|ENNEAD 03.08b - Of Nature, Contemplation and Unity., #Plotinus - Complete Works Vol 02, #Plotinus, #Christianity|
THE DIFFERENT grades of thought AND LIFE.
8. (7). Since contemplation rises by degrees, from nature to the Soul, from the Soul to Intelligence; and as within it thought becomes more and more (intimate or) interior, more and more united to the thinker; and as in the perfect Soul the things known are identical with the knower; and because they aspire to Intelligence, the subject must then evidently within Intelligence be identical with the object; not through any appropriation thereof, as the perfect Soul does indeed appropriate it, but because their essence ("being") is identical, because of the identity between thinking and being ("essence"). Within intelligence no longer do we have on one side the object, and on the other the subject; otherwise we would need another principle where this difference would no longer exist. Within it, then, these two things, the subject and the object, form but a single (entity). That is a living contemplation, and no longer an object of contemplation which seems to inhere in something else; for existence within a living being is not identical with living by oneself. Therefore if it is to be alive, the object of contemplation and of thought must be life itself, and not the life of plants, that of sensation, or psychic life. Those are different thoughts, the one being the thought of plants, the thought of sensation, and psychic thought. They are thoughts because they are "reasons."
|Sophist, #unset, #Arthur C Clarke, #Fiction|
The divisions of the Hegelian logic bear a superficial resemblance to the divisions of the scholastic logic. The first part answers to the term, the second to the proposition, the third to the syllogism. These are the grades of thought under which we conceive the world, first, in the general terms of quality, quantity, measure; secondly, under the relative forms of 'ground' and existence, substance and accidents, and the like; thirdly in syllogistic forms of the individual mediated with the universal by the help of the particular. Of syllogisms there are various kinds,qualitative, quantitative, inductive, mechanical, teleological,which are developed out of one another. But is there any meaning in reintroducing the forms of the old logic? Who ever thinks of the world as a syllogism? What connexion is there between the proposition and our ideas of reciprocity, cause and effect, and similar relations? It is difficult enough to conceive all the powers of nature and mind gathered up in one. The difficulty is greatly increased when the new is confused with the old, and the common logic is the Procrustes' bed into which they are forced.
The Hegelian philosophy claims, as we have seen, to be based upon experience: it abrogates the distinction of a priori and a posteriori truth. It also acknowledges that many differences of kind are resolvable into differences of degree. It is familiar with the terms 'evolution,' 'development,' and the like. Yet it can hardly be said to have considered the forms of thought which are best adapted for the expression of facts. It has never applied the categories to experience; it has not defined the differences in our ideas of opposition, or development, or cause and effect, in the different sciences which make use of these terms. It rests on a knowledge which is not the result of exact or serious enquiry, but is floating in the air; the mind has been imperceptibly informed of some of the methods required in the sciences. Hegel boasts that the movement of dialectic is at once necessary and spontaneous: in reality it goes beyond experience and is unverified by it. Further, the Hegelian philosophy, while giving us the power of thinking a great deal more than we are able to fill up, seems to be wanting in some determinations of thought which we require. We cannot say that physical science, which at present occupies so large a share of popular attention, has been made easier or more intelligible by the distinctions of Hegel. Nor can we deny that he has sometimes interpreted physics by metaphysics, and confused his own philosophical fancies with the laws of nature. The very freedom of the movement is not without suspicion, seeming to imply a state of the human mind which has entirely lost sight of facts. Nor can the necessity which is attri buted to it be very stringent, seeing that the successive categories or determinations of thought in different parts of his writings are arranged by the philosopher in different ways. What is termed necessary evolution seems to be only the order in which a succession of ideas presented themselves to the mind of Hegel at a particular time.