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Episode #067 ... What Hegel Was Saying!

2015-09-21 | 🔗

We continue our unfortunately abridged discussion on Hegel from last episode. 

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
For more information about this or any episode of the podcast check out the website at philosophize this dot. We have additional content. Further reading transfer So every show all pre, of course, But if you value the shows an educational resource and you want to help, keep it going, you can find- not more about how to do that at patriarch, dot com, slash philosophize this or alternatively you're buying, think from Amazon this week, anyway, consider clicking. Our banner. It's at the bottom centre of the landing page philosophize this dot org. More percentage goes back to the show. It may just be a click for you, but every little bit adds up there you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday, and I hope you love the show. So what Hegel saying is just getting first, first guys, I'd like to apologize for the audio cutting off last episode, I'm gonna of emails from people about it. Some are really mad at me,
some thought I was doing like a next level, Quenton Tarantino, ending to the episode thing you know I was leaving a cliff hanger for people for next episode. Unfortunately, neither were true it's much less glamorous, I'm not that creative. The reality is I just I didn't have enough hard drive space on my computer, so when I exported the file it just got cut off like with ten minutes of audio left off. That said, What I was trying to say at the end of last episode was look by now. You guys know how they show operates right. You guys know my style of teaching. Thanks. So much of having any of this information stick with you or resonate with you is to give the information it has historical or emotional context? So much of understanding any of this philosophy that could easily be reduced down into just a bunch of random facts that you don't
Care about it lies and understanding what questions the people were responding to during their time period. What questions were important to ask for them because, as we see before us, we ve done in the past as we saw in the hermit, six episode, it so easy to project our own modern biases onto these people living in the past when crouch upon them. Aside from being intellectually dishonest breasted? Do that, but there's a selfish motivation. Here I mean. And we protect our own modern biases onto the past. It often leads to a lot. Confusion when we're trying to understand what they were even talking about. Now, as I saying at the end of last episode before I was rudely interrupted by my hard drive is that in Hague we are seeing the next development in what We already know, as a long long conversation that we've been having over centuries when it comes to epistemology right. The question remains Can we arrive at a solid means of a ride
at knowledge about particulars in the world, and if we can, what does that process of knowledge? Look like. We ve seen this discussion for a long time now. You know like nets in him with with Hume's Fork or in the case of limits. There is the idea that all statements about what we can say that we know in this world can ultimately be distilled down into one of two types of statements. One if you remember what life that's called truths of reason right. These are that are true by virtue of the definition of them themselves right to call into question whether these things are true or not. True is to be ignorant of the definition of the things. These are things like all squares have four sides all bachelors are unmarried seems pretty reasonable to say that these things are true, the second type of statement or what Leibnitz called. Truths of fact. These are things that are immediately empirically verifiable data, be things like the white is on in the other room right now you gotta go turn it off.
Things that, when we're making a claim that there is validity to them. There is an immediate experiment or means of verifying the validity of that thing that we can go and do right now this this case, I guess, would be walking into the other room and saying that the light is on. So if this is the state of the knowledge address that the philosopher President's giving at the time, then, if philosophy concerned itself with eventually finding something true or useful to us hope it does. At least then, if this is true, where does that leave all the philosophers? Whelp This is true. If what lightness and humor saying is true, there basically hadn t the unemployment line. Right am, I think about it. If the only two types of truths are really truths of reason, intrudes effect than a philosopher essentially become somebody who s either really analyzes words, words like bachelor and square and what they mean.
Or be they spend all their time empirically verifying things through experiment wait a second, that's what scientists do not philosophers. So at this point the question becomes: was this truly the situation was David Heem right. Did he truly reduce philosophy to rubble like he said he did, but, as we know, along came a manual context, they claim that there are more types of truths that weaken into it. Called these synthetic a priori propositions and he makes his famous distinction that, if we're going to try to arrive at knowledge knowledge about anything, then an important part of that process needs to be understanding this that that we view the world right right once once we that that thought. But there's a major difference between what the world truly is and the world. As we experience it, then the two ask of arriving at knowledge becomes different right. It becomes pretty straightforward because, if the
only problem we have when giving to this slippery thing. Called knowledge is just this darn confine Gould lines that we all have will then philosophy, at least in a pistol Malagigi can concern itself with trying to augment or compensate for that lends. So we can arrive at what things truly are in our rivet knowledge about the world of things in themselves now, but hey goals, doing during his time in many respects, is sort of writing the wave of countries response To the ripple effect of counts philosophy. She Hegel looks at what contest say with this world of things in themselves that he talks about and how its essentially a waste of time that we're never gonna have access to Hegel looks at that means pretty apprehensive about getting on board with that idea. Men can you really blame on, though I saw that exciting the world of things and themselves can ever get to what we're never gonna know anything about what the world truly is. Simply by virtue of these these mental faculties. It we're duct tape around our head, ass, not very fun.
Hagel saw this as a form of radical skepticism. He wouldn't have much patience for it, especially considering all the assumptions that he thought cot was unfairly making as well. Let me put it this way if the question that Hegel's responding to is cons take on whether consciousness or human experience can actually lead to knowledge. Then Hagel saying that it absolutely can see. Hagel says that the problem with what Kant is doing is that what he's doing fundamentally is looking at the world in terms of his experience of some object, and then its relation ship to the more real thing out there somewhere that real thing, that's producing the phenomena that he's experiencing well, if that sounds a little confusing, let me give you an example. When I look at this microphone in front of me,
I said: ok, this microphone, that I'm seeing is not the microphone as it truly is, but merely a crude depiction that my mind incenses have produced this more real thing out there in the world of things in themselves. Somewhere. If I spoke in these sort of county in terms about the microphone, Hegel would say. Well, why does that have to be the case? Why does That have to be the case. Hagel would ask. Why do we need to assume all that stuff? You know just theoretically, speaking, of course, why is it contrary to reason to assume something else? Maybe what we have access to when we look at that microphone is all that there is. Maybe there isn't this world of things in themselves that we're assuming is out there? What, if this consciousness of the world, that we see? What, if that's all that there is, what is it?
stead of there being this hard Wired Linz, its messing everything up, that we need to account for not letting a c which really out there just out of our grasp what if everything were just relations or moments over the course of a long, slow process of change that we're all. Apart of two he's escaping this kantian problem by talking about consciousness. Indifferent terms is a very creative way of approaching the same problem that that caught thought. He was speaking definitively about right by the way, real quick if it seems like hazels nitpicking here. If it seemed like Ediths has some acts The grind with Cantonese desperately trying to find something to refute. One interesting thing to consider is just how much time Hegel may have saved us with this insight right philosophy. At this stage
all about finding assumptions. You could say that it still is the fact that Hegel can look at the philosophy of a manual caught and uncover the assumptions that even he has made the guy that rebuke David Hugh. That's that's mine, bowing to me and on that same note, you may ask yourself: why is all this speculation by Hagel even necessary? Why does he need to ruin everything? Why do we need to question cons famous distinction by coming up with an entirely novel way of approaching our cognition of the world around us? Well, as a wise teacher once told me always consider the opportunity cost, in other words, just imagine for a second if he goes right, okay and I get that- we don't totally understand this system yet, but it should be very apparent by now that it's a much much different way of thinking than Cont or Newton had right. Imagine if Hegel's right now imagine if Hagel never said anything about these potential assumptions that were being made.
What's at stake there. We could ostensibly spend hundreds and hundreds of years as thinkers completely lost blindly, assuming that the only thing philosophy should concern itself with our inquiries, concerning how to compensate for this. This flawed lines that we have to view the world through right. Think of how many years could have been wasted. Now, of course, there's no way to know the true opportunity cost of able not saying the stuff, but one things for certain as modern fuck that have the privilege of looking at history retrospectively. We have a very unique position here, because we can appreciate just how much human thought can at least potentially spend hundreds or thousands of years in the dark in light of a single brazen assumption being made- and this, I think, is the true genius of angle, even if you're somebody that doesn't agree with the theories now that said, once angle makes it clear that he takes issue with a lot of the assumptions that Kant is making. It's not like his job is done there. No, you can't just say that everyone else is
and still be respected as a philosopher, he needs to lay out a definitive way of arriving at knowledge himself right. You need to replace the theories that you overthrow. So what do you? As is actually really clever, Hegel sets up. His theory by laying out What he thinks are naive, misguided theories of knowledge that preceded him by earlier philosophers. He really does start at the beginning and may we should to Hegel ass, even the most basic questions, you can ask about knowledge like if we're going to looking for knowledge at all, where would it be well, a popular place to start historically speaking during the time of Hagel would be something that Hagel referred to as either sense immediacy or sense certainty, depending on the transit, Relation see, there's been a long debate by this time between rationalists empiricists, about where knowledge actually comes from, and one of them The phrase this ongoing debate between people who thought it came from experience or reason is to say that,
Aren't you there comes from matter I'd, be the empiricist or mind I'd, be the rationalists now count, as we know by now, try to find a connection in this perceived thy caught him, and he said that the meaning of objects that we perceive is derived actually from concept, that are figuratively speaking in between mind and matter? He connected them in this way you know hoity, toity, philosophy, people today, say say that raw information that comes into our senses is always quote, mediated a good word. It's a philosophy, loaded loaded. We should remember, remember it it's mediated by concepts, because without these concepts of mind we never be able to make sense of all that raw information flaring into our eyes ears and noses right. It's from here that Hagel lays out what he calls the three modes of consciousness and he does it in
way that pretty ingeniously shows that, although these three modes are the typical ways that philosophers in his time try to use to justify their theories for how knowledge is even possible. He shows up there all ultimately contingent on something else, something bigger a fact that he would later used to make a case for his theory of a pistol ology. So I'm just a flex our philosophy muscles today to promise for future discussions on angle. It might be worth talking about them up in the first motive consciousness in one of the most common means people used to justify their theories of knowledge. Hegel refers to, as quote meaning or since certainty, as we said before. So what
this means is, if you fancy yourself a person, that's in the pursuit of knowledge about anything. One method that you might think is a worthwhile endeavor is by using your immediate sensory experience to arrive at that knowledge, and it's understandable why somebody might go to their senses as a starting point. Right I mean there's not many people out there that are skeptical enough or miserable enough to doubt the fact that we're all sensing stuff all the time right, for example, When I look at the microphone sitting in front of me it, it seems pretty reasonable for me to conclude that I have at least some knowledge about certain properties of that microphone or the fact that that microphone exists at all animals. Driving at this inference, based on the fact that I'm
saving immediate sensory experience of that microphone. That's it I'm using as the basis for this quote knowledge, but this sort of thing in itself is not good enough. The knowledge that Hegel Zone for is is more specific than just any kind of knowledge. It sort of the Holy GRAIL when it comes to knowledge in the field of a pistol ology at this stage in history. What Hegel? Looking for is knowledge of particulars now, let me explain what it means when philosophy people are sitting around talking about the nature of knowledge dinner there talking amongst themselves at their weird surreal, knowledge. Philosopher parties, generic knowledge talk is not good enough for its, not specific enough for them to tie about just in a garden variety, knowledge of and objects what they often do is break it down in terms of its individual components. And they talk about whether they have knowledge of these things. The thinking here is sure we may not be able to have justified knowledge of an entire blender sitting in my kitchen
but man. We certainly know about certain properties of that blender right, that's gotta mean something. Let me giving exam We have one of these conversations that might happen at these sadistic twisted. Philosopher parties never go to them with actually talk about all the stuff on the show before we just haven't phrased it in these fancy. Philosophical terms, we're talking about the difference between Universal in particular, is ok whenever you're observing an object in trying to understand better universals are qualities of that object. Usually related to some adjective, by the way that many other objects may share to qualities not only held by that object. For example, the blender may possess the universal quality of of redness or greenness or roundness. These are example of universals that we might have knowledge of, and it's a Christmas thing blunder by the way. Now another way knowledge of objects might be broken down is in terms of particulars. Particulars are indeed
viable things or objects that are specific in their own right, but they possess universals like redness or brownness. What have you now? The significance of this is it. If we're looking for any reliable means of arriving at knowledge, whatever the theory is Hagel and counts, it needs to have a certain level of independence to it. It needs to stand alone as its own theory, not relying on other assumptions or theories or laws. As a baseline that the build up of because then those things can be called into question in the process just repeats itself, will Hegel points out that, if you want to be the kind of person that claims that sense certainty is a reliable means of arriving at knowledge. Then, ultimately, Hagel thinks you're destined to fail, because no matter what you do, Even if your senses were providing it with reliable knowledge, will table doesn't agree with, but even if they were at that point
you are only in possession of knowledge of the past. Never of the present Hegel says that I'm sent certainty doesn't give you true the being, but truth of has been so, in other words, every object, whether its immediately identifiable to our senses or not, is constantly changing Hegel. This is the example of nighttime. He says that you know if you're outside and it's the middle of the night in your senses, tell you that its nighttime well, is that truly knowledge of the world that you have now Hegel says know, stay outside and for another twelve hours, and that quote knowledge that you have about the world is magically not valid anymore and that's because it's the nature of consciousness and the objects of consciousness to constantly be in a state of change, moving and shifting ebbing and flowing shifting towards an end that Hagel well legal rights extensively about it we're going to talk about it. They show the point is that we know existence is not some static, unchanging reality right, no matter how
to do that might seem to us. We look run. It seems like nothing changing know this world to Hegel, just like Heraclitus said so many centuries ago is in a constant state of flux, and when Hegel begins to break down this, this fundamental process that we use when trying to acquire knowledge about anything. You start to see, worries common from with this. What used to seem crazy theory about everything being an intrinsic part of this guy's thing that we talked about last episode. So another section of this work that we're talking about he's talking about the mode of consciousness that he referred to as perception, and he asked the question: what are we doing specifically whenever we look at an object in and we try to categorize at or require knowledge about it,
Well, what we're doing Hegel says is engaging in a process of finding relationships between things objects right, uses example of salt, but they were looking at assault shaker right, we'd like to think Hegel says that whenever we look at a salt shaker full of salt- and we try to arrive at knowledge about that, salt shaker the you know we're doing good, ironclad science. Now we see with our eyes and our microscope that basalt as white, we can do a double blind tastes. Testing our taste buds will tell us basalt, as is bitter, is opposed a sweet. We can even see the the clean glass canister that the salt, as you know, we can feel that this canister, is hard as opposed to soft, but what Hegel wants us to realises that? Yet again, this is not a reliable means of arriving at knowledge, because, just like in the case of sent certainty, this is not a self sufficient in Japan.
Way of arriving at now. Now that point, you may say: wait a second. What we're I'll get that hold on me. I didn't get any help from my friends when I saw that the salt shaker which hard and that it was white and not like I had a team of people, look at that salt shaker and arrive at these things. No, I personally sat down. I looked at the salt Jager I aid these inferences and arrived at knowledge about it? That is a self sufficient way of arriving at knowledge. Hegel, but would Hegel would ask, is why really alone and your pursuit there was your method of arriving at the fact that the salt was white and bitter and in a hard container, was that something you did independent of everything else. Hegel would say now that two even use that
terms that you did to make sense of the salt to even use the ways that you did of organizing. What that thing is is to reference something else as the basis for this knowledge, which obviously brings a whole dirty human element into what we're doing. If we're trying to arrive at a theory of knowledge, muddles things up a bit right, let me explain what he means here, see to hang To even make the claim that the salt in that salt, shaker is white, that implies you haven't we some conception of the fact that darker things exist right, your comparing the hue of that to the conglomeration of all the hues of everything we have ever seen in your contests experience in your life, and that goes for bitterness that goes for hardness. It goes with everything. The fact is for Hegel that salt only has differentiating qualities when its compared in relation to all the other things that you ve been conscious of before and in this way
that salt in everything else for that matter is primarily an object of consciousness. All of these things are really objects of consciousness. Why do you need to assume the content that there's some elusive world of things in themselves out there that we can't Us, whenever you're talkin about anything and trying to acquire knowledge about it, Hegel would say that you're really ever doing. Is talking about that thing as it exists in your perception, these objects, these phenomena that these things are just magically standing alone out there. Now, as conscious creatures, perceiving Stuff, where adding all of that we're adding all of these universals in these concepts, we're adding them to the perception in order to make sense of it.
And in that same way, Hague. Alas, who are we to determine what a thing in itself is? Who are we to say that the salt shaker beat? You know the confines of that glass canister is where that salt shaker begins and ends. It seems pretty arbitrary. Do we have any business making that claim? Why does the salt take her in there? If I pour out some salt onto my food and I eat it for some reason, I accept the fact that the salt that was once part of that salt, shaker Canister, is now a part of me, but why should I assume that that salt shaker in me or different things at all theres many questions, but if you're, a quick thinker, which I know almost everybody listen to the show, is you ve probably realised a few things about Hegel that, although.
Hegel has made some interesting points about how we organise our objects of perception. He hasn't really talked about exactly what he thinks consciousness is or how that in any way, relates to the the long soliloquy I gave last episode about history or the the freedom question that it gave. Last episode will rest assured next episode, your questions will be answered and I guarantee you by the end of it, you will have a solid understanding of one of the most difficult philosophers to comprehend in the history of the world. Hegel. Thank you for listening I'll talk to you next time
Transcript generated on 2020-09-30.