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Review: Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic

Reviewed Work(s): Freiheit und System bei Hegel by Emil Angehrn: Das Problem der
Subjektivität in Hegels Logik (Hegel-Studien Beiheft 15) by Klaus Düsing: Dialektik und
Sozialethik by Hinrich Fink-Eitel: Kommentar zu Hegels »Logik« - Band I: Sein und
Wesen by Bernhard Lakebrink: Sein und Schein by Michael Theunissen
Review by: Charles Lewis
Source: Philosophische Rundschau , 1981, Vol. 28, No. 1/2 (1981), pp. 115-130
Published by: Mohr Siebeck GmbH & Co. KG

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 115

erstmalige Edition von ausgewählten Teilen zweier Vorlesungsnach-

schriften, das reichhaltige Belegmaterial in den Anmerkungen und die
anregende, zur philosophischen Auseinandersetzung auffordernde »Ein-
leitung« mit Argumenten, die z. T. auch die inhaltlich-philosophisch
kommentierenden Anmerkungen bestimmen, machen das Werk zu
einem empfehlenswerten Hilfsmittel und Gegenstand weiterer For-
schung und Untersuchung.

Klaus Düsing (Siegen)

Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic

Emil Angehrn: Freiheit und System bei Hegel . Berlin 1977, De Gruyter. 490 S.
Klaus Düsing: Das Problem der Subjektivität in Hegels Logik (Hegel-Studien
Beiheft 15). Bonn 1976, Bouvier Verlag. 371 S .
Hinrich Fink-Eitel: Dialektik und Sozialethik. Meisenheim am Glan 1978. A.
Hain. 257 S.
Bernhard Lakebrink: Kommentar zu Hegels »Logik« - Band I: Sein und Wesen.
Freiburg/München 1979. Alber. 453 S.
Michael Theunissen: Sein und Schein. Frankfurt a.M. 1978. Suhrkamp. 502 S.

Hegel's Logik is a logic of subjectivity; its categories describe the

structure of the »Ich«, and in doing so describe the conditions under
which one ego can relate to another, the conditions of mřer-subjectivity.
At the same time, there is a sense in which it is not the »Denkbes-
timmungen« of the Logik which define the »Ich«, but rather the ego -
now regarded as the locus of »absolute Subjektivität« - which itself
founds the totality of categories.
There are hence two distinct ways in which »das Problem der
Subjektivität« enters into Hegel's Logik. In so far as the latter is a theory
of reflection *, it gives an account of the process which makes subjectivity
possible, the process of »alienation«. There is an alienation
(»Entäußerung« or »Entfremdung«) constitutive of the »Ich«. This
connection between alienation and self-consciousness is established in
Ch. VI of the Phänomenologie des Geistes, but it can also be found in
Hegel's logic of »Reflexion«1. »Reflexion« is the logical form of
»Entfremdung«: there is no »Ich« without »Reflexion«, and no »Reflex-
ion« without a certain »Entäußerung« of the »Ich«. The subject thus

1 Following Düsing (p. 12), we do not distinguish between »das Ich« and »das
Selbstbewußtsein« .

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116 Charles Lewis

defined is not yet the subject of »

account it will be a necessary stag
Hegel's Logik can also be regarde
calls) »absolute Subjektivität«, t
Is there simply an ambiguity in the relation of the Logik to the »Ich«,
or is this an opposition which is within the power of Hegel's philosophy
to resolve? Before such questions can be answered, however, a more
concrete one must be considered: what do we mean by »Hegel's Logik«,
or rather which »Logik« do we have in mind? That of 1804? 1812? 18162?

If Hegel's Logik addresses itself to more than one problem, this could
be because different problems arose in the course of its evolution, or that
it successively served a variety of purposes. Klaus Düsing's careful
study enables us to distinguish at least three phases in this development:
the Early Jena Logic (Jl), the Later Jena Logic (J2), and the Logic of
Í812-16 (WL).
Jl can be reconstructed from writings of the period 1801-3; this
difficult task has been mad e possible by Kimmerle's correct dating of the
manuscript of 1804/05. Enough of this »Frühe Jenaer Logik« can be
salvaged for us to appreciate it as an independent stage in the develop-
ment of Hegel's thought (Dûs. p. 77). Fundamental to Jl is a certain
duality of »Reflexion« and »Spekulation«. The former term designates
the forms of finitude which philosophy must overcome. »Spekulation«,
in the sense of genuine philosophical thought, is only possible when this
stage of »Reflexion« has been transcended.
For Schelling, »Spekulation« had originally meant »abstraktes Ver-
standesdenken«, and Düsing points out that it was Hegel who was
responsible for the later and more familiar usage: »Spekulation« as
knowledge of the »Absolute« (Dûs. pp. 137-40). In the early Jena
period, however, the relation between »Spekulation« and »Reflexion« is
problematic. Reflection is not enough to grasp the identity of opposed
thought-determinations; but when all acts of reflection have been
exhausted, what possibility remains? Only, it seems, an act of »intellek-

2 The Wissenschaft der Logik was published in three volumes in 1812, 1813 and 1816. For
the first two volumes (»Die Lehre vom Sein«, »Die Lehre vom Wesen« respectively) we
shall use the abbreviation »WLO« (for what Hegel calls »Die objektive Logik«, as opposed
to »Die subjektive Logik«, i. e. »Die Lehre vom Begriff«); we shall also refer to the »logic
of Sein «, »logic of Wesen« etc. The Phänomenologie des Geistes (1807) will be abbreviated to

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 117

tuelle Anschauung«; Hegel therefore defines »das spekulative Wissen«

as some kind of »Identität der Reflexion und der Anschauung« (Dûs. p.
140), but the nature of this identity remains unclear. Similarly, while it
is already true that this »spekulative Erkenntnis« is an accomplishment
of »Subjektivität«, the subject in question has yet to be adequately

»Denjenigen Begriff, in dessen Bedeutung nicht nur eine Bestimmtheit,

sondern auch das Gegenteil dieser Bestimmtheit gedacht werden muß, nennt
Hegel den »absoluten Begriff«; er ist die Unendlichkeit als Widerspruch, in den
alle Bestimmungen der Reflexion und damit auch das endliche Bewußtsein
selbst münden. Schon in der frühen Jenaer Konzeption ist der absolute Begriff
das Resultat der Selbsterkenntnis des Subjekts oder der Intelligenz, so daß er
auch selbst als Bewußtsein oder Subjektivität bezeichnet werden kann . . . Inner-
halb des Systems verlangt also nach Hegels früherem Entwurf gerade der
absolute Begriff, um bestehen zu können, das über ihn Hinausgehende, die
intellektuelle Anschauung.« (Düs. p. 141)

In the course of his development in Jena, Hegel must free himself

from the »Identitätsphilosophie« of Schelling, or more precisely from a
method which relied upon a privileged act of »intellektuelle Ans-
chauung«. Hegel could do this by exploiting two fairly constant tenden-
cies in his thought: an anthropological naturalism, which seeks to
interpret metaphysical issues in terms of concrete human practice, and
an attachment to the Kantian dialectical method3. It is Hegel's extension
of the latter which is crucial in the evolution of his Logik .
The aim of the »Early Jena Logic« is the demolition of the finite thought-
determinations, the categories of »Verstand«. J1 has, therefore, an exclusively
propaedeutic function. »Reflexion« can be overcome by displaying its anti-
nomies, inherent in a form which fixes and separates. This is the earliest
function of the Logik: »Sie wird von Hegel als Einleitung in die Metaphysik
entworfen.« (Düs. p. 91).
Hegel can be seen to be following the model of Kant's »Transcendental
Dialectic«; already in the Frankfurt period he gave a Kantian account of the
problem of »Reflexion«: »Hegel [bestimmt] die Trennung der endlichen Reflex-
ionsinhalte als »Antinomie«. Er legt damit ein zentrales Problem der Frankfurter
Freunde offenbar kantisch aus.« (Düs. p. 59)
Any such use of the Kantian method leaves one problem unresolved: what is
the perspective from which the inadequacies of »Reflexion« can be observed,
and how is this standpoint itself to be justified?

3 Both tendencies are illustrated by Hegel's response to the discussions of the »Frank-
furter Freunde«, as reported by Düsing (p. 59). In the Jena period, a significant expression
of Hegel's »naturalism« is contained in the »Systementwürfe« of 1803/04, where the
»Potenzen« of Schelling's »Absolute« receive an astonishing interpretation in terms of the
activities of lattguageand labour (Hegel: Gesammelte Werke 6, Ed. Düsing and Kimmerle,
Hamburg 1975; Fragm. 20, 21 - we shall abbreviate this, the Rheinisch- Westfälische
Akademie edition of Hegel's works, to »G. W.«).

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118 Charles Lewis

It might seem that this problem o

metaphysical means. The standpoin
preted in terms of a metaphysics
indeed true that the Logik of the
introduce a Metaphysik : where log
to begin (Diis. p. 134)4. This metap
(quasi-) Spinozist model, containing
timmungen der absoluten Substanz
of Fichte - and hence of the Fichtean account of the »absolute Ich« - it is
difficult to see how the problem of justification was to be solved (cf.
Dûs. p. 92).
A step towards a solution is made by J2, which we can take to be
contained in the »Logik« part of the manuscript of 1804/055. Here we
can see how the Logik has been enriched by an exposition of the
categories of »Verhältnis« (including »Subs tan tialitäts Verhältnis«), as
well as by the category »Unendlichkeit« (G. W. 7, p. 29 ff.):
»An dieser Darlegung der Unendlichkeit als Kategorie innerhalb der Logik
wird deutlich, daß für Hegel die metaphysische Erkenntnis selbst Thema der
Logik ist. Denn dieses Erkennen ist fur ihn keine Synthesis von intellektueller
Anschauung und Reflexion mehr, sondern offenbar Leistung der Einen reinen
Vernunft. Die Logik wird damit selbst metaphysisch.« (Düs. p. 154).

It would be more accurate to say that it is metaphysics that has become

logic , more precisely »Trancendental Logic«. A Spinozist »Substanz«
has become a Kantian category of »Substantialität«, appearing along
with its two associates in the »Relation« division of the Table of
Categories: »Kausalität« and »Wechselwirkung« (G. W. 7 pp. 39-75, cf.
Kritik der reinen Vernunft B106)6. As for »Unendlichkeit«, its location
among the categories of »Einfache Beziehung« (»Qualität«, »Quan-
tität«) corresponds to Hegel's intention to do more than merely demolish
the categories of finitude. The Logik will become a genuine foundation
for philosophy when this process of demolition coincides with the
erection of a new principle, the principle of »Spekulation«.
Even in 1804/05, a distinction between »Logik« and »Metaphysik« is main-
tained, but we have already seen that the distinction is a fluid one. The
»Metaphysik« part of the manuscript of 1804/05 contains material which will be
re-worked in the »objektive Logik« of 1812/13. Note in particular the treatment
of such concepts as »Identität«, »Widerspruch« and »Grund«: in 1804/05 they

4 Similarly, in the later Jena period, G. W. 7, pp. 124-5, p. 127.

5 »Logik, Metaphysik, Naturphilosophie«, in Jenaer Systementwüife II, ed. Horstmann
and Trede (G. W. 7). As Düsing points out (pp. 156-9), by 1805/06 Hegel's conception of
a Logik seems to have reached a further stage in its development (cf. G. W. 8, p. 286) - we
therefore confine J2 to the earlier manuscript.
6 On the problem of finding a place for the Categories of Relation injl, see Dûs. p. 86.

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 119

are discussed in the section of the »Metaphysik« entitled »Das Erkennen als
System von Grundsätzen« (G. W. 7 pp. 128-38), but in 1813 fall under the logic
o f Wesen, in the crucially important dialectic of the »Reflexionsbestimmungen«.
On the other hand, parts of the 1816 »Lehre vom Begriff« are prefigured in the
»Logik« part of the manuscript of 1804/05, so the earlier division between
»Logik« and »Metaphysik« does not correspond to the later division of WL into
an »objektive Logik« and a »subjektive«.
In 1804/05, »das Erkennen« is »die einfachgewordene Reflexion« (G. W. 7 p.
128, In. 3)7, a reflection identical with the »Grund« it seeks in its object of
knowledge, but which does not yet see itself as being so identical: »Es ist zu
bestimmen, wie der Grund oder das Erkennen, welche fur uns dasselbe sind, an
ihnen sich darstellen, insofern sie für sie selbst noch nicht Eins sind, sondern sich
in Entgegensetzung setzen.« (G. W. 7 p. 136) At the end of this section (p. 138),
»das Erkennen« has finally come to grasp its own principle, and we might take
the dialectic of J2 to be at last well-founded. Characteristically enough, how-
ever, Hegel thinks he has done more than provide a retrospective justification
for the »Logik« section of his manuscript; he is now also ready to go on to
discuss the most traditional themes of metaphysics - »die Seele«, »die Welt« and
»das höchste Wesen«. Involved in this transition there seems to be a question-
able identity: »Dieser Grund oder Erkennen [they have now been shown to be
equivalent], ist das was die Seele genannt wird«. (G. W. 7 p. 139). We seem to be
in the presence of a new principle of »Subjektivität«, or rather we are in the
presence of an old principle, the theological determination of »Subjekt« as

The development from J 1 to J2 is completed by the »objektive Logik«

of 1812/13. Once more, the Kantian Table of Categories is preserved.
The division »Einfache Beziehung« of 1804/05 becomes »Die Lehre
vom Sein« of 1812, both including the Kantian »mathematical«
categories of Quantity and Quality. »Das Verhältnis« ofJ2 finds its way
into the second book of WLO, the logic of Wesen. It should however be
observed that »Verhältnis«, Kant's Categories of Relation8, becomes
»das absolute Verhältnis« in 1813, i. e. the last chapter of the final section
of Wesen. The first two sections of Wesen , on the other hand, contain a
new and autonomous treatment of the notions of »Grund«, »Reflexion«
and »Erscheinung«.
What is the significance of this addition, the interpolation of what can
be called a logic of »Reflexion« between the treatment of »Sein« and the
exposition of »Substanz«? From its earliest beginnings, Hegel's Logik
was concerned with the inadequacies of »Reflexion«. From the begin-
ning, too, Hegel gave a Kantian account of these shortcomings: the
divisions of »Verstand« become contradictions, and hence the logic of

7 N. B. Ins. 13-21: »Das Erkennen, als das sich selbstgleiche reflectiren, reflectirt die
ganze Logik . . . « .
8 More precisely, it is section A. of »Das Verhältnis« (= »Verhältnis des Seins«) which
contains the Categories of Relation; section B. (= »Verhältnis des Denkens«) includes
»Begriff«, »Urteil« and »Schluß«, rather than items from Kant's Table of Categories.

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120 Charles Lewis

reflection becomes a dialectic of

Hegel demonstrates an increasing
logic, or rather to show how in
dialectic can be its own justificat
versions of the Logik is explained
addition, in J2, of a category »Unen
first step in this development: fo
overturns the finite thought-deter
itself defined by the process of »
It is striking, therefore, that J2
treatment of »Wesen« or »Reflexion«. There is no account there of a
»Verhältnis des Wesens«, »das wesentliche Verhältnis« of WLO (which
unites »Wesen« with »Erscheinung«). In 1804/05, »Verhältnis« divides
into »Sein« and »Denken«, corresponding to the Sein and Begriff of WL.
As we have seen, much of Hegel's treatment of »Reflexion« is displaced
in 1804/05 to the »Metaphysik« part of the manuscript. The notion of
»Reflexion« is however far from being absent from the earlier section,
the »Logik«. To begin with, J2 does contain some of the later logic of
»Reflexion«, failing merely to seperate it from the logic of »Sein«; for
instance, there is no clear distinction there between »Unendlichkeit« and
»Gegensatz«, whereas WLO assigns them to separate divisions, of Sein
and Wesen respectively9.
There is a second way in which »Reflexion« is present in the Logik of
1804/05. Hegel makes systematic use there of the distinction between
»unsere Reflexion« and the reflection embodied in the category under
consideration. The former operation is familiar from the Phänomenologie
as the standpoint »für uns«; the latter reflection corresponds to the
standpoint »fur es« of PG, although in J2 it applies to a logical category
rather than to a »Gestalt des Bewußtseins«10.
The presence of this standpoint »für uns« signals Hegel's awareness of
the problem of justification; but so long as »our reflection« remains
external to the determinations of the Logik , the problem will not have
been solved. A reflection from the standpoint »für uns« intervenes in the
movement of the »Denkbestimmungen«, but this reflection must itself
be grasped in the categories of the Logik if the movement can be said to
be an »immanent« or self-justifying one. J2 cannot accomplish this,
because it is precisely an adequate logic of »Reflexion« that it lacks.

9 See G. W. 7, pp. 33-4; and cf. WL, Sein I, ch. 2, C. and Wesen /, ch. 2, B. 3.
10 Both these ways in which »Reflexion« is present in J2 are exemplified by the
paragraph at G. W. 7, pp. 75-6 (since »Widerspruch« in WL belongs, like »Gegensatz«, to
the »Lehre vom Wesen«).

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 121

Hegel is faced with the following dilemma. If the dissolution of the

categories of »Verstand« presupposes the reflective act of an external
subject, a standpoint »für uns« which has transcended the logic of
finitude, how can this logic be used to justify the standpoint of »Speku-
lation«? On the other hand, if »our reflection« is not presupposed, how
is the logic of »Reflexion« to be executed? In 1804/05, this dilemma is
not yet resolved. The solution is found for the first time with PG, but
Hegel's development ceases to be intelligible if one supposes his interest
in the problem is exhausted by that work. The Phänomenologie
approaches the problem of »Reflexion« or »alienation« in terms of
»Gestalten des Bewußtseins«; in 1813, on the other hand, Hegel gives an
abstract treatment of the logical form of »Entäußerung«. In the first two
sections of the 1813 logic of Wesen - precisely the sections absent from J2
- »Reflexion« is an explicit theme, including the »äußerliche Reflexion«
involved in J2 (as well as in WLO itself) .
We can see, therefore, that the development of Hegel's Logik between
1804 and 1813 has involved a further absorption of »Metaphysik« by
»Logik«, or a further extension of the range of »Logik« to include
material which Hegel had previously confined to a separate discipline of
»Metaphysik«. The opposition »Erkennen« /»Grund« of 1804/05
becomes that of »Erscheinung«/»Wesen« (= »äußerliche Reflexion«/
»Grund«) in 1812/13. This final step in the construction of an »objektive
Logik« coincides with the completion of the Phänomenologie , which
treats the same problem, and offers the same solution, albeit in some-
what different terms.

The original form of this problem already arises in Jl: how to determine the
relation between »Spekulation« and »Reflexion«, without appealing to a special,
transcendent act of intellectual intuition? Bubner has shown the sense in which
the Phänomenologie contains a solution to this problem, showing how one can
pass from »Reflexion« to »Spekulation« without transcending the former11. The
oppositions of »Reflexion« are overcome by means of an act of se//*-reflection:
»Das Bewußtsein erkennt, daß es Reflexion ist, und ist damit nicht länger bloß
eine ihrer Gestalten.« (Bubner, op. cit. p. 42) 12 When the subject of the
Phänomenologie , the divided or alienated »Ich« of »Reflexion«, undertakes to
reflect upon itself , it has already become the standpoint »fiir uns«, the standpoint
of »Spekulation« or »absolutes Wissen«. It is clear that such self-reflection is no
easy matter; in particular, there is the problem of (what Diising calls) »unend-
liche Iteration«: if I reflect upon myself, I am no longer what I was before, and
so apparently require a further act of self-consciousness13. In WLO, Hegel does
attempt to give a general account of the process of reflection, and to demons-

11 See »Problemgeschichte und systematischer Sinn der >Phänomenologie< Hegels«, in

Rüdiger Bubner: Dialektik und Wissenschaft (Frankfurt 1973).
12 And on the same theme in the Jena Logics, pp. 26-34 (but we go further than Bubner
in equating the procedures of PG and WLO) .
13 Cf. Diising (following Henrich) p. 13, p. 15, p. 18.

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122 Charles Lewis

trate the identity of two seemingly di

or immanent »Wesen als Reflexio
»äußerliche Reflexion«. The absence o
incompleteness of the Later Jena Logi
different but parallel ways by PG an

Why was it a Phänomenologie an

the position of an »Einleitung« to
period the Logik was for a long t
»Metaphysik«. It is clear that the n
becomes an increasingly embarra
ses. Already in Jena, the Logik co
the content of »Metaphysik«, as
non-dialectical method. By the time
duction« has come to resemble the
point of view. If we are less inclin
the System, this is because we are
Berlin Enzyklopädie. But the Ber
notion of a philosophical introduc
the Phänomenologie 14, and by th
»objektive Logik« of 1812/13.


In Hegel's logic of reflection, it is precisely »Reflexion« which is

overcome. The »Ich« is imprisoned in a network of determinations, and
the fixity of these concepts is an index of its alienation. If the subject is to
be freed, it seems we require a further act of reflection, but one whose
object will be »Reflexion« itself in all its generality. This self-reflection
of the »Ich« is its self-overcoming, at once an act of demolition and the
genesis of a new principle.
Still, it cannot be denied that Düsing is faithful to repeated Hegelian declara-
tions when he observes that »Reflexion« in WL is to be understood »in
sachlicher und methodischer Hinsicht zwar als Basis, aber auch nur als ein
Moment des höherstufigen Relationengeflechts des Sich-Denkens der Subjek-
tivität . . .« (Düs. p. 214) Here we have the second of the two senses in which
»Subjektivität« enters into Hegel's Logik. A principle of subjectivity, which the
»objektive Logik« was supposed to establish, comes to absorb this very deriva-
tion. Rather than a self-abolition of the finite »Ich«, WLO becomes a moment in
the life of an infinite subject, a Subject-Substance: »Hegels logische Subjek-

14 Cf. Otto Pöggeler: »Hegels Jenaer Systemkonzeption«, in Hegels Idee einer

Phänomenologie des Geistes (Freiburg/München 1973).

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 123

tivitätstheorie, die seinem Anspruch nach den Spinozismus in sich aufgehoben

hat, ist deshalb Metaphysik, und zwar speziell Ontotheologie. « (Düs. p. 232)

On such a basis, alas, little sense can be made of the details of Hegel's
logic of »Reflexion«, although Düsing makes a valiant attempt to do so
(p. 215 ff.)15. Worse still, the development of Hegel's Logik loses much
of its intelligibility. The progressive extension of the resources of a
Kantian »Transcendental Logic«, its enrichment to include the
categories of metaphysics (both at the expense of Hegel's early »Spinoz-
ism«), Hegel's increasing concern with problems of dialectical method -
all this ceases to be comprehensible. But how else, if not on such a basis,
is the unity of WL to be preserved?
It is questionable, however, that this unity should be maintained.
Hegel himself admitted the tensions within his initial project when he
abandoned the idea of a philosophical introduction to the System. If
WLO, the Logik of 1812/13, is seen as a definitive form of this
introduction, it must be abandoned by the Berlin Hegel along with PG.
Both these texts then become absorbed into the circle of »absoluter
Geist« defined by the Enzyklopädie ; and when this happens, each loses
its critical function. Phänomenologie qua Kritik is expelled from the
System, leaving within the latter the pathetic remnants of §§ 413-3916.
The truncation of WLO is perhaps less drastic, but it has long been
observed that the version of the Enzyklopädie omits a crucial part of the
analysis of »Reflexion« and »Schein« found at the beginning of the
»Lehre vom Wesen« of 181317.
One of the merits of Theunissen's new book on Hegel is that he is
ready to abandon the presumed unity of »objektive« and »subjektive
Logik« which has done so much to obscure their interpretation.
According to Theunissen's analysis, the Logik of 1812-16 presents us
with two rather different projects, and hence two distinct problems of
understanding. On the one hand, the »objektive Logik«, the logic of
Sein and of Wesen, is a critique of metaphysics , but one in which a »Kritik«
of the metaphysical categories is combined with their »Darstellung«.
The main problem is hence to comprehend this unity of »Darstellung«
and »Kritik«. The difficulty involved in the »subjektive Logik« is a
different one: here the problem is to assess a peculiar mixture of a
theology which has escaped the distortions of ontology, and a renewal of
the metaphysics which WLO was supposed to have laid to rest:

15 Düsing reaches his negative conclusions about the logic of »Reflexion« rather rapidly
(pp. 226-7) .
16 Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse (1830), Suhrkamp
Theorie- Werkausgabe (Frankfurt a. M. 1970) pp. 199-229.
17 Cf. Theunissen pp. 330-1.

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124 Charles Lewis

»Während die kritische Darstellung

gabe der Seins- und Wesenslogik ist,
falls nicht kritisch dar. Statt desse
schizophrenen Verhältnis. Die innere
so sahen wir, dem Zwiespalt in d
Wesenslogik aus der Umklammerung
der Ontologie lösen. Einerseits trit
auf. . . Andererseits zielt sie auf ein
begründeten Kommunikation, die i
Freiheit - aus den Quellen des Evan

If Sein und Schein does nothing e

it more difficult to talk too glib
else does Theunissen offer us? H
and often inconclusive. Of his deta
sections on »Dasein« and »Unend
plete and the most useful. In ge
sensitivity to the many problem
Here we can mention only a few
of Theunissen's book is announced in its sub-title: »Die kritische
Funktion der Hegeischen Logik«. If WLO is »Kritik«, it is above all a
critique of metaphysics (Theun. pp. 15-16) - but it is evident that this
critique is not simply the abolition of metaphysics. »Metaphysik« is not
simply abandoned; but nor should we talk too hastily in terms of a
process of »Aufhebung« which would at once negate and preserve. The
notion of »Aufhebung« cannot be used uncritically in the analysis of
Hegel's Logik , given that the function of the latter is precisely to give it
meaning. Like many key Hegelian terms, »Aufhebung« is a theme of
the Logik as well as a strategy: »Die Hegeische Logik macht Aufhebung
nicht nur zum Thema, sie betreibt sie auch - in ihrem Verhältnis zur
Metaphysik. Die in ihr geschehende Aufhebung der Metaphysik geht
zwar ... in deren kritischer Darstellung nicht auf. . .« (Theun. p. 15)

The content of much traditional metaphysics can indeed be seen to be

preserved in the course of the »objektive Logik«, for the latter does
contain an exposition of the metaphysical categories or »Denkbe-
stimmungen«. As Theunissen observes, here we have an ambition which
unites Hegel and Marx: »Kritik« and »Darstellung« are intended to
coincide19. The exposition of a concept in WLO consists of a movement
of thought in which it is left behind, but it is abandoned only when its

18 Lakebrink's book, a commentary to the »Logik« of the Enzyklopädie , is an extreme

example of the »ontotheological« approach to Hegel's Logik. A third perspective avoiding
the alternatives of »Ontotheologie« and »Kritik« is developed in Rüdiger Bubners recent
book: Zur Sache der Dialektik (Stuttgart 1980).
19 Theun. p. 16; for further discussion, see section III, below.

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 125

content forces us to do so. »Dialektische Bewegung« is therefore a

means of presentation. The Logik has a further ambition, however: to
enact a movement of thought, but also to present a theory of such
movement. A category such as »Werden«, for instance, is a »Bestim-
mung« of the logic of Sein, but it also designates the mode of transition
proper to this sphere; similarly for »Reflexion« and the logic of Wesen20.
This gives us a further sense in which Hegel's Logik is »Kritik«: »Die
Reflexionsbestimmungen in engeren Sinne stehen insbesondere für die
Verstandesbegriffe ein, als die Hegel die operativen Mittel der Kantis-
chen Transzendentalphilosophie auslegt. Die spezielle Logik der Reflex-
ionsbestimmungen [sc. WLO, Zweites Buch, I, ch. 2] treibt demnach
Metaphysikkritik . . . vornehmlich als Kritik der Kantischen Transzen-
dentalphilosophie, der Reflexionsphilosophie par excellence.« (Theun.
p. 34) Since »Kritik«, the operation which judges and divides, is itself an
instance of the logic of »Reflexion«, the critical exposition of the latter
must be a »Kritik« of »Kritik«, including Kant's »critique of reason« (cf.
Theun. pp. 51-3). Nothing less is involved in a »Reflexion« become
conscious of itself. We can therefore find in Hegel a simultaneous critique
of Plato and of Kant (Theun. p. 141, p. 322).

Is »Metaphysik« preserved in any stronger sense than the one implied

by its »kritische Darstellung«? Does the self-reflection of »Reflexion«
lead to a metaphysics of the »Begriff«, one which absorbs into itself the
logics of Wesen and Sein ? We have seen that Theunissen is aware of such
problems, and of the ambiguities they can produce. Above, in section I,
we saw how these ambiguities might be resolved, for they are also
present in th e development of Hegel's Logik. Throughout the Jena period,
Hegel was concerned with the relation of »Metaphysik« to »Kritik«. His
individual solutions to this problem can be read, perhaps, in different
ways, but the direction of his progress is unambiguous. For all that a
duality of metaphysics and critique persists, it is »Kritik«, the »Logik«
which is an heir to Kant's »Transzendentalphilosophie«, which increas-
ingly absorbs the content of »Metaphysik«. This development reaches
its furthest limit in the Phänomenologie and in the »objektive Logik« of
Such an account of Hegel's development will only be convincing if
the project, the self-reflection of the Kantian »Kritik«, is admitted to
possess a certain coherence. If this can be made out, we can join
Theunissen in declaring:

20 Cf. WLÖ, Zweites Buch, I, 1. C (Suhrkamp Theorie-Werkausgabe 6, p. 24) and

Enzyklopädie § 161, Zusatz.

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126 Charles Lewis

»Auf Schein hebt die Hegeische Logi

das heißt bereits in der Lehre vom S
Logik eine Logik des Scheins.« (Theu

In WLO, as in PG, there is a gap

one it is the purpose of these wo
there is a sense in which the oppo
long as the »dialektische Bewegung
constantly re-emerges when that
works, »Schein« is a presupposi
without an illusion to expose), b
»Reflexion« and »Schein« emerge
the transition form Sein to Wese
world of Sophokles evoked in Ch.
which »Erscheinung« comes into
»das Wesen«21.
In the course of Hegel's Logik , »Schein« must be experienced as well
as being an object of the theory. It is hence impossible to refuse a role to
the subject which is deceived, the victim of illusion. A place in WLO
must be found for an external subject, a subject which reflects upon the
series of thought-determinations (cf. Theun. p. 70, pp. 83-4, p. 189, p.
194, pp. 257-8). Most prominent in the logic of Sein , this subject
becomes more elusive in the logic of Wesen , for we come to realise that
the externality is itself an illusion - we learn that the subject of the Logik
is trapped in its network of »Bestimmungen«, and defined by them.
Theunissen shows how crucial is the transition from »Sein« to
»Schein« at the beginning of the logic of Wesen , and his discussion of
these issues is an excellent one. The discussion is bound to remain
inconclusive, however, so long as the chapter on »Schein« is treated in
isolation from the rest of the logic of »Reflexion«, which extends from
»Schein« to »Grund« and from »Existenz« to »das wesentliche Verhält-
nis«. These two sections of WLO treat the process of reflection from
opposing points of view - in one it is an immanent activity of »Wesen«
qua »Grund«, in the other an act of the external subject - and show how
these two perspectives are united. There are however notorious difficul-
ties involved in any exposition of Hegel's account: problems of detail, to
be sure, but also one of principle. For Hegel, the logic of Wesen can only
be presented as an immanent movement of »Denkbestimmungen«; the
acts of an external subject (»unsere Reflexion«) are themselves parts of
this movement and involved in its deceptions. The Logik appears to
offer no point of view from which it can be expounded and discussed.
Where can such a point of view be found?
21 On PG and WLO, cf. Theun. pp. 80-3; on PG and Jl, Dûs. p. 92.

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 127


The need for a systematic treatment of the logic of »Reflexion«

becomes particularly urgent when we turn to the relation of Hegel and
Marx. It is clear that Theunissen considers this problem an important
one; indeed, it appears to form the horizon of his investigation22. Marx
was able to use the categories of Hegel's Logik because his own theory
was to be a unity of »Darstellung« and »Kritik«. Capitalism had only to
be presented for its limits to be made manifest, together with the
theoretical failings of the bourgeois economists. But how seriously can
we take this correspondence between »Logik« and »Kapital«?
A close reading of the Grundrisse shows that the correspondence
extends surprisingly far23. The fundamental structures of Hegel's
»objektive Logik« can be found in Marx's analysis of »Kapital«, i. e. of
the production and circulation of exchange- value. There are at least two
reasons to be disturbed by these connections. First, and most obviously,
the domains of investigation seem to be widely disparate ones. Even if
Hegel's Logik is taken to be the »Kritik« of traditional metaphysics, its
object seems to be a domain of concepts or categories rather than the
economic processes which are the object of Marx's »Kritik«. Secondly,
while Marx does indeed employ Hegelian categories in the Grundrisse ,
there is an unmistakable irony attached to this employment. For a
genuine correspondence between »Kapital« and »Logik«, might we not
at least expect a seriousness of tone?
It is important to see why neither of these admittedly disturbing facts
is an adequate ground for suspicion. First, however, consider the
shortcomings of Theunissen's analysis. In order to span the gulf bet-
ween metaphysics and political economy, he makes free use of the
notions »Herrschafts Verhältnis«, »Gleichgültigkeit« and »kommunika-
tive Freiheit«. For Theunissen, the elements of the »objektive Logik«
are connected by the relation of »Herrschaft« or domination. The
characteristic illusion to be exposed is that of »indifference«, »Gleich-

22 See Theun. pp. 13-16, pp. 472-86.

23 Karl Marx: Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie (1857-8), Dietz Verlag,
Berlin 1974. Das Kapital is less conspicuous in its use of Hegelian expressions, but Marx
had good reasons for exercising self-restraint in this published work. The Grundrisse is a
more crucial test case, since here, where the full notion of »Kapital« is present for the first
time, Marx can be observed thinking to himself. Both Angehrn and Fink-Eitel discuss the
relation of Marx to Hegel's Logik. Fink-Eitel offers in addition a rather detailed commen-
tary, mainly of WLO. Angehrn provides an exposition of Hegel from the point of view of
the relation between »System« and »Freiheit«: »Von verschiedenen Seiten her wurde der
Zusammenhang von System und Freiheit, wie er sich in der Hegeischen Philosophie
bestimmt, mit den an Hegel herangetragenen Fragen und Einwänden konfrontiert, und
fast restlos wurden diese fur unzutreffend oder nicht-stichhaltig befunden.« (Angehrn p.

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128 Charles Lewis

gültigkeit«, a deception most fre

the illusion of indifference is to un
tion, and hence to measure the d
»Kritik«, and a »subjektive Log
communication (»kommunikative
»Das dem Daseinskapitel korrelat
stimmungen reformuliert jenes . . . in
keitsverhältnisse als verschleierte Herrschafts Verhältnisse entlarvt ... Wir wer-
den . . . auch sehen, daß die Daseinslogik schon in der Konstitution des Etwas die
Genese der Macht beschreibt.« (Theun. p. 164; cf. pp. 25-37, pp. 328-9)

It is therefore »Herrschaft« or »Macht« which emerges as the com-

mon theme of Hegel's Logik and Marx's Kritik der Politischen
Ökonomie24. There is an obvious objection to this thesis: the power
relations of existing society are indeed an object of Marx's critical
activity, but they are not the specific object of the Grundrisse. Like Das
Kapital , this work deals with the peculiarly economic relations of
production and circulation. The distinguishing feature of capitalism for
Marx is that its domination lies concealed beneath the act of »free« or
»equal« exchange. The apparently free contract between capitalist and
worker should not be assimilated to the pre-capitalist relation of master
and slave25.
The relation of »Herr« and »Knecht«, together with its replacement
by a free and equal relation of »gegenseitiges Anerkennen«, are the
themes of some of the most famous passages of Hegel's Phänomenologie
(Ch. IV. A). We have already seen grounds for concurring with
Theunissen's judgement that
»Auch Hegels Logik, zumindest die objektive, ist Phänomenologie .« (Theun. p.

It is also true that Marx acknowledged the importance of Hegel's

treatment of »Arbeit«26. These might seem compelling reasons for
taking PG Ch. IV. A as a key, at once to the relation of Hegel and Marx
and to the relation of PG and WL. It is clear, however, that »Herrschaft
und Knechtschaft« is the key to neither of these problems. The labour of
the »Knecht« is not an adequate model for the specifically capitalist
phenomenon of »alienated labour«: there is no direct transition here

24 The connection is established in more detail in Theunissen's earlier piece, »Krise der
Macht« in: Hegel-Jahrbuch 1974 (cf. Theun. p. 9).
25 Cf. Grundrisse , p. 232: »Der unmittelbaren Zwangsarbeit steht der Reichtum nicht
als Kapital gegenüber, sondern als Herrschaftsverhältnis «. Theunissen's analysis captures
Marx's critique of »simple exchange«, but not his notion of the »circulation of capital«.
26 Cf. Karl Marx: Frühe Schriften I, ed. Lieber and Furth (Stuttgart 1962), pp. 645-6.

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Recent Literature on Hegel's Logic 129

from Hegel to Marx. Nor does the relation of »Herrschaft« seem

sufficient to capture the complex notions of »Reflexion-in-sich«,
»Reflexion-in- Anderes« of the logic of Wesen. There is however another
theme which unites Hegel and Marx, as it unites the Logik and the
Phänomenologie : the theme of »Entäußerung« or »Entfremdung«, the
problem of alienation.
In Ch. IV. A of the Phänomenologie , we can witness a too-rapid
derivation of the Hegelian »Begriff«, i.e. of the relation of »gegen-
seitiges Anerkennen« which lies at the heart of the »subjektive Logik«.
Nothing in this derivation corresponds to the logic of »Reflexion«
developed in WLO. As in J2, we pass directly from »Sein« to
»Denken«, or in terms of WL: from »Fürsichsein« to »Begriff«. It is not
until Ch. VI, with its elaborate treatment of the concept of alienation,
that PG begins to capture the richness of the logic of Wesen27. »Reflex-
ion« is the logical form of alienation, and WLO presents us with a
special case of such an »Entäußerung«, namely that of the philosopher ,
the alienation of the »Ich« in the categories of metaphysics:
»Die Logik - das Geld des Geistes, der spekulative, der Gedankenwert des
Menschen und der Natur - ihr gegen alle wirkliche Bestimmtheit vollständig
gleichgültig gewordenes und darum unwirkliches Wesen - das entäußerte , daher
von der Natur und dem wirklichen Menschen abstrahierende Denken . . .«
(Marx: Frühe Schriften , p. 642)

If Hegel's Logik is successful, the alienation of »pure thought« can be

said to be overcome. Unlike Hegel, perhaps, Marx was dissatisfied with
this paltry achievement, the redemption of the philosopher28. It is
important, none the less, to grasp its mechanism, that of the cure of
reflection by reflection, for it will answer both of our doubts concerning
the relation of »Logik« and »Kapital«.
The first of our two difficulties was concerned with the gulf between
the domain of metaphysics and the object of political economy. The
problem disappears, so long as we can establish there is a general theory
of alienation being applied in each case, in WLO to the domain of
metaphysical thought-determinations, in Marx's Grundrisse to economic
exchange- value. The presence of such a general theory is however a
necessary condition for the success of Hegel's project. The »objektive
Logik«, like the Phänomenologie, purports to be a self-reflection of

27 The treatment of »Nützlichkeit« in PG Ch. VI.B does in fact seem close to Marx's
analysis of exchange-value.
28 Evidently there is a further objection to Hegel in the 1844 Manuscripts: even the
liberation of the philosopher is unreal, since it presupposes his reduction to »pure
thought«. If WLO is at all successful, the objection is invalid, for that presupposition is
abolished in the course of the work.

9 Philosophische Rundschau 28/1-2

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130 Charles Lewis

»Reflexion«, a reflective theory of r

of »Reflexion« exists, it must sub
tion of the theory itself) as a specia
of »Reflexion« and a general acco
theory can be found there, it must
case, the alienation of labour in
rediscovered by the Marx of the Gr
There is however another parado
second of our two difficulties.
»general« or »universal« theory of
seems to involve a further act of re
captured by the theory itself. W
problem of »unendliche Iteration
The first is Hegel's: the »objektive
general theory of »Reflexion«, of
case, but the theory is enacted ra
transition from »Sein« to »Wesen«
former dissolve into »Schein«: an
grasp of this experience is only ach
but at this instant the act is at once
»Reflexion« presupposes an exter
been absorbed into the immanent
The second solution is that of Marx
of Hegel's categories. Like Hegel,
special case of »Entäußerung« - bu
exchange-value. Marx does not ho
by exchange- value can ever be c
theory (of the production and circ
to real economic processes. In ter
exchange we can nevertheless gras
recognise its subject to be a »Kapit
which is condemned to unreali
illusion, there is room for Marx'
world which aspires to Hegel's Lo
Kritik is the self-reflection of ph

Charles Lewis (Prince

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