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The Problem of Nature in Hegel's Final System$
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Wes Furlotte

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781474435536

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474435536.001.0001

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The Instability of Space-Time and the Contingency of Necessity

The Instability of Space-Time and the Contingency of Necessity

(p.32) Chapter 2 The Instability of Space-Time and the Contingency of Necessity
The Problem of Nature in Hegel's Final System

Wes Furlotte

Edinburgh University Press

The second chapter shifts from a general outline of the thesis concerning nature’s extrinsicality in order to substantiate its plausibility. It begins with a reconstruction of the basal categories with which Hegel’s philosophy of nature begins, i.e. space and time. Hegel frames space and time in terms of indeterminacy and externality such that we cannot speak of a distinct unit(y), or internality, of space or time, both features which are crucial to conceptuality and subjectivity. In this special sense, Hegelian nature begins in a void. Space-time displays an utter failure at auto-articulation. The chapter then outlines the duplicitous signification of Hegel’s analysis. It argues that while Hegel’s analysis is fundamentally concerned with conceptual discourse it is not solely concerned with discourse. Consequently, at an ontological level, the striking contingency of Hegelian nature. There is no necessity in advance that this or that thing emerges though definite ones certainly do, e.g. the objects of physics and those of mechanics. Instead, there is a contingent array of objects that thought references and then must, retroactively, construct an account of their necessary interrelations. However, this necessity is one that is posited retroactively and so displays the contingency of thought’s narrative concerning necessity.

Keywords:   Space-Time’s Indeterminacy, The Spurious Infinite, The Contingency of Necessity

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