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

22 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2003  

David Gray Carlson

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

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.

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=425122 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.425122

David Gray Carlson (Contact Author)

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

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