Hegel: Neoplatonist, Hermeticist, prose poet, concealed priest

materialism, mysticism and art

Jakob Schlesinger, ‘Bildnis des Philosophen Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’, Berlin 1831, Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin Jakob Schlesinger, ‘Bildnis des Philosophen Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’, Berlin 1831, Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin

10.10.13

Hegel wanted his philosophy to be known as an exemplary application of reason to its study. He wrote at great length on logic and on the syllogism. He held that truth can be known – through scientific method. He argued for the necessity of language to cognition. But he explored every one of these concepts – ‘reason,’ ‘logic,’ ‘syllogism,’ ‘truth,’ ‘science’ and ‘cognition’ and his commitment to language on the basis of what he understood to be ‘speculative,’ derived from Aristotle’s characterisation of God’s activity of thinking (noesis noeseos noesis),which was for Hegel synonymous with ‘mystical.’ And that mysticism, his mysticism, I will contend, was a Christian adaptation of Neoplatonism.

Under this aegis, Hegel employed the Neoplatonic distinction between ‘two types’ of reason – that of analysis, separation and mere understanding…

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