From: Campbell Jones <campbell.jones@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 03 Oct 1997 15:32:08 +1200
At 21:29 02/10/97 -0400, John Ransom wrote:
>... and asserting that world history
>evolves according to an inner necessity that works itself out in the
>manifestations of Spirit (Hegel) or a succession of economic forms (Marx).
Is it really fair to argue that Hegel's system involves inserting the
category of evolution into history? This is a standard knock-down argument
used against Hegel, but in my mind is about as interesting as Habermas'
objection that all that Foucault finds in his 'genealogy of Modernity' is
the eternal return of power (in The Philosophical Discourse of MOdernity?).
To much like the caricature that you draw to parody commentator's on
Foucualt in your preface, John!!!
Such an image is overly simplistic in that it fails to draw a distinction
between 'evolution' in the Spencerian/Parsonian sense and 'aufhebung' in
the Hegelian/Marxian sense. Two significant points of divergence: (1) the
latter involves revolutionary change (rupture/discontinuity), (2) the
latter is the result of definite action in specific contexts (even if we
make history in conditions which are not of our own making).
I make these comments so that we avoid 'absorbing, digesting and
neutralising' (sorry to readers of Kristeva, i couldn't resist) the key
critical and radical moments in Hegel's thought. And in this I agree
entirely with John that Hegel is a critic, even if not a 'leftist'.
University of Otago