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Episode #074 ... Hegel Returns

2015-12-17 | 🔗

Today we talk about an overview of Hegel and what is truly important about his work. 

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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 philosophize. This podcast be sure to check out our website at philosophize this dot org. We got all kinds, a great stuff up their additional reading, more content, transcripts of every episode links to the files man, your dreams await you and they will be granted at philosophize this dot, org he'd like to support the show we have contribute page. We have a store with merchandise, t, shirts and stuff, like that, you can click through the Amazon banner. If that's the kind of person you are to buy stuff from Amazon, small percentage goes back to the show every little that helps. Additionally, we have a patriot page at some sort of a crowd funding, ask type thing: patriarch dot com, slash philosophize this. I thank you for anything that you can do. Thank you for wanting to know more today than you did yesterday and most of all, I hope, you'll have the showed
When the off chance, the last few episodes of the show of seemed sort of like a departure from what we typically do show, while you're probably right impasse the departure and whether this was a welcome departure and unwelcome departure really comes down to what you want out of this in the first place for the longest time we ve been talking about a single section of a single philosophers work almost the blue, we're talking about things, vague ism insight, purity moodiness what gives and, although others no doubt relevance between, that stuff and what we're gonna be talking about today is what you know. I gotta be honest with you it seems like I've been stalling? It's because I have been stolen, look feel, an obligation to these thinkers to do their work. Just as unlike It gives some biased cursory overview of a cause,
these people committed their entire lives too. I respect them. Point is a respectable and, as I said at the beginning of our heads episodes he's notoriously considered one of the most, if not the most. Let us beyond he's the most difficult red and all the philosophy that difficulty extends to yours truly, as I'm doing the research for the show what I'm saying is. I ve spent the last month and a half of my life rereading Hale. By the way, it should be said that, like me, Episodes that we were doing are useless in fact of any They opened my eyes to just how much I've been neglecting about the basics of philosophy and how to be conducting philosophy in the first place in a classroom settings to be very easy. If you had a question about the stuff, you can raise your hand. I could talk about it for five minutes and that b that but little more difficult when The education is centred around episodes right were, each episode is
missing on one particular thinker and their work so moving forward. You can expect more of those types of episodes, sprinkled and here and there That's a very long winded way of saying that when I realized at the end of this long agonizing process of sitting by the fire, my smoking jacket, reading Hale with my truck monocle, when I realized that the problem wasn't with how well I understood Hegel. The problem was with when I first sat down to plan out all the Hegel episodes planned in the middle of them about three to four episodes that really went against everything that makes this show What did it say because, as you guys well know, the show isn't about just speak being a ton of random facts. At you, write Hegel was born on August, twenty seventh, seventeen. Seventy two,
doktor HANS Van Winkle Stein Stoop got general hospital. Now? Who cares about that? That's not what the show is the shows about giving context to information, so I mean something to you kind of the whole thing about human beings ride. We remember what's important to us, not random. So got so caught up so lost in trying to give you all this information about Hegel take on all these different. We talk about on the show so far that I completely forgot. But why manners the fact that there may be no one in the history of the world whose ideas are more responsible for the way that we look at the world than twenty fifteen. Then Hegel kind of a big thing to overlook, but to be honest, it was I opening for years, and I mean, as we all know, there is a direct connection between beliefs and actions. We act based on our best guess of what we believe to be true,
time. Look no further than reports under local news. People do great things and terrible things because of beliefs that they hold. And in a weird way, people love to study the darker side of humanity building, because one of my favorite things all my favorite podcast have to do with some dark element. Of humanity. We love to marvel at what he when beings are capable of at their worst at their extremes, we love you hear about a great battles where millions of people die. We hear about c killers deplorable things, and we wonder how could they ever brought themselves to do that? We love to hear about evil. Tyrants, subjugating we wonder how could that I've ever seemed write to them at the time, but make no mistake: go down your local library sit next to be friendly, homeless. Man reading the USA today, open up every history book they haven't. What you'll find is that if the thing in the book actually occurred, it occurred because, ultimately, so but he had a belief about what the right,
thing to do was that given situation in this way, this I sub branch of philosophy is indirectly responsible for all of it. This prize says this process of arriving at new ideas and then analyzing makes them worth believing it all? It really is the one thing that affects everything, and in this way don't think of ideas as these fixed things that we can analyze right I think of ideas as seeds, seeds that have the petition the grow into something bigger. You look at a seed or seeds and credible thinks me. I can't even fathom how this works its mind. Nothing look at a seat somewhere deep down in that seed is a point of information that we are not seeing on the surface Itsy a programming of sorts at sea before never touches dirt or a drop of water. In that seed there is the potential to become a giant tree.
And in this way I think ideas all around us. We could look at in our society today that are kind of like saplings. If they were taken, their full potential. If we nurtured the positive growth of them, they would fundamentally transformed the world since the matter time, for we learn how much water sunlight they need, but just consider that consider the power of ideas and that we can see the fact that in some guy name, Professor Hegel, back in the early eighteen hundreds broke sit in his front room Using his trusty monocle and he had an idea you know: he's neurons fired in a particular way that certain moment- and this caused him to an idea that he would eventually right down eventually disseminate throughout the world. And it would eventually go on to change the entire pole. Political landscape of the twentyth century- think about that it was no neurons fired even slightly differently
We may be living in a completely different world right now. Maybe tens of millions of people don't die. Maybe the atomic bomb is never created. One things for certain. All of this started with an idea and idea that was in response to a question, and the question was this: Does it mean to be truly free and what are the natural implications of? This has been a few, we- since we talked about this- so I just clarify- clarify few things too. Your stand, Hegel answer to this question. We need to understand what is responding to an cots work. Contact about human nature, he sees it a very static thing can't thinks that it is an inescapable aspect of Hugh nature that we find ourselves caught. Secondly, in this state of being pushed and pulled around between two things. One is our faculty of reason and the other or the animal stick desires that we have sometimes we? into those desires. Times, are able to use reason to overcome them into the moral thing about it.
The composition of the low more nuanced, and this obviously but the main point is that there is an internal battle. Between reason and passions. That is a part of our human nature. Waigel looks at that Ngos. What are we even talking about me? Talk about human nature, cunt it is human nature. Some fixed Unchanging static thing that we can look to explain human behaviour, my people. Do this all the time people say it's here I'm in nature to be warlike. We should just accepted or its human nature to be selfish by the way. I am not criticising this report. Even I do sometimes I said Joe humans by nature take the path of least resistance, but it one thing to say that this is usually what most human beings do when faced with a situation and its a completely different thing to try to ensure that the arena stone right and say that it somehow part of the very nature of being a human being to very different statement, so Hegel
standing. This starts thinking about human nature, Obviously, there are things that are true about every human being that has ever lived. The question is, is quite. Is being in this battle between reasons and our desires. One of those things is there may be a different explanation, so an eagle does say: look if this was truly a part of human nature than one thing for certain. See it across all cultures and all time periods right and when you do that, when you examine closer, what you find is it no, it's not there's exceptions to this rule all over the place. ITALY's is ancient. Greece is an example by ancient Athens, pre four hundred BC part agrees. Very unique time in the history of Athens? He points out how, before Socrates came along
people didn't have the same sort of individual moral compass. The contest talking about here, you think about it. The very fact that Socrates was trying to get people to ask these questions about individual morality. The very fact that came across his abrasive and eventually got him sentenced to death member the charges corrupting the youth will cropping them from what now he'll takes a pretty interesting position here. What says, is maybe, instead of us having some sort of fixed internal. Nature. The positions are at the centre of this constant battle between reason and passions. Maybe many of the things that we commonly the tribute to being human nature are really just values, values, grand and conditioned indoors by whatever time period or culture, even just what Sir he stayed or neighbourhood. We live it, maybe so many other beliefs that we have about the way that things should be so much of our identities
people may be in a strange since they were completely out of control from the beginning. To Hegel even plays out the Socrates example to explain how this individual sense of morality may have come about he's as Socrates burst onto the scene in Athens, morally, across people in the public square. Eventually, people get kind of annoyed about it and they sentenced to death for corrupting some aspect of their culture He was here this story. We hear the word: corruption, where corruption, Socrates wasn't corrupting anything he's its asking questions. What you can't handle your police being challenged way. It's gonna crucify your problems, but would handle says, is that no, the Athenians were perfectly justified and sentencing him to death. If a death sentence was a just punishment for career the youth pact and then Tiggle points out. Socrates was guilty of corrupting them now may not see this corruption in today's world. What Socrates,
I may have only brought about something that we would see as a better world, but Hegel points out that, in the context of that culture and I'm that Socrates is living brain about the change he did required. This sort of abrasive corruption, this conflicting interests with popular opinion, You know what my favorite, John Locke quotes. He says new opinions are always suspected and usually opposed without any other, reason, but because they are not already common. I just here quote so much when I read Hegel, Hegel extrapolate here, and he says that there was a way that things were in Athens. Socrates comes along, the conflicting interests in opposition to the way that things were and that the result of these two powerful forces meeting is a synthesis big word for him.
Of the two in the middle somewhere a combination, a composition. If you will, this is what Hegel calls the dialectic thesis. That's the way things are the antithesis. The thing opposed to this way that things are Socrates and the synthesis the meeting of those two in the middle. Now, we can see how this works on a cultural or political level, but it's actually funny it. Leaving describes the ways that we sometimes make individual changes in our lives right like. Why do you eat what you do that and you might make Good per cent for taste in my gone vacation stuff here that face with food all week, long greasy french fries revenue all over your face, but then Competing interests might arise right. Well, I feel miserable I'm getting fat, I'm having trouble sleeping at night this week, I'm not gonna for TAT No, I'm gonna eat a hundred per cent healthy, but then that goes too far in that direction,
the end up eating something in the middle like a lean causing. So that would be the synthesis between cousins and then, inevitably, some other competing interests arises like say you go down the same Are you go to the frozen food department and leaned cuisines are not on sale, five bucks, a piece for tuna and fifty collars, wants to spend that much on something so mediocre, but one thing is that there is another competing interests. It just arose, cost efficiency right this week, I'm gonna eat not in terms of what's healthy, not in terms of what taste good, but the cheapest way possible needs making sense for me, it's less confusing to think about it. This way than to try to fathom these large cultural shifts with it but, as you can see in that example, the processes, not start with two competing interests, ending with a synthesis right, because when always happens, the nature of the world is another. Socrates comes along and then another Socrates,
figure to be speaking. There is always another Socrates, it's gonna come along that synthesis. Becomes a new thesis and its figure to be We can always gonna be challenged by the next anti pieces. Hegel talks about sure I mean there may have been some sort of paradigm shift towards a more individual approach to existence at that point and that throughout the year this individualism grew and contorted and shifted due to these conflicting interests. He even talked about how the french revolution And just at age of revolutions in general, that may have been the point when this The visuals pendulum swung too far in the other direction, and now we're living in a world that sea synthesis of the two either way the route. Of one Hegel saying here? Is this human beings that are trying to figure this crazy world out we're trying to find out the way Things are so that we can make a difference or at least find out what problems are aiming us. Hegel says that usually we do. The usual approach in that endeavour is to end
eyes. The way that the world is right now, you know we run experiments about how things are right. At this instant. And if our research is good enough, we write books about it and people read them in this approach. Intuitively makes sense. May it seems like a good place to start but what he was saying. Is it Maybe in the same way we don't have some fixed moral human nature, like the one cup of pointing it, the world is the same way. Maybe the world is too complex and constantly under the influence of outside interests that it too could ever be reduced down into that sort of absolutist way of thinking. Maybe understanding the world only can come after. You acknowledge the fact that its constantly changing enables as it maybe a better tactic. Getting to the bottom of this stuff is not trend, understand the way that things are right at this instant was by the time you ve under
but then they already changed into something else may be the key to understanding. It is understanding that process the process of constant change, You are compared to trying to do an analysis of a very slowly moving thing target right. You can go up to the target, you can Measure the dimensions you can find out what materials made out of you write down is what shape it is in carbon date. The thing everything and you might back to your work station and get type in on your typewriter, and you might an entire book about this target, telling the world about your findings. It may be the most illuminating account of that moving target that has ever been written, but what Hegel would say, That target has moved since you last sought it's a different thing. Now you look. You may have been great resource, so much research that you can look at that target now and it hasn't move much. So it looks like your analysis of it is accurate, but eventually it will change and it will have changed into something completely different.
What Hegel saying is if we know that the world is this way, why have We have tried to understand that process. Some change more, in other words, by Her standing the process in which the world changes we might be able to. Stand better. The process by which we can change it, but even that's kind of pigeon, holing, Hegel to Hegel. The implications of this fact are met further, reaching than just being able to go started a super pack and fund a political Canada There are deep moral implications here from his well see because the vote The first question: they probably have four Hegel when he says this is everything change, everything's, moving Hegel where moving to who. He's everything is moving, where's, it I'll go and it's just random. Is the world and everyone and for that matter, really just randomly meandering around at the mercy of these competing interests that we have little or no control over legal, probably say back to that.
We may be meandering and many of us may be at the mercy of them, but one thinks for certain: it isn't random. We are going somewhere. Enables says the that ultimate destination that we're going for is minds Putin understanding of itself and that too eggless almost synonymous to total The standing of freedom all of these changes all these changes throughout his ultimately been heading towards minds: total understanding of itself and a total understanding of freedom as she would slow down, because This is yet another really interesting position that he taking in it's far from it, give onawandah gloss over it. How in the world Is total self knowledge pray quickly synonymous to freedom for Hegel, the how's that even possible the to definite seem like they're. The same will think about it from hails perspective right. What is an average person like most
The time most people don't go around thinking about their place in this process of constant change, consciously it'll go through life, actively trying to fool the route which of their values, are really just conditioned into them because of their particular culture and time period. Now it's not the way it works at all, like the people in Athens, four hundred BC enables example these people go around thinking that something was wrong with their approach to morality, and in that sense I think of what that means. For us. The reality is You only have access to the ideas that around you and your culture and time period these people four hundred BC they didn't have the luxury of living in a post Socrates world, so unaware way they never had the option. They never had the option to adopt a more individual approach to morality. It was impossible for them to.
Now. Let's look I'm not saying that the laws of physics were preventing them from ever arriving at a different conclusion. Obviously, sock these did, but given the tools that these people had effectively it was impossible because they wouldn't we're feel the need to question any of the stuff, because I didn't think it was wrong the Hague was asking is: can that be so to be total freedom or is just you living your life in a very, very large cage that you never go on the extremities even see the bars of that same note, its easy for us to go back and denounce the people that you know own slaves and the sixteen and seventeen on its, but consider for a second, how many People were just kind of manner, Going along with whatever, with socially acceptable during their culture and time period, narrowly thinking about it, how many those people etc? There were some evil. Do good, toiling his moustache Ives high of slaves. In this great it was acceptable back then till they just never question
That's not on the show multiple times look around you right now, many things that we just take for granted a hundred years from now people back at us like we were ten. Now to the slave owner and the seventeen hundreds I want us to realise the interesting thing. Is there there They're all around you everywhere. This is a process of constant change. We are cut, still in a state of change, the Hague so it is inevitable that there are. He's all around us right now that are going to appear barbaric, two generations down the lie? Most of us just can't see them, because you know much like the slave owner, it socially exe, people to believe this. So why question it think of the implications of this. How many beliefs do you hold right now, even though under the things that make you think you are a special unique person. How many of these things are just values that have been conditioned? India, look you're, not a bad person for having them. It isn't
inescapable part of life, what Hegel would say is shouldn't we please be aware of that that that's world your living that that for those values come from other words dont understand why we hold the police. We do. Can we really be said to be totally free? This is the case of total self knowledge, with freedom to Hegel, to be totally free not enough to just go throughout your life passively and let alone this process of constant change to dictate everything we do and then just never question it. We need to understand this process of historical change undersea. And that we exist in a car. Currently moving target, and when you I understand that the process of constant changes ultimately heading to a great place. What it does is it brings you a sense of com. It brings you a sense of peace, because, even if, in the short term, something seems to be contrary to what you value,
ultimately now you see nothing for what it actually is. One in a long road towards total freedom and that world now thing is contrary to your interest. At that point, it's all part of the process. Now is easier said than done, but truly understanding and accepting. This fact is a state of total knowledge, and at that point Hegel says it's really tough to get mad about anything that happens all the things before that we took as hostile and exterior to ourselves. We actually realise their part of us. There are part of that process of constant change towards total freedom. Every nation, every government in yes, even every cable news anchor has been a part of this process of change. Truly thought that by writing these things down, he was big question at the brute here, the one that I started, all the other Hegel upsets talk about, one that is very closely attached to all the stuff than he was talking about is what is
have the luxury no of living in a postage alien world? We have access to this idea and anyway, the big question at the brute here the one that I started, all the other Hegel upsets talking about what it is. Very closely attached to all this stuff than he was talking about, is what is freedom exactly and what does that mean because a traditional definition of freedom, we ve all heard it before when we want in life, I wanna be happy. What would make me happy, no stringent freedom to do anything, I want any time I want. If I want to go jump on a plane and see my sit Grannie on the start side of the country. I want to be able to do it a day off a work. I want a day off a work. Most people think. How do I get this sort of unbridled freedom? Money share money doesn't by happiness, but money is freedom in paper form freedom is just being able to do anything. You want to do without restrictions, but haggled making the argument like many of his contemporaries by the way, but it's his
Work specifically on this question that went on to be incredibly influential. Is that definition, enough to be considered truly free and that just like we, I'd be conditioned to have the values and belief that we have, and that part of being totally free understanding why we have the values we do not just boiling along with them part of being totally free and other areas is not just being Will they do whatever you want to do its understanding why you're doing what you're doing it's? That self where nests of what it means to be one aspect of this process of change. Its that that's liberating, has tons of examples of this mean take anything you will be sitting on the couch all day, long watching tv and you could get bombarded by the exact same burger commercial over and over and over again right this could have everything right, Freudians, psychology, advertising subliminal messages Tesla doing control stuff on you.
Dig in his way into your brain burrowing in. If you stand up the couch later in the day, feel hungry may feel to you like it's a totally autumn, miss free choice. They are making to decide to go down a burger king get a cheeseburger but unless you are aware of the fact that That's the reason why you're going to burger king as opposed to the countless other options have you are enslaved to a certain extent you're behaviors being controlled? enables asking, can we said to be truly free? If that's the case with our thinking. This is the million dollar question. This is the million life question. His work on this question was the idea the seed that was planted eventually went into effect, marks and countless other thinkers because one, big thing that arises. Naturally, we have this discussion long enough, which we're gonna continued to expand upon is another big question: given the way our lives,
given how at the mercy we all are of these competing interests? given how easy it is to insulate yourself off from all the possible options out there out of laziness to you know only exe those yourself to a few different options and just try our best to stay comfortable with whatever have already been exposed to. Maybe, although we think we know what we want and we would like to think we know what would make us most happy maybe maybe we aren't the best ones to decide what we should be doing at all What career we should have marriage, we should enter into a yes, even what cheeseburger need lots of a big episodes to come. Thank you for listening I'll talk to you next time.
Transcript generated on 2020-03-23.