may find more difficult or less pleasing; instead he glosses over it with a lot of gratuitous wit and surplus bias without further attempting to understand its context in terms of time and meaning..
And Jacque Derrida said that you cannot write anything without a bias, as you bias forms the basis of your understanding.
Writing with a bias doe not even begin to mean that there is a lack of understanding. There is no such thing as "surplus bias."
Hegel is not worthy. He was a mystic thinker of nonsense. Russell dealt with Hegel with exactly the brevity he deserved

Your idea that he was in a rush when writing were false. His finances did not need a "quick fix" as he had an advance for the book and was on a wage at Bryn Mawr.
Russell told a famous anecdote whilst working for BI that the fact that he smoked tobacco saved his life, as on the occasion of doing work for BI on a plane in Norway, he's had to move to the rear of the plane. The plane made an emergency landing on a lake, and his life was saved whilst those in the front of the plane perished.

The fact the Nietzsche was a windbag is not connected to the fact that Mozart sounds a bit chintzy.
N writes page after page of polemic ramblings yet his books can be boiled down to about two paragraphs each. He rarely indulges in argument or reasoning.
If he argues that we should become who we truly are then he was truly a gibbering wreck who freaked out over the flogging of a horse - so much for the ubermensch!
He was screwed up about Christianity and was incapable of enjoying a drink, one of the few things the Germans got right.
User avatar
Hobbes' Choice
Posts: 8364
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2013 11:45 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Hobbes' Choice »

Londoner wrote:It would seem odd that Russell, somebody who had been jailed for his political views during WW1 would be seen as a useful agent of British intelligence. Although he later expressed reservations about Soviet Russia, that was not because he supported capitalist Britain. I'm sure we can find connections with British intelligence, but as a member of a vastly wealthy family in the centre of the political establishment he would have connections with everyone.

Regarding money, Russell seems to have been always ready to give it away, as he did with his inheritance. He also had an ex-wife and children to support, which again he did willingly. So I do not think he would have remotely considered working for British intelligence because of the money.
That was not my point.
My point was that it was unfair to say that BR needed a "quick financial fix" so did a poor job writing his HofP the passages about Hegel.

If you really want to read a more long winded HofP there is always Copelston, BR's nemesis!!
Dubious
Posts: 2520
Joined: Tue May 19, 2015 7:40 am

Re: Hegel and the Trinity

Post by Dubious »

Hobbes' Choice wrote:
Dubious wrote:
Hobbes' Choice wrote: I reject and disagree with you entirely. Russell's appreciation of philosophy was great.
Where did you get the financial information? Russell wrote 90+ books in his career I doubt that this particular one was that important, not to mention the fact that he was working for British intelligence whilst he was planning it, and was receiving a good wage. I refute the charge that his appreciation of Hegel was due to a hurried read. By the time his History was publishes he was already over 70 years old and had a keen understanding of the history of philosophy following a varied career in it, with over twenty active years to go.

As for Nietzsche - he also was a windbag.
His PhD thesis was masterful, but the ranting increased with age and the depredations of syphilis.
No doubt that "Russell's appreciation of philosophy was great" even though he did grow tired of it occasionally through-out his long life. He was, without argument extremely brilliant as was his prose style, the fluency of which is partly the problem when writing the History of Western Philosophy. As one writer pointed out he was "the Oscar Wilde of philosophy" where bias and witticisms were power for the course.

This kind of style made philosophy much more entertaining with the public that he depended on for sales. In his autobiography he wrote that a man without bias cannot write interesting history which is partly true but doesn't negate the responsibility to come to terms especially with those philosophers whose ideas he may find more difficult or less pleasing; instead he glosses over it with a lot of gratuitous wit and surplus bias without further attempting to understand its context in terms of time and meaning..
And Jacque Derrida said that you cannot write anything without a bias, as you bias forms the basis of your understanding.
Writing with a bias doe not even begin to mean that there is a lack of understanding. There is no such thing as "surplus bias."
Hegel is not worthy. He was a mystic thinker of nonsense. Russell dealt with Hegel with exactly the brevity he deserved

Your idea that he was in a rush when writing were false. His finances did not need a "quick fix" as he had an advance for the book and was on a wage at Bryn Mawr.
Russell told a famous anecdote whilst working for BI that the fact that he smoked tobacco saved his life, as on the occasion of doing work for BI on a plane in Norway, he's had to move to the rear of the plane. The plane made an emergency landing on a lake, and his life was saved whilst those in the front of the plane perished.

The fact the Nietzsche was a windbag is not connected to the fact that Mozart sounds a bit chintzy.
N writes page after page of polemic ramblings yet his books can be boiled down to about two paragraphs each. He rarely indulges in argument or reasoning.
If he argues that we should become who we truly are then he was truly a gibbering wreck who freaked out over the flogging of a horse - so much for the ubermensch!
He was screwed up about Christianity and was incapable of enjoying a drink, one of the few things the Germans got right.
Where's the data that he was working for British Intelligence and when would that have been since he was in the states from 38 to 44? Argue all you want. The quoted article from Britannica makes his circumstances clear but it's always been Hobbes opinion uber alles and facts become irrelevant. The influence of Nietzsche and Hegel far outdistanced anything Russell accomplished during his 90 years.

As for ...enjoying a drink, one of the few things the Germans got right...well praise be! at least they got that right. I have no idea where one of your own by name of Peter Watson came up with an over 900 page volume entitled The German Genius which amounts to only a partial listing of what the Germans accomplished in music, art, science and math. You are biggest lying troll here; no and, if or buts.
If he argues that we should become who we truly are then he was truly a gibbering wreck who freaked out over the flogging of a horse - so much for the ubermensch!
Nietzsche had a brain ailment like his father who died at the age of 35. It's very likely that N suffered from the same thing the symptoms of which do not conform to syphilis which you so happily assume to be the cause. This quote of yours of N's final and tragic breakdown which has nothing to do with Ubermensch or anyone's philosophy and everything to do with mortality really identifies what a disgusting piece of human garbage you truly are.
Post Reply