Hegel or Spinoza by Pierre Macherey

By Pierre Macherey

Hegel or Spinoza is the 1st English-language translation of the fashionable vintage Hegel ou Spinoza. released in French in 1979, it's been broadly influential, relatively within the paintings of the philosophers Alain Badiou, Antonio Negri, and Gilles Deleuze.Hegel or Spinoza is a surgically particular interrogation of the issues of misreading of Spinoza via Hegel. Pierre Macherey explains the need of Hegel’s misreading within the kernel of notion that's “indigestible” for Hegel, which makes the Spinozist procedure movement in a fashion that Hegel can't clutch. In doing so, Macherey exposes the constrained and positioned fact of Hegel’s perspective—which finds extra approximately Hegel himself than approximately his item of study. opposed to Hegel’s characterization of Spinoza’s paintings as motionless, Macherey bargains a full of life substitute that upsets the permitted old development of philosophical wisdom. He reveals in Spinoza an immanent philosophy that isn't subordinated to the warrantly of an a priori truth.Not easily authorizing a specific reading—a “good” Spinoza opposed to a “bad” Hegel—Hegel or Spinoza initiates an come upon that produces a brand new figuring out, a typical fact that emerges within the period that separates the 2.

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It is not astonishing, then, that Hegel himself would be engaged in the enterprise of a critique of Spinozism: one of the crucial ideas of his own system is, in effect, that absolute understanding does not begin, or rather that it cannot begin absolutely; its infinity reveals itself exactly in this impossibility of a first beginning that is also a true beginning or a beginning of the true. So, whatever the actual truth of the concept of causa sui (which “resides in it,” to take up the terms of Hegel), the very fact that he gives a beginning to Spinoza’s system is sufficient to mark the limitation of this system.

If there is a “truth” to the doctrine (which makes all attempts at external refutation of this doctrine laughable because such a refutation arbitrarily opposes an independent point of view to its own viewpoint), this truth is relative to a very particular situation that confines Spinoza within the whole process of the history of philosophy, and this truth cannot be detached from it. Grasped from the inside, in this tension and limitation that it imposes on itself, this point of view is for itself simultaneously its own justification and refutation: if it is returned to its internal movement, it is evident that it destroys itself in the process of its own construction and by these same means because this movement transports it outside itself.

But, in fact, if we represent this vision in a more exact fashion, it is easy to understand that in absolute light [clarté] we see as much and as little as in absolute darkness, that one of these forms of vision is just as good as the other, pure vision is a vision of nothingness. 19 The indeterminate brilliance of the immediate is profoundly obscure, like the night: like the night, it absorbs, effaces, and dissolves all contours, which would be for its infinity again a limit. Likewise, the pretension of seizing being in itself, in its instantaneous identity with itself, not yet contaminated with a relationship to another, resolves itself immediately in an inverse purity and is formally equivalent to an absolute nothingness, the contradiction of beginning that is the initiation of all passage.

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