The Dialectical System

I found Hegel’s dialectical system to be very interesting because of the historical perspective he incorporated into his philosophical system. I related the dialectical system to the virtue ethics system in the sense that a virtue is defined by the mean between an extreme and its counterpart. Similarly, the dialectical system is constructed of a thesis (one extreme) and an antithesis (counterpart), and historically, according to Hegel, both extremes produce a synthesis.

But before I further get into the dialectical system, let’s discuss Hegel’s idea of absolute idealism and how Hegel was able to relate historical biblical accounts to this idea. Absolute idealism is the idea that nothing but ideas exist. Through this idea, Hegel equated “mind” with “divine mind”. In other words, this means that if mind equals reality, then reality equals God. Using absolute idealism, Hegel attempted to explain creation.

He did so by saying: God, a Pure Being, attempted to think of himself, but because the idea of a Pure Being is an impossible thought, he thought nothing. Therefore he equated being to nothingness. We can see how God “self-alienated” himself, and according to Hegel, this “self-alienation” accounts for the “fallen angel” or Satan. The way I understood this concept, was that Satan was the “nothingness” God thought about when he attempted to think of himself. By distancing himself from his own essence as a Pure, Ultimate Being, he was alienating himself from his own divinity. This alienation is displayed when Satan is casted out God’s kingdom.

Now, how can we relate Hegel’s dialectical system to the example of God’s self-alienation? The impossible ideas of Pure- Being and Pure-Nothingness account for the two extremes that construct the dialectical system. These two extremes are the limitations of human thinking. This, we see, forms the structure of all thoughts when Hegel attributes “Becoming”, or the synthesis,  to be the combination of both extremes.


One thought on “The Dialectical System

  1. You have a lot of good and heavy concepts here. The concept of pure being and the concept of pure nothingness is sometimes difficult to get your head around. If there is pure being somewhere, then there has to be pure nothingness somewhere as well. Being pure being is all being and nothingness is the lack of being.

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