Talk:Thesis, antithesis, synthesis

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Problem Reaction Solution[edit]

Certainly many concepts and theories have been derived from Hegel's dialectic, so I don't see why Problem Reaction Solution in particular merits a link from this artile. (btw, don't label the removal of this link as "vandalism" - it is a content dispute, not the act of a vandal). --mtz206 14:38, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

In my view, it is nothing short of bad faith vandalism. You want to add more, then do it. But dont give nonsensical arguements as "we should not have one link, since we dont have any right now." --Striver 16:32, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Stop falsely putting "Rv vandalism" in edit summaries.--Jersey Devil 21:01, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Removing info in bad faith is per definition vandalism. --Striver 14:17, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Problem reaction solution is the *primary* introduction prevalent in the United States and United Kingdom for the vast majority of the populous, since it was first popularized by David Icke in 1998 and picked up by Alex Jones after 11 September 2001. As such, it should be referenced as Striver has done, and vice versa. — HopeSeekr of xMule (Talk) 17:05, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
HopeSeekr, I'm not following your argument at all. Can you rephrase? PRS is the "primary introduction" of what? I don't know what you're trying to say, but I doubt "the vast majority of the populous" of US or UK have heard of PRS. --mtz206 17:24, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

How is this not standard dialectic?[edit]

Is not dialectic "thesis, antithesis, synthesis"? How does Hegel's dialectic differ from the standard, and why is it deserving of this article's title? matturn 02:11, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

Hegel's Dialectic[edit]

So the great influence of Hegel on all subsequent philosophy is based on terms that he never used himself? Also, he used the classification only once, in a discussion of Kant's triadic Pure Concepts? It might be beneficial if someone, anyone, could cite the exact location in Hegel's works in which he describes his famous three-step dialectic. Lestrade 21:57, 17 June 2007 (UTC)Lestrade

Can't find it! Brief excerpt of comments from hegel.net http://www.hegel.net/en/faq.htm#6.4 - "The most vexing and devastating Hegel legend is that everything is thought in "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis." [...] The actual texts of Hegel not only occasionally deviate from "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis," but show nothing of the sort. "Dialectic" does not for Hegel mean "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis." Dialectic means that any "ism" - which has a polar opposite, or is a special viewpoint leaving "the rest" to itself - must be criticized by the logic of philosophical thought, whose problem is reality as such, the "World-itself." - Irrespective of the linguistics of representation of a concept if the concept is acknowledged in the body of work "as such" then which terms are used to popularise the concept are perhaps of less consequence. T.A.S and it's modern colloquial P.R.S. surely encapsulate and represent Hegel's concepts rather than misrepresent them apart from the issue of literal quotation anything else is semantics. Whether the literal quotes are found in the body of his work or not is debated but seems unlikely. (See also http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0022-5037%28195806%2919%3A3%3C411%3ATHLO%22%3E2.0.CO%3B2-2&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage - only one page unfortunately and possibly copyright) Hope this helps. Madmax69 21:01, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

So Hegel's dialectic is a fraud.Lestrade 23:01, 29 July 2007 (UTC)Lestrade

Redundant Article[edit]

All the accurate information in this stub, except the quote, is already in the article on Dialectic. I suggest moving the quote there, deleting the duplicative remarks in the body of this article, and having it re-direct to Dialectic.KD Tries Again 18:31, 9 July 2007 (UTC)KD

Kant's Influence[edit]

As is explained in the Talk page for Dialectic, Fichte and Hegel took their dialectical self–movement of thought from Kant's triadic table of categories. Kant wote:

in every class there is the same number of categories, namely three, which again makes us ponder, because generally all division a priori by means of concepts must be a dichotomy. It should be remarked also, that the third category always arises from the combination of the second with the firstCritique of Pure Reason, B110

I emboldened the main point. From this Kantian triadic process of conceptual combination, Fichte, and subsequently Hegel, formed their so–called dialectical movement of concepts. I will try to include this information in the article.Lestrade 21:59, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Lestrade

Bertrand Russell's view[edit]

I have not read Hegel. However, Russell describes what characterizes Hegel's work as follows (from Russell, B. (1945), A history of western philosophy, p. 731, New York: Simon and Schuster, Thirteenth paperback printing, 1967):

Two things distinguish Hegel from other men who have had a more or less similar metaphysical outlook. One of these is emphasis deduced from the sole consideration that it must be not self-contradictory. The other distinguishing feature (which is closely connected with the first) is the tradic movement called the "dialectic". His most important books are his two Logics, and these must be understood if the reasons for his views on other subjects are to be rightly apprehended.

He goes on to give an example on p. 734 using the uncle/nephew synthesis. Given this statement, unless I misunderstand the conversation here, I would say that Russell thinks that this kind of dialectic originates with Hegel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bgoedecke (talkcontribs) 23:26, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Arguments against this view?[edit]

Are there any arguments against the idea of synthesis? In other words, can all disagreement be reconciled? --marcos —Preceding unsigned comment added by 128.196.20.133 (talk) 23:35, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Nonsensical Examples?[edit]

I arrived at this article as a layman trying to understand Marx's Capital. Now, maybe I'm just not educated enough to cope with the contents, but honestly, what in the hell is going on here? What do Bose condensates have to do with Christ? And why are such esoteric topics being used to illustrate this concept? Seriously, the whole thing reads like bad parody to me, can somebody set me straight? 188.141.105.205 (talk) 22:34, 13 December 2010 (UTC)

In physics, spirit is known as "wavefunction." A Bose-Einstein condensate is a collection of particles of matter united by a single wavefunction, a single spirit. Any living organism is a Bose-Einstein condensate. The universe ruled by Christ will be "the cosmic body of Christ"—a single living organism, a single Bose-Einstein condensate. Antichristos (talk) 07:22, 19 December 2010 (UTC)


This is original research, seemingly by the author antichristos. The author has synthesized several sources to reach new conclusions and used them as examples. "Articles may not contain any new analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position not clearly advanced by the sources." -- RL, 13:45PST, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
According to Hegel, the dialectic triplicity was intuitively rediscovered by Kant, but the latter and his successors (such as Fichte) left it detached from phenomena and uncomprehended.[1] That is why this article must contain examples linking the triplicity with modern cosmology. Otherwise, Hegel's behest will not be observed. Antichristos (talk) 06:06, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Agree with RL and reverting to a much earlier version. It seems the article now contains a lot of original research. The sources given do not give any indication about what they have to do with the subject of this article, "Thesis, antithesis, synthesis". If this is not original research, then please provide a more basic level source that explains how this information is relevant to the article.--Physics is all gnomes (talk) 16:37, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Looking for that Synthetic Sublation[edit]

Who is Atticusattor and why is he ruining the article?

Vandalism plus Incompetence[edit]

Earlier this year I replaced an incredibly inaccurate version of this article, loaded with errors, with an article that removed the errors and accurately described what thesis, antithesis, and synthesis really mean. In early December Anonymous removed my revision and restored the original article with its manifold errors. The errors included these:

1. The author claimed that Hegel did not use thesis-antithesis-dialectics. He based this claim on the ridiculous “evidence” that “Hegel never used the term himself,” then contradicted this assertion by claiming a few sentences later that Hegel used the term “only once.” In my revision I pointed out that Hegel actually used “dialectic” or “dialectical” 9 times (the correct count is actually 11) and said “triadic form” and “three moments [stages]” once each – a total of 13 mentions. I documented these mentions with the following paragraph references from Miller’s translation of Phenomenology: paras. 50, 65, 66 (three mentions), 86, 95, 109, 130, 132, 203, 233, 767.

2. Having said, in effect, that no dialectics could be found in Hegel’s thought, the author contradicted himself by proceeding to attach definitions – false definitions – to each of the three terms. He said the thesis was a “proposition” (it isn’t; it is a simple verbless concept), the antithesis was a “reaction” to the first proposition” (is isn’t; it is the opposite concept), and the synthesis becomes “a new thesis” in a follow-on dialectic (it doesn’t).

3. Having thus defined thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, Anonymous is unable to provide an example of such a dialectic. And of course he can’t, because there exists no example.

4. Anonytmous said “almost all of his biographers have been eager to discredit” the idea that Hegel used dialectics. Even when we ignore the trivial error of calling interpreters “biographers,” the quoted passage is highly misleading. First, every one of those eager-to-discredit interpreters has based his opinion on a 1959 article by Mueller, who didn’t know what he was talking about. Mueller looked in Hegel’s Logic, where he found no dialectics. But Hegel, in his preface to Phenomenology, in effect said to look in Phenomenology. There (and in Hegel’s Philosophy of History) you can find several dozen dialectics. Second, the “almost all” is highly misleading: several modern interpreters (Singer, McDonald, Tucker, Wheat) affirm that Hegel used dialectics; most other interpreters take a “hands off” (no opinion) approach. Third, the two additional interpreters who understood Hegel best and who adopted Hegel’s dialectical format in their own books – Karl Marx and Paul Tillich – affirmed that Hegel did use dialectics.

5. Anonymous concludes with the following meaningless quotation – meaningless because the pronoun “them” has no antecedent and because the quotation has no context showing us what Marx was referring to: “The triad is often said to have been extended and adopted by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, however, Marx referred to them in The Poverty of Philosophy as speaking Greek and ‘Wooden trichotomies’.” Who or what is “them”?

I corrected or removed these errors and accurately defined dialectics in the following replacement article: __________

Thesis, antithesis, and synthesis are the three stages of a triad introduced in preliminary form (tables) by Kant, further developed by Fichte and Schelling, and used in its mature form by Hegel, Marx, and Tillich. It is primarily associated with Hegel’s thought. It has been said erroneously that “Hegel never used the term himself” (from an earlier edition of this article). But in fact Hegel used it nine times in Phenomenology of Spirit, where he also used the equivalent terms “triadic form” and “these three moments [stages].”[1] Marx also used “dialectic” and praised Hegel as "that mighty thinker." But he said the Hegelian dialectic was "standing on its head." Marx announced that he planned to give dialectics new substance, or turn dialectics right-side up, by shifting the focus of dialectics from Hegel’s realm of ideas to the material world of production and other economic activity.[2] Marx's dialectics thus came to be called "dialectical materialism," whereas Hegel's dialectics are sometimes called "dialectical idealism."

The three parts or stages of a dialectic triad are the following:

Thesis: A simple concept – sometimes two coordinating concepts – that can usually be stated in one or two words (e.g., one). It has been claimed that the thesis is instead “an intellectual proposition” – a belief, an opinion, an argument – something requiring at least a full sentence and probably one or many paragraphs to present. But a thesis never contains a verb and never comes close to being a sentence. Much less does it require one or more paragraphs to state.

Antithesis: Another verbless concept, or two coordinating concepts. The antithesis is the opposite of, not just different from, the thesis (e.g., many, the opposite of one). When the thesis includes two concepts, the antithesis has the opposite two concepts. It has also been claimed that the synthesis is a “reaction” to the thesis “proposition,” but the claim is again incorrect. First, there are no propositions, just simple verbless concepts. Second, “reaction” implies a thesis-before-antithesis time sequence, whereas some dialectics (a minority) simply have two opposing concepts (e.g., subject and object) as thesis and antithesis; their order is arbitrary. Third, a “reaction” is not necessarily the opposite of the alleged first proposition, it can simply be a different point of view. But an antithesis is always the opposite of the thesis.

Synthesis: The word “synthesis” refers to combining or putting things together. Synthesis is the opposite of “analysis,” which is taking things apart. A dialectical synthesis combines the thesis and the antithesis; it never introduces a new concept not found in either the thesis or the antithesis. Most dialectics have two concepts per stage, in which case the synthesis incorporates one concept from the thesis and one from the antithesis. (Example: potential + freedom; actual + bondage; actual + freedom.) Sometimes the synthesis shows that the antithesis is really the thesis in disguise. (Example: infinite; finite; infinite = finite.) A closely related synthesis is universal (general category), particular (parts of the general category), universe composed of particulars (e.g. a fleet composed of ships). The synthesis is never a “new” or third “proposition,” a belief or argument that replaces both the thesis and the antithesis without borrowing from either. And contrary to a common myth, the synthesis never becomes the thesis of a follow-on dialectic. (No one has ever provided an example of the supposed interconnected series of dialectics, and there is no such example.)

A dialectic always uses a separation-and-return format. The dialectic separates from and returns to something in the thesis. Paul Tillich pointed out, “Obviously – and it was so intended by Hegel – his dialectics are the religious symbols of estrangement [separation] and reconciliation [return] . . . reduced to empirical descriptions.”[3] And Hegel wrote, “Spirit . . . becomes alienated [separated] from itself and then returns to itself from this alienation.”[4] “Separation and return” is based on the gospel of John, where God “became flesh and dwelt among us” as the incarnate God, Jesus (John 1:14). Stage 1, God is a unified entity in heaven. Stage 2: God becomes separated from himself by coming to earth as God-incarnate (Jesus) while simultaneously continuing to dwell in heaven. Stage 3: God-incarnate returns to himself in heaven after Jesus is crucified; God is once again unified (union-separation-reunion). In Marx’s primary dialectic, man separates from and returns to communism – separates from primitive communism, passes through three slavery periods (treated as one, the antithesis period), and returns to final communism. In Tucker’s words: “Communism lost and communism regained – such is the plot of world history.”[5]

END OF ARTICLE

____________

Anonymous immediately erased my corrections and inserted a slightly modified version of his former article. The new version has all of his earlier errors (except that “never used the term” dialectic becomes 2 mentions of dialectics, not the true total of 13 that I documented). And he adds a new error that completely misrepresents what Hegel said in the preface to Phenomenology. Anonymous claims that Hegel “only mentions this triad two times, attributing it to Immanuel Kant and criticizing it as being a lifeless schema.” But what Hegel really criticizes is Kant’s version of dialectics, which took the form of tables. Hegel says that “the triadic form must not be regarded as scientific when it is reduced to a lifeless schema, . . . and when scientific organization is degraded into a table of terms. Kant rediscovered this triadic form by instinct, but in his [Kant’s] work it was still lifeless and uncomprehended; since then [since Kant] it has, however, been raised to its absolute significance so that the Notion of Science has emerged.” Do those words support Anonymous’s claim that Hegel said his own dialectics, contrasted with Kant’s tables, were a “lifeless schema”? Hegel is clearly praising the "scientific" dialectics that have emerged since Kant's tables. He is hinting that we should look for concealed dialectics in Phenomenology. (The dialectics definitely are concealed, for they are used to covertly express his atheism.)

My original article did not try to hide the fact that most interpreters who have an opinion adopt Mueller’s 1959 opinion. I quoted Verene: “No first-rate Hegel scholar speaks of Hegel having a dialectic of thesis-antithesis-synthesis.” But I go on to introduce extensive evidence that Hegel – and Marx – did employ dialectics. I present 10 examples, including 4 from Marx’s “dialectical materialism.” My revised article (introduced two days ago) is much shorter, providing just two examples plus an abbreviated version of Marx’s chief dialectic. Anonymous, in contrast, is unable to provide a single example of a dialectic that fits his false description.

I’m discussing this problem at length here, because the intervention of an editor is clearly needed. Meanwhile, I’m restoring my abbreviated version of my original article.Atticusattor (talk) 04:45, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

It is not only 177.16.111.198 who reverted your edits. I also reverted your edits. Your previous version was a mess (you might want to review WP:NOR, WP:STRUCTURE, WP:UNDUE, WP:V, WP:INTEGRITY, WP:RS/AC, and WP:TOPIC), while your comments here on the talk page are an attempt at arguing from "first principles." Please note that Wikipedia talk pages are not forums.
Regarding your additions I will only note this: you claim that Bober (1950:386) says that "Synthesis: communal property + wealth (final communism)". Well, I just looked that page up and it says something quite different; it says that "Primitive communism represents the thesis: the private property of slavery, feudalism, and capitalism is the antithesis; and the communism of the future will reëstablish the communal property of archaic days, but as a synthesis of a higher dimension." You tampered with this citation in a way that misleads the reader to thinking that the content you have inserted is validated by sources, when in fact it is not. Not to mention that using "equations" is a weird way to convey concepts of Hegelian philosophy. --Omnipaedista (talk) 05:39, 17 December 2013 (UTC)
Using "equations" to describe theses, antitheses, and syntheses is indeed "a weird way to convey [those] concepts." But "equations" is your word, not mine. Why are you imputing it to me? As for the Bober quotation, it accurately documents the fact that Bober identified primitive communism as the thesis; slavery, feudalism, and capitalism as the antithesis; and final communism as the synthesis." I made no claim that he spelled out the conceptual contents of those three stages; the contents came from Wheat.Atticusattor (talk) 20:02, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
Atticusattor, you are the incompetent here. If you stop with your hysterical denunciation ("The dialectics definitely are concealed, for they are used to covertly express his atheism"!!!) and try to actually read Hegel's works (not to mention Marx's), you'll have to agree that he only uses the "thesis, antithesis and synthesis" dialectic in reference to Kant. The various references you give are only to the word "dialectic", which occur frequently throughout his work under different contexts and with different connotations. Now, Hegel surely has a tendency of using triads, but these are expressed variously and have different forms (eg., universal/particular/singular, in-itself/for-itself/in-and-for-itself, or even abstract-right/morality/ethicity etc.). You can at maximum see thesis-antithesis-synthesis as just one of these various forms. If Hegel really interests you (which I doubt; you seem to simply want to scapegoat him and Marx), you should read some of the major Hegel recent scholars. You can start with the English speaking ones, like Terry Pinkard, Charles Taylor, Frederick Beiser or Robert Pippin. See what they have to say about dialectics in general and about "thesis-antithesis-synthesis" schema in particular. 150.162.148.76 (talk) 16:32, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
The only person being "hysterical" -- and inaccurate, I might add -- is you. Contrary to what you say, Hegel does not use "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis . . .in reference to Kant." The expression he uses (twice) in his preface in reference to Kant is "triadic form." And why are you citing Beiser in this context? He falsely -- very falsely -- says "Hegel did praise 'the triadic form' that had been rediscovered by Kant," whereas in truth Hegel called Kant's version of dialectics "a lifeless schema, a mere shadow" and "degraded into a table of terms." His praise was for the dialectics that had evolved "since then," since Kant. You again misrepresent one of the authors you cite by seeming to imply that Terry Pinkard disagrees that Hegel was trying to "covertly express his atheism." Yet Pinkard concludes that Hegel's "God" is nonsupernatural -- society and related institutions, a definition not far removed from the "humanity" definition interpreted by other authors. If Hegel's God is society rather than a supernatural being, Hegel was an atheist. Since Hegel is trying to conceal his dialectics, most of which express his atheism, he rarely uses the words "synthesis," "antithesis," and "synthesis." His most common substitute term is "moment"; another is "first realization" (thesis); another is "first negation"(antithesis); and his most famous is "negate the negation," which was later copied by Marx. Those authors who carelessly endorsed Mueller's claim that Hegel did not use dialectics failed to observed that Mueller was looking for dialectics in Hegel's Logic, whereas Hegel plainly said to look in Phenomenology of Spirit. Meanwhile, why to you overlook what Marx and Tillich -- two later dialecticians -- wrote. They both say Hegel did use thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics.Atticusattor (talk) 20:02, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
I'm the earlier anonymous. Atticusattor, you really are not only truculent and presumptuous, but also stubborn. You should be more careful when putting forward such a polemical thesis as yours, since you are insulting and criticizing not only me, but all the prevalent contemporary Hegelian scholarship. You call everyone stupid with your arrogance. — Now, about your new argument, you just conceded what everyone else argues: that Hegel doesn't use this terminology, he uses other expressions variously. Please, stop confusing this Kantian terminology of "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" with "dialectics". — Surely there is some misunderstanding if someone claims that "Hegel did not use dialectics" in his Logic or another major work, for there is nothing more overt, prevalent, and characteristic in it than "dialectics". Your assertion that "Hegel is trying to conceal his dialectics" is also incredible. — To call Hegel an atheist is another questionable thesis of yours. Call him an heretic or whatever, but not an atheist, since he never denied the existence of God. He even went weekly to the church, as any good Christian. Are you calling him an also hypocrite? — Also, there is no correlation between dialectics and atheism; he wouldn't need to show or hide his dialectics in order to hide his supposed atheism. — Anyway, you are putting forward a very polemical and questionable interpretation of Hegel. Wikipedia is not the place for this. Write an article or book and publish it. Good luck trying to convince any significant scholar. Ogoidbr (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 20:39, 28 December 2013 (UTC)
FIRST, you say I am confusing "thesis, antithesis, and synthesis" with "dialectics." That's an incredibly naive assertion. Almost any survey textbook in philosophy or political science will tell you that a Hegelian dialectic consists of a thesis, an antithesis, and a synthesis. Even authors who deny that Hegel uses dialectics (e.g., Mueller, Solomon, Pinkard) nonetheless define dialectics in terms of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. SECOND, you accept Mueller's foolish argument that in order to use dialectics, Hegel must use the familiar dialectical terminology -- even though Hegel is trying to conceal his dialectics to avoid recognition that they express his atheism, and even though Hegel praises in his preface "the triadic form" that has evolved since Kant's tables (which Hegel criticizes). An immediate problem with your argument is that Hegel actually says "dialectical" in many places, for example, in paragraphs 109 and 203 of Miller's translation of Phenomenology. Also (and contrary to Mueller's claim), Hegel also says "antithesis" and "synthesis"(but not "thesis") in several places, although most of the time he uses substitute terms such as "primitive stage" and "first stage" (thesis), "negation" and "second moment" (antithesis), and "synthetic unity" and "negate thereby the negation" (synthesis). THIRD, you say that my "assertion that 'Hegel is trying to conceal his dialectics" is also incredible." But what is really incredible is your assertion that Hegel would not try to conceal his atheism, which happens to be expressed in his dialectics. Even Solomon, who denies that Hegel uses dialectics, argues that Hegel (beginning around 1800) began using obscure language, hiding his atheism (which Solomon identifies), as part of "an elaborate subterfuge to protect his professional ambitions [obtaining a professorship] in the most religiously conservative country in northern Europe." How can you call Solomon's conclusion "incredible"? FOURTH, you call it "questionable" to call Hegel an atheist, because he never openly denied the existence of God. Well, of course he didn't openly deny God's existence. He didn't dare. He would become unemployable in his chosen profession. But Hegel's disbelief in a supernatural God has been affirmed by at least 10 scholars: Findlay, Tucker, Kaufmann, Solomon, Hippolyte, Kojeve, Beiser, Pinkard, Westphal, and Wheat. FIFTH, you ask, "Are you [also] calling him a hypocrite"? Anyone who says one thing ("God" in Hegel's case) but means something else ("humanity," according to Findlay, Tucker, Kaufmann, Solomon, Wheat) is equivocating, and he who equivocates is guilty of hypocrisy. So in that sense, Hegel is indeed a hypocrite. Every author who has identified Hegel as an atheist has implied this. SIXTH, you write that Hegel "wouldn't need to . . . hide his dialectics in order to hide his supposed atheism." How did you reach that strange conclusion? If he hides his atheism in dialectics, then he can't afford to call attention to the dialectics; he must use subtlety. SEVENTH, you seem to be the person who wrote the earlier anonymous criticism in which you suggested that, to find out that Hegel was really not an atheist, I should read the interpretations of Terry Pinkard, Charles Taylor, Frederick Beiser, and Robert Pippin. Perhaps it is you who should read them. Pinkard and Beiser both deny that Hegel's Spirit ("God") is supernatural. Taylor can't make up his mind; he vacillates between panentheism (Spirit has a transcendent mind and an immanent presence) and pantheism (Spirit has no supernatural mind but is an invisible essence within everything natural). Taylor reaches no conclusion about whether Spirit is theistic (possessing a transcendent mind). As for Pippin, I find nothing in his writing that takes a position one way or the other. Perhaps you can provide a Pippin quotation saying Spirit is supernatural and has a supernatural (transcendent) mind resembling that of the God of theism.Atticusattor (talk) 05:01, 29 December 2013 (UTC)
Do you see how contrived your interpretation is? Should I emphasize the expression "your interpretation" here? I'm not sure if I should insist, because Wikipedia isn't a forum and, as I see on your user profile, you have absolutely no clue of it's core content policies. So this will be my last intervention here, no matter what you answer. Let me put this in two parts. — First, about dialectics: please, don't use "survey textbooks" as argument, since they simply assume the vulgar description of "thesis, antithesis, synthesis", which is being questioned. (Don't tell me you are relying on manuals to understand Hegel!?!) You should find someone (i.e., a serious Hegel scholar) who actually debates and argues favorably for this "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" form. It's wrong to say that Mueller, Solomon, Pinkard "deny that Hegel uses dialectics". What they (and everyone else, including me) deny is that "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" is a good description of the Hegelian "dialectics". Can you perceive the difference in the words? — Second, about atheism: I won't question the idea that Hegel didn't believe in a "transcendent" god (whatever that implies), but you assume that a non-transcendent god isn't a god, or, at least, doesn't qualify for a genuine religious belief, so that Hegel was an atheist (no matter how many times he talked about it and praised religion). I, particularly, don't think this is a good interpretation, but I won't question it, because its one possible interpretation with some support in some scholars. (The most problematic point is it's connection with "dialectics". You see it's a big of a stretch?) No matter where you took this idea from, it's far from being consensus and can't be ASSERTED as fact in a Wikipedia entry. Please, I beg you, take some time to read Wikipedia's core content policies. — To summarize: 1) the consensus today among Hegel scholars is that "thesis, antithesis, synthesis" is not a good description of the Hegelian dialectics; 2) your discussion about Hegel's alleged atheism is far from consensual. Ogoidbr (talk) 15:18, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Boy, are you confused. First, you deny that the traditional meaning of Hegelian dialectics is thesis-antithesis-antithesis, even though that is the meaning that has been taught in survey textbooks and by college professors for generations. Second, you confuse (1) the issue of whether dialectics means thesis-antithesis-synthesis with (2) the entirely different issue of whether HEGEL used thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics: you ask me to name a "serious Hegel scholar" who says Hegel uses thesis-antithesis-synthesis. In the first place, Marx and Tillich -- serious Hegel scholars -- both attribute thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics to Hegel and use Hegel's thesis-antithesis-synthesis format in their own dialectics. Wheat also says Hegel uses thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics, and he provides many examples. Another scholar (among others) who associated thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics is Solomon: he denies that Hegel uses thesis-antithesis-synthesis, but he acknowledges the widely accepted usage.
Third (and here is where you drift into absurdity), you "won't question that idea that Hegel didn't believe in a 'transcendent' God," but you say I "falsely assume that a non-transcendent god isn't a god." A transcendent God is the Judeo-Christian-Muslim God of theism, a god whose mind and body exist apart from or "above" the physical universe; it is the opposite of an "immanent" God, who has no supernatural mind and whose body metaphysically participates in the physical universe as a supernatural "essence" or "substance" (Spinoza). If your "God" is merely metaphysical (pantheism), or if is redefined as something entirely nonsupernatural (nature, Love, or humanity), "God" is merely a figurative redefinition of God used by an atheist who wants to pretend to be a believer in order to avoid social criticism. If you don't believe in the God of theism -- and you have conceded that Hegel didn't -- then you are an atheist. And without realizing it, you have conceded that Hegel was an atheist.
Fourth, you seem to assert that the "consensus" among Hegel scholars is that Hegel did not use dialectics to express his atheism. That's beside the point. This is an article about thesis-antithesis-dialectics. That's what needs to be defined and explained. Thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics is real and was used by Hegel and Marx and Tillich (even if you disagree). But even if Hegel didn't use it (and Marx and Tillich are wrong in saying he did), that "consensus" would not invalidate the description. You need to be more careful when you implicitly assert that there is no such thing as thesis-antithesis-dialectics if Hegel didn't use what he calls "the triadic form."Atticusattor (talk) 17:13, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Pardon me for beating a dead horse, but I’m moved to say a few more words about your strange idea that a person might not qualify as an atheist if he/she claims to believe in a "God" that is not the god of theism. Atheism is disbelief in the God of theism; it is not disbelief in any old “God” such as the God of deism, or a purely metaphysical God that lacks a transcendent mind, or a figurative god that (not Who) is not supernatural at all. The god of theism (“God”) is a rational, self-conscious supernatural being who (a person, not a “which”) takes an interest in human affairs, intervenes in and influences events on earth at least occasionally, and (at least in the eyes of most churchgoing believers) appreciates or even demands worship and praise, sometimes withholding favors from persons who are insufficiently reverent. If the “God” a person claims to believe in does not fit this description – does not have a transcendent supernatural mind or is uninterested in human affairs – then “He” is not the God of theism. And “belief” in such an substitute God is atheism. Hence when a person, in order to avoid social disapproval, claims to believe in God but redefines God as nature (most self-styled pantheists) or humanity (Hegel, Tillich) or society (the Pinkard-Westphal interpretation of Hegel’s Spirit) or Love (Bishop Robinson) or Life (a friend of mine), that person has redefined the God of theism out of existence. That person is therefore an atheist. That person does not believe in the God of theism. You are being absurd when you claim that Hegel, because he calls his nonsupernatural Spirit “God,” might not qualify as atheist.Atticusattor (talk) 22:57, 31 December 2013 (UTC)
Atticusattor obviously copies those bizarre equations from Wheat (2012). The assertions of this book are contrary to the consensus of Hegel specialists (see Frederick C. Beiser (ed.) 1993:315, Charles Margrave Taylor 1975:102, Robert B. Pippin 1989:80). See also my comments here. --Omnipaedista (talk) 14:43, 19 December 2013 (UTC)
See my earlier reply to Anonymous, where I point out that both Beiser (who misrepresents Hegel as praising Kant's version of dialectics) and Pinkard (who actually identifies Hegel as an atheist, without using that word) have serious misconceptions about Hegel's dialectics.Atticusattor (talk) 20:02, 25 December 2013 (UTC)
(1) "[Beiser] falsely -- very falsely -- says 'Hegel did praise 'the triadic form' that had been rediscovered by Kant,' whereas in truth..." Well, you might want to read this policy page: Wikipedia:Verifiability; or this essay: Wikipedia:Truth.
(2) "But 'equations' is your word, not mine. Why are you imputing it to me?" Let me put it in simpler terms, then. You inserted those bizarre equations that one can currently find in the article — you have apparently copypasted them from Wheat 2012. Those equations are bizarre because no respectable Hegelian scholar employs such simplistic models to convey dialectical thought. Not even primary sources about dialectics (Hegel 1807; Engels 1883) employ such models.
(3) "The dialectics definitely are concealed, for they are used to covertly express his atheism". Read my previous post. All three authoritative sources cited above explicitly reject the claim that Hegel was an atheist. There are some less authoritative sources (such as Raymond Keith Williamson 1984:216ff) that put into question whether Hegelian philosophy is theistic. However, even those sources eventually conclude that he was not an atheist: "motivated by the recognition of the errors of theism, and the inevitable "rebellious" atheism, [Hegel] attempted, by his concept of absolute Spirit, to express the truth of the ultimate, namely, that we are a manifestation of that which is not also a part but is the ground of the whole. Like Tillich, Hegel also held that this truth is to be found in Christianity; but, given the fact that religion expresses its truth in myths and symbols, which the religious consciousness can easily take literally, it is almost unavoidable that the truth should be distorted in a way that gives rise to the theistic God. Also, like Tillich, who spoke of the "God above God," whom he described as the "ground of our being", Hegel spoke of absolute Spirit, not for the purpose of abolishing the truth of Christianity, but so that that truth may be set free from the narrow restrictions that had become associated with traditional theological forms (Williamson 1984:297–298)." --Omnipaedista (talk) 12:01, 1 January 2014 (UTC)
Circumstantial evidence suggests that Atticusattor may well be Leonard F. Wheat himself. If that is the case, then Wheat has been taking over large sections of many articles on Hegel and Marx to expound his own views. Even if Atticusattor is not Wheat but merely a devoted follower, it is surely not acceptable in an encyclopedia to have one interpreter's views given such prominence. Note that the publisher's website promoting Wheat's book on Hegel says, "For over fifty years, Hegel interpreters have rejected the former belief that Hegel used thesis-antithesis-synthesis dialectics. In this incisive analysis of Hegel’s philosophy, Leonard F. Wheat shows that the modern interpretation is false." So whether or not Wheat's interpretation is correct, it is certainly not in line with most recent scholarship. I have no objection to modest references to Wheat in various Wikipedia articles, but as things stand, someone who comes to Wikipedia for information on Hegel or Marx might be left with the impression that Leonard F. Wheat is the world's acknowledged foremost authority on those figures. Scales (talk) 03:30, 3 January 2014 (UTC)
Ahem. You may wish to read WP:OUTING. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 06:23, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Its not strictly outing if an author is using an ID to promote his/her own views. it is legitimate to formally ask Atticusattor if they have any special relationship with Wheat ----Snowded TALK 08:49, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Feel free to revert or delete any part of my comment above that you think is inappropriate. Scales (talk) 09:06, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
To quote WP:OUTING: "Posting another editor's personal information is harassment, unless that person had voluntarily posted his or her own information, or links to such information, on Wikipedia. Personal information includes legal name, date of birth, identification numbers, home or workplace address, job title and work organisation, telephone number, email address, or other contact information, whether any such information is accurate or not." Unless Atticusattor has voluntarily revealed his or her legal name, it's not acceptable to post that information. Despite what Snowded said above, WP:OUTING doesn't include an exception for cases when "an author is using an ID to promote his/her own views." I am not going to redact anyone's posts, but they arguably ought to be redacted. I may report this situation to an admin if there are further efforts to expose editors' real-life names. The admin can then judge what should be done. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 19:31, 5 January 2014 (UTC)
Special:Contributions/138.88.235.102goethean 23:22, 7 January 2014 (UTC)
I don't understand you. That IP made two edits, both in 2007, and neither seems at all relevant to this discussion. FreeKnowledgeCreator (talk) 23:31, 7 January 2014 (UTC)


Poor Henry and Anne Paolucci -- not even mentioned once by anyone in this entire discussion page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ditc (talkcontribs) 18:25, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Fichte: A Neo-Kantian?[edit]

I doubt it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 94.220.221.162 (talk) 14:34, 5 April 2014 (UTC)