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The Antepenultimacy of the Beginning in Hegel's Science of Logic


David Gray Carlson


Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Cardozo Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 74

Abstract:     
The Science of Logic is the keystone for Hegel's philosophy. Perhaps the single most perplexing problem in this work is the status of the beginning. Hegel insisted that philosophy must be self-grounding. It cannot start from "givens." Yet, if Hegel's beginning is merely stipulated or "given," then his project is defeated. The usual view of Hegel's intent is that the beginning (Pure Being) is the last step, so that what begins as a presupposition ends up being "proven." This article suggests something different. It proposes that the beginning (Pure Being) is actually the "antepenultimate" (or third-from-last) step of the Science of Logic. So conceived, the first step is a kind of collapse from the last step (absolute knowing) to the antepenultimate step. The beginning is a failure to have a coherent thought - the failure to produce an unmediated thing.

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Date posted: July 24, 2003  

Suggested Citation

Carlson, David Gray, The Antepenultimacy of the Beginning in Hegel's Science of Logic. Cardozo Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 74. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=425122 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.425122

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David Gray Carlson (Contact Author)
Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )
55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-790-0210 (Phone)
212-790-0205 (Fax)

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