domingo, 21 de octubre de 2012

La idea central de la Fenomenología del Espíritu

Hay varias ideas claves o centrales en la Fenomenología del Espíritu de Hegel—muchas, muchísimas—pero a ver si las enfocamos lo más posible para centrarlas en una sola: la reflexividad del conocimiento y la manera en que trasciende a su objeto una vez lo ha expresado en una representación determinada. La relación del conocimiento con el objeto que ha constituido mediante su acción se convierte en un nuevo objeto de conocimiento, y el proceso prosigue a modo de espiral dialéctica o hermenéutica. Sobre este tipo de espirales o círculos hermenéuticos retroalimentativos puede verse mi artículo "La espiral hermenéutica".

En el prólogo a la Fenomenología del Espíritu, escrito tras la obra misma, Hegel introduce no tanto la obra sino todo su sistema. Aparte del prólogo, está la Introducción a esta obra. Según su comentador J. N. Findlay, "el objetivo de la introducción es proporcionar una noción preliminar, justificada sólo cuando se completase la obra, sobre cómo un estudio de las formas de la mente que nos conducen desde la experiencia inmediata hasta lo que se proclama como conocimiento científico, podría disipar dudas sobre la posibilidad real de todo el proyecto" (xiii, traduzco). Es decir, Hegel es consciente de un problema de reflexividad o de regressus in infinitum planteado por la idea misma de un análisis del conocimiento, o por una fenomenología del espíritu.



"Might not the finally corrected shape which emerged from such a process be as remote from things 'as they in themselves are' as the first, uncorrected, immediate shape? And how could the projected work abolish Kant's view that an examination of human knowledge only shows, not that such knowledge can really reach some standpoint where 'the Absolute' or 'the Thing in Itself' will be accessible to it, but that this is for ever and in itself impossible, that there are and must be aspects of things that we can indeed conceive negatively, or perhaps have beliefs about, but of which we can neve have knowledge?" (xiv)

La solución ofrecida por Hegel me parece propiamente fenomenológica en el sentido husserliano—una reducción fenomenológica del problema del conocimiento y de sus objetos. Los supuestos objetos trascendentales son, también, un producto y objeto del conocimiento:


"Hegel's criticism of this critical view of knowledge is simply that it is self-refuting, that it pronounces, even if negatively, on the relation of conscious appearances to absolute reality, while claiming that the latter must for ever transcend knowledge. To this self-refuting view Hegel opposes the view that the distinction between what things in themselves are, and what things only are for consciousness or knowledge, must itself be a distinction drawn within consciousness, that the former can be only the corrected view of an object, while the latter is merely a view formerly entertained but now abandoned as incorrect. The progress of knowledge will then consist in the constant demotion of what appeared to be the absolute truth about the object to what now appears to be the only way that the object appeared to consciousness, a new appearance of absolute truth taking the former's place. (xiv).

—así Hegel, a modo de un T. S. Kuhn del siglo XIX, relativiza el conocimiento y sus absolutos, y los muestra como etapas de un autoconocimiento, una vez se comprenden como tales, claro está, y así el espíritu va continuamente sufriendo revoluciones epistemológicas, superándose a sí mismo y dejando atrás sus antiguas representaciones y certidumbres, que quedan reinterpretadas, reenmarcadas y concebidas ahora como fases de un proceso que lleva hasta el Saber Absoluto—obtenido cuando abandonamos la concepción dogmática o ingenua del conocimiento, para pasar a una concepción dialéctica y reflexiva del mismo.

En la Introducción encontramos esta reflexión hegeliana sobre la reflexión, o sobre la reflexividad, y sobre la manera en que el conocimiento lleva a su propia autosuperación sin límite ni final posible, a no ser esta comprensión reflexiva de lo que significa conocer y lo que significan los avances en la comprensión:

§78. (...) The series of configurations which consciousness goes through along this road is, in reality, the detailed history of the education of consciousness itself to the standpoint of Science. (...)

§80. But the goal is as necessarily fixed for knowledge as the serial progression; it is the point where knowledge no longer needs to go beyond itself, where knowledge finds itself, where Notion corresponds to object and object to Notion. Hence the progress towards this goal is also unhalting, and short of it no satisfaction is to be found at any of the stations on the way. Whatever is confined within the limits of a natural life cannot by its own efforts go beyond its immediate existence; but it is driven beyond it by something else, and this uprooting entails its death. Consciousness, however, is explicitly the Notion of itself. Hence it is something that goes beyond limits, and since these limits are its own, it is something that goes beyond itself. With the positing of a single particular the beyond is also established for consciousness, even if it is onlyalongside the limited object as in the case of spatial intuition. Thus consciousness  suffers this violence at its own hands: it spoils its own limited satisfaction. When consciousness feels this violence, its anxiety may well make it retreat from the truth, and strive to hold on to what it is in danger of losing. But it can find no peace. If it wishes to remain in a state of unthinking inertia, then thought troubles its thoughtlessness, and its own unrest disturbs its inertia. Or, if it entrenches itself into sentimentality, which assures us that it finds everything to be good in its kind, then the assurance likewise suffers violence at the hands of Reason, for precisely in so far as something is merely a kind, Reason finds it not to be good. Or, again, its fear of the truth may lead consciousness to hide, from itself and from others, behind the pretension that its burning zeal for truth makes it difficult or even impossible to find any other truth but the unique truth of vanity—that of being at any rate cleverer than any thoughts that one gets by oneself or from others. This conceit which understands how to belittle every truth, in order to turn back on itself and gloat over its own understanding, which knows how to dissolve every thought and always find the same barren Ego instead of any content—this is a satisfaction which we must leave to itself, for it flees from the universal, and seeks only to be for itself. 

Se hace extraña la formulación de Hegel a veces por la manera en que presenta esta aventura del espíritu como la de una consciencia que se va superando y conociendo a sí misma—cuando (en nuestra concepción más usual hoy) es la confrontación entre distintas consciencias, el encuentro con la alteridad no en uno mismo sino en las concepciones de otros, lo que lleva a superar las concepciones concretas. Pero es otra manera de ponerlo, quizá: después de todo, la conciencia que se vive como alteridad ha de ser representada como una fase de la conciencia crítica que la supera. Y esta reconceptualización o esta nueva experiencia del objeto ya es, bien observa Hegel, la experiencia de otro objeto, de un objeto transformado por la nueva manera en que se lo conoce, el nuevo punto de vista desde el cual se ve:

§85. (...) in fact, in the alteration of the knowledge, the object itself alters for it too, for the knowledge that was present was essentially a knowledge of the object : as the knowledge changes, so does the object, for it essentially belonged to this knowledge. Hence it comes to pass for consciousness that what it previously took to be the in-itself is not an in-itself, or that it was only an in-itself for consciousness. Since consciousness thus finds that its knowledge does not correspond to  its object, the object itself does not stand the test; in other words, the criterion for testing is altered when that for which it was to have been the criterion fails to pass the test, and the testing is not only a testing of what we know, but also a testing of the criterion of what knowing is.

§86. Inasmuch as the new true object issued from it, this dialectical movement wheich consciousness exercises on itself and which affects both its knowledge and its object, is precisely what is called experience [Erfahrung]. (...)


El conocimiento viene a ser una transición sucesiva de puntos de vista, o un juego de marcos, de frames como diría Goffman, reenmarcando la experiencia anteriormente asimilada en una nueva relacion al sujeto, a su mundo y a su nueva comprensión. Aquí es interesante la teoría de Hegel como fundamento filosófico de la noción de topsight o perspectiva dominante, entendida aquí como aplicable a la comprensión de la realidad última de las cosas o de formulación de la verdad de una situación. No es sorprendente que esta posición de topsight la identifique Hegel con su propia concepción reflexiva y dialéctica de la experiencia y del conocimiento de la misma, de la fenomenología del espíritu por decirlo con los términos que dan título a la obra:

§87. (...) From the present viewpoint, however, the new object shows itself to have come about through a reversal of consciousness itself [y no de un encuentro con la alteridad sin más.] This way of looking at the matter is something contributed by us, by means of which the succession of experiences through which consciousness passes is raised into a scientific progression—but it is not known to the consciousness  that we are observing.

Es en cierto modo lo que Paul de Man formulará en términos de blindness and insight—sólo que Hegel deja claro que el insight pertenece a la conciencia observadora de la primera conciencia superada, en la percepción de la blindness podríamos decir. La anulación o superación de una fase de la consciencia supone también la pervivencia de lo que había de cierto en esa modalidad del conocimiento, aunque se manifieste en forma diferente.

(sigue §87) It shows up here like this: since what first appeared as the object sinks for consciousness to the level of its way of knowing it, and since the in-itself becomes a being-for-consciousness of the in-itself,, the latter is now the new object. Herewith a new pattern of consciousness comes on the scene as well, for which the essence is something different from what it was at the preceding stage. It is this fact that guides the entire series of the patterns of consciousness in their necessary sequence. But it is just this necessity itself, or the origination of the new object, that presents itself to consciousenss without its understanding how this happens, which proceeds for us, as it were, behind the back of consciousness. Thus in the movement of consciousness there occurs a moment of being-in-itself or being-for-us which is not present to the consciousness comprehended in the experience itself. The content, however, of what presents itself to us does exist for it; we comprehend only the formal aspect of that content, or its pure origination. For it, what has thus arisen exists only as an object; for us, it appears at the same time as movement and a process of becoming.

(—o sea, la fenomenología del espíritu propiamente dicha). Este es el razonamiento que aplica Hegel, por ejemplo, para la desconstrucción de las creencias religiosas, pero también a todas las demás fases del espíritu. Constituye con ello una filosofía esencialmente narrativa, de una narratividad guiada por la reflexividad y la ironía romántica, en la que el juego de sucesivos puntos de vista y el rechazo de las formas de experiencia y representación que se han vuelto inauténticas es la dinámica misma y sustancia del progreso del conocimiento, y el ser mismo del espíritu en tanto que espíritu activo y pensante.


Así comenta Findlay la manera en que Hegel incorpora la reflexividad a su sistema para a la vez darle un cierre conceptual a su concepción, sin por ello pasar a concebir el conocimiento como algo que pueda cesar en su movimiento de autosuperación:

"Hegel, however, assumes that this progress must have a final term, a state where knowledge need no longer transcend or correct itself, where it will discover itself in its object and its object in itself, where concept will correspond to objet and object to consciousness (see §80 (p. 69)). Such a conception might seem to go too far, for surely an endless inadequacy of knowledge to its object would not destroy all meaning and validity in such knowledge, nor would this vanish were there to be aspects of things of which, as Kant held, we could only frame negative, regulative conceptions but of which we could never have definite knowledge? Hegel will, however, marvellously include in his final notion of the final state of knowledge the notion of an endless progress that can have no final term. For he conceives that, precisely in seeing the objet as an endless problem, we fortwith see it as not being a problem at all. For what the object in itself is, is simple to be the other, the stimulant of knowledge and practice, which in being for ever capable of being remoulded and reinterpereted, is also everlastingly pinned down and found out being just what it is." (xiv).

O, dicho con las palabras de Hegel que cierran la Introducción (y en cierto modo abren y cierran la Fenomenología),
§89. The experience of itself which consciousness goes through can, in accordance with its Notion, comprehend nothing less than the entire system of consciousness, or the entire realm of the truth of the Spirit. For this reason, the moments of this truth are exhibited in their own proper determinateness, viz. as being not abstract moments, but as they are for consciousness, or as consciousness itself stands forth in its relation to them. Thus the moments of the whole are patterns of consciousness. In pressing forward to its true existence, consciousness will arrive at a point at which it gets rid of its semblance of being burdened with something alien, with what is only for it, and some sort of 'other', at a point where appearance becomes identical with essence, so that its exposition will coincide at just this point with the authentic Science of Spirit. And finally, when consciousness itself grasps this its own essence, it will signify the nature of absolute knowledge itself.

—oOo—

Se me ocurre que esta formulación hegeliana de la relación entre la mente y el objeto la podemos leer como una teoría hermenéutica sobre el significado de los textos también—son objetos al fin y al cabo, en sentido amplio—y por tanto, más en concreto, como una caracterización de nuestra propia respuesta a la Fenomenología del Espíritu. En tanto que teoría hermenéutica, está en la dialéctica hegeliana la base del interaccionismo simbólico como teoría del significado de los objetos: significado no objetivo (no residente en el objeto) ni subjetivo (no asignado por la mente del intérprete sin más) sino precisamente dialéctico y dialógico, una respuesta a un proceso de interacción entre el intérprete y otros intérpretes—en el caso estudiado por Hegel, las interpretaciones recibidas que hacen que el objeto sea para nosotros lo que es, antes de ser transformado por nuestro reposicionamiento y nuestra reconceptualización del mismo.

Tiene la empresa de Hegel un fuerte componente retrospectivizante, o retroactivizante, como todo proceso basado en la dialéctica reinterpretativa, o en la circulación hermenéutica. Distingue constantemente la mente observadora del fenomenólogo analista (el autor Hegel, o el "narrador" de la obra si se quiere) de las aventuras del héroe, el Espíritu sólo parcialmente consciente de sí, encarnándose en un avatar tras otro: "It is important to realize that the sensing, perceiving, understanding and self-conscious mind does not perceive the logical connections which lead from each of these stages to the next. It is we, the phenomenologists, who perceive them. (....) It is the watching phenomenologist who discerns all these transitions, and who above all performs the difficult, non-formal transition from 'Things are interacting in a manner X' to 'We all are understanding things as interacting in a mannerX" (xvi). Como en otras narraciones, es el discurso el que guía nuestra atención aquí y nos lleva de la mano por una colección de experiencias que no podríamos tener si no por el hilo conductor que nos proporciona, su control del tiempo, de los personajes, del punto de vista, y del comentario evaluador.

Llama la atención Findlay sobre la crítica de Hegel al reduccionismo—algo dijimos ya sobre esto a cuenta de Raymond Tallis y la nueva refutación de la frenología. Hoy en día el reduccionismo aparece en forma de la neurociencia cognitiva, las resonancias neuronales, etc., a las que en última instancia podemos aplicar el mismo razonamiento hegeliano que Findlay propone aplicar prospectivamente a los behavioristas, Watson y Tolman y Skinner, a saber, que "The manoeuvres of reductionism are accordingly vain: if mind can be modelled by matter, matter must be possessed of every intricate modality of mind. Nothing has been achieved by the 'reduction', and, since the phenomena of self-consciousness are richer and more intrinsically intelligible than the limited repertoire that we ordinarily ascribe to matter, it is matter rather than mind that is thereby reduced" (xix).

Pero puedo dispersarme. Para dirigir la atención al centro mismo de la cuestión, transcribo aquí dos secciones relacionadas: al ya citado final de la Introducción de Hegel a la Fenomenología, §80-88, compararemos y superpondremos el final de la sección sobre el Conocimiento Absoluto, §§ 800-808, bonita simetría o correspondencia. Con estos párrafos termina la Fenomenología del Espíritu:


§800. But as regards the existence of this Notion, Science does not appear in Time and in the actual world before Spirit has attained to this consciousness about itself. As Spirit that knows what it is, it does not exist before, and nowhere at all, till after the completion of its work of compelling its imperfect 'shape' to procure for its consciousness the 'shape' of its essence, and in this way to equate its self-consciousness with its own consciousness. Spirit that is in and for itself and differentiated into its moments is a knowing that is for itself, a comprehension in general that, as such, substance has not yet reached, i.e. substance is not in its own self an absolute knowing.

§801. Now, in actuality, the substance that knows exists earlier than its form or its Notion-determined 'shape'. For substance is the as yet undeveloped in-itself, or the Ground and Notion in its still unmoved simplicity, and therefore the inwardness of the Self of the Spirit that does not yet exist. What is there, exists as the still undeveloped simple and immediate, or as the object of the picture-thinking consciousness in general. Cognition, because it is the spiritual consciousness for which what is in itself only is, in so far as it is a being for the Self and a being of the Self or Notion, has for this reason at first only a meagre object, in contrast with which substance and the consciousness of this substance are richer. The disclosure or revelation which substance has in this consciousness is in fact concealment, for substance is still for self-less being and what is disclosed to it is only the certainty of itself. At first, therefore, only the abstract moments of susbstance belong to self- consciousness; but since these, as pure movements, spontaneously impel themselves onward, self-consciousness enriches itself till it has wrested from consciousness the entire substance and has absorbed into itself the entire structure of the essentialities of substance. And, since this negative attitude to objectivity is just as much positive, it is a positing, it has produced them out of itself, and in so doing has at the same time restored them for consciousness. In the Notion that knows itself as Notion, the moments thus appear earlier than the filled [or fulfilled] whole whose coming-to-be is the movement of those moments. In consciousness, on the other hand, the whole, though uncomprehended, is prior to the moments. Time is the Notion itself that is there and which presents itself to consciousness as an empty intuition; for this reason, Spirit necessarily appears in Time, and it appears in Time just so long as it has not grasped its pure Notion, i.e. has not annulled Time. It is the outer, intuited pure Self which is not grasped by the Self, the merely intuited Notion; when this latter grasps itself it sets aside its Time-form, comprehends this intuiting, and is a comprehended and comprehending intuiting. Time, therefore, appears as the destiny and necessity of Spirit that is not yet complete within itself, the necessity to enrich the share which self-consciousness has in consciousness, to set in motion the immediacy of the in-itself, which is the form in which substance is present to consciousness; or conversely, to realize and reveal what is at first only inward (the in-itself being taken as what is inward), i.e. to vindicate it for Spirit's certainty of itself.

§802. For this reason it must be said that nothing is known that is not in experience, or, as it is also expressed, that is not felt to be true, not given as an inwardly revealed eternal verity, as something sacred that is believed, or whatever other expressions have been used. For experience is just this, the content—which is Spirit—is in itself substance, and therefore an object of consciousness. But this substance which is Spirit in the process in which Spirit becomes what it is in itself ; and it is only as this process of reflecting itself into itself that it is in itself truly Spirit. It is in itself the movement which is cognition—the transformation of the in-itself into that which is for itself, of Substance into Subject, of the object ofconsciousness into an object of self-consciousness, i.e. into an object that is just as much superseded, or into the Notion. [Compárese este aserto con el proceso resultante del psicoanálisis según Freud: "donde estaba el ello, allí estará el yo"]. The movement is the circle that returns into itself, the circle that presupposes its beginning and reaches it only at the end. [De ahí el dicho de Hegel de que la lechuza de Atenea emprende el vuelo sólo al llegar la noche.] Hence, so far as Spirit is necessarily this immanent differentiation, its intuited whole appears over against its simple self-consciousness, and since, then, the former is what is differentiated, it is differentiated into its intuited pure Notion, into Time and into the content or into the in-itself.  Substance is charged, as Subject, with the at first only inward necessity of setting forth within itself what is in itself, of exhibiting itself as Spirit.  Only when the objective presentation is complete it is at the same time the reflection of substance or the process in which substance becomes Self. Consequently, until Spirit has completed itself in itself, until it has completed itself as world-Spirit, it cannot reach its consummation as self-conscious Spirit. Therefore, the content of religion proclaims earlier in time than does Science, what Spirit is, but only Science is its true knowledge of itself.

§803. The movement of carrying forward the form of its self-knowledge is the labour which it accomplishes as actual History. The religious community, so far as it is at first the substance of absolute Spirit, is the uncultivated consciousness whose existence is all the harsher and more barbarous the deeper its inner Spirit is, and the deeper its Spirit is, the harder the task that its torpid Self has within its essence, with the alien content of its consciousness. Not until consciousness has given us hope of overcoming that alienation in an external, i.e. alien, manner does it turn to itself, because the overcoming of that alienation is the return into self-consciousness; not until then does it turn to its own present world and discover it as its property, thus taking the first step towards coming down out of the intellectual world, or rather towards quickening the abstract element of that world with the actual Self. Through Observation it finds, on the one hand, existence in the shape of Thought and comprehends it, and, conversely, in its thinking it comprehends existence. When, to begin with, it has thus expressed the immediate unity of Thought and Being,the unity of abstract essence and the Self, abstractly; and when it has expressed the primal Light in a purer form, viz. as unity of extension and being—for extension is the simple unity which more nearly resembles pure thought than light does—and in so doing has revived in thought theSubstance of the Orient, Spirit at once recoils in horror from the abstract unity, from this self-less substantiality, and against it affirms individuality. But only after it has externalized this individuality in the sphere of culture, thereby giving it an existence, and establishing it throughout the whole of existence—only after Spirit has arrived at the thought of utility, and in its absolute freedom has grasped existence as its will, only then does it turn the thought of its inmost depth outwards and enunciate essence as 'I'='I'. But this 'I'='I' is the movement which reflects itself into itself; for since this identity, being absolute negativity, is absolute difference, the self-identity of the 'I' stands over against this pure difference which, as pure and at the same time objetive to the self-knowing Self, has to be expressed as Time. So that, just as previously essence was declared to be the unity of Thought and Extension, it would now have to be grasped as the unity of Thought and Extension, it would now have to be grasped as the unity of Thought and Time. But the difference left to itself, unresting and unhalting Time, collapses rather within itself; it is the objective repose of extension, while extension is pure identity with itself, the 'I'. In other words, the 'I' is not merely the Self, but theidentity of the Self with itself; but this identity is complete and immediate oneness with Self, or 
this Subject is just as much Substance. Substance, just by itself, would be intuition devoid of content, or the intuition of a content which, as determinate, would be only accidental and would lack necessity. Substance would pass for the Absolute only in so far as it was thought or intuited as absolute unity; and all content would, as regards its diversity, have to fall outside of it into Reflection; and Reflection does not pertain to Substance, because Substance would not be Subject, would not be grasped as reflecting on itself and reflecting itself into itself, would not ne grasped as Spirit. If a content were to be spoken of anyway, it would, on the one hand, only be spoken of in order to cast it into the empty abyss of the Absolute, and on the other, it would be a content picked up in external fashion from sense-perception. Knowledge would seem to have come by things, by what is different from itself, and by the difference of a variety of things, without comprehending how and whence they came.

§804. Spirit, however, has shown itself to us to be neither merely the withdrawal of self-consciousness into its pure inwardness, nor the mere submergence of self-consciousness into substance, and the non-being of its [moment of] difference; but Spirit is this movement of the Self which empties itself of itself and sinks itself into its substance, and also, as Subject, has gone out of that substance into itself, making the substance into an object and a content at the same time as it cancels tis difference between objectivity and content. That first reflection out of immediacy is the Subject's differentiation of itself from its substance, or the Notion's separation of itself from itself, the withdrawal into itself and the becoming of the pure 'I'. Since this difference is the pure act of 'I'='I', the Notion is the necessity and the uprising of existence which has substance for its essence and subsists on its own account. But this subsistence of existence on its own account is the Notion posited  in determinateness and is thus also its immanent movement, that of going down into the simple substance, which is Subject only as this negativity and movement. The 'I' has neither to cling to itself in the form of self-consciousness as against the form of substantiality and objectivity, as if it were afraid of the externalization of itself: the power of Spirit lies rather in remaining the selfsame Spirit in its externalization and, as that which is both in itself andfor itself, in making its being-for-self no less merely a moment than its in-itself; nor is Spirit a tertium quid that casts the differences back into the abyss of the Absolute and declares that therein they are all the same; on the contrary, knowing is this seeming inactivity which merely contemplates how what is differentiated spontaneously moves into its own self and returns into its unity.

§805. In this knowing, then, Spirit has concluded the movement in which it has shaped itself, in so far as this shaping was burdened with the difference of consciousness [i.e. of the latter from its object], a difference now overcome. Spirit has won the pure element of its existence, the Notion. The content, in accordance with the freedom of its being, is the self-alienating Self, or the immediate unity of self-knowledge. The pure movement of this alienation, considered in connection with the content, constitutes the necessity of the content. The distinct content, asdeterminate, is in relation, is not 'in itself'; it is its own restless process of superseding itself, or negativity ; therefore, negativity or diversity, like free being, is also the Self; and in this self-like form in which existence is immediately thought, the content is the Notion. Spirit, therefore, having won the Notion, displays its existence and movement in this ether of its life and is Science.  In this, the moments of its movement no longer exhibit themselves as specific shapes of consciousness, but—since consciousness's difference has returned into the Self—as specific Notions and as their organic self-grounded movement. Whereas in the phenomenology of Spirit each moment is the difference of knowledge and Truth, and is the movement in which that difference is cancelled, Science on the other hand does not contain this difference and the cancelling of it. On the contrary, since the moment has the form of the Notion, it unites the objective form of Truth and of the knowing Self in an immediate unity. The moment does not appear as this movement of passing back and forth, from consciousness or picture-thinking into self-consciousness, and conversely: on the contrary, its pure shape, freed from its appearance in consciousness, the pure Notion and its onward movement, depends solely on its pure determinateness. Conversely, to each abstract moment of Science corresponds a shape of manifest Spirit as such. Just as Spirit in its existence is not richer than Science, so too it is not poorer either in content. To know the pure Notions of Science in this form of shapes of consciousness constitutes this side of their reality, in accordance with which their essence, the Notion, which is posited in them in its simplemediation as thinking, breaks asunder the moments of this mediation and exhibits itself in accordance with the inner antithesis.

§806. Science contains within itself this necessity of externalizing the form of the Notion, and it contains the passage of the Notion intoconsciousness. For the self-knowing Spirit, just because it grasps its Notion, is the immediate identity with itself which, in its difference, is thecertainty of immediacy, or sense-consciousness—the beginning from which we started. This release of itself from the form of its Self is the supreme freedom and assurance of its self-knowledge.

§807. Yet this externalization is still incomplete; it expresses the connection of its self-certainty with the object which, just because it is thus connected, has not yet won its complete freedom. The self-knowing Spirit knows not only itself but also the negative of itself, or its limit: to know one's limit is to know how to sacrifice oneself. This sacrifice is the externalization in which Spirit displays the process of its becoming Spirit in the form of free contingent happening, intuiting its pure Self as Time outside of it, and equally its Being as Space. This last becoming of Spirit,Nature, is its living immediate Becoming; Nature, the externalized Spirit, is in its existence nothing but this eternal externalization of its continuing existence and the movement which reinstates the Subject.

§808. But the othe side of its Becoming, History, is a consicous, self-mediating process—Spirit emptied out into Time; but this externalization, this kenosis, is equally an externalization of itself; the negative is the negative of itself. This Becoming presents a slow-moving succession of Spirits, a gallery of images, each of which, endowed with all the riches of Spirit, moves thus slowly just because the Self has to penetrate and digest this entire wealth of its substance. As its fulfilment consists in perfectly knowing what it is, in knowing its substance, this knowing is itswithdrawal into itself in which it abandons its outer existence and gives its existential shape over to recollection. Thus absorbed in itself, it is sunk in the night of its self-consciousness; but in that night its vanished outer existence is preserved, and this transformed existence—the former one, but now reborn of the Spirit's knowledge—is the new existence, a new world and a new shape of Spirit. In the immediacy of this new existnece the Spirit has to start afresh to bring itself to maturity as if, for it, all that preceded were lost and it had learned nothing from the experience of the earlier Spirits. But recollection, the inwardizing, of that experience, has preserved it and is the inner being, and in fact the higher form of the substance. So although this Spirit starts afresh and apparently from its own resources to bring itself to maturity, it is nonetheless on a higher level that it starts [—a hombros de gigantes, por así decirlo. Se observa en esta especie de "nuevo cielo y nueva tierra" de Hegel, este mundo nuevo en el que el Espíritu recomienza su aventura, una versión del mito cristiano del Más Allá; el mundo físico y su transcurrir ha quedado superado y transfigurado en una nueva dimension espiritual, en la que todo queda salvado y alcanza su auténtico ser, viendo la realidad de las cosas cara a cara, inmediatamente, y no a través del cristal oscuro de la consciencia imperfecta. De ahí que algunos ven en Hegel a un filósofo "cristiano". Yo diría más bien que parte de la tradición cristiana, y la supera al modo que él describe. La imagen del cáliz y de la divinidad que cierra el libro deja clara la inspiración cristiana de Hegel, y su voluntad de atenerse a un simbolismo cristiano usado deliberadamente (poéticamente) como uno de los lenguajes del Espíritu; al igual que hoy podemos utilizar el lenguaje de Hegel para este propósito. Pero el cristianismo como tal queda muy atrás como una fase concreta de esta fenomenología del Espíritu, aunque pueda ser habitado por el filósofo en el Más Allá de la reflexión, y comprendido como nunca lo comprendieron ni Cristo ni Santo Tomás]. The realm of Spirits which is formed in this way in the outer world constitutes a succession in Time in which one Spirit relieved another of its charge and each took over the empire of the world from its predecessor. Their goal is the revelation of the depth of Spirit, and this is the absolute Notion. This revelation is, therefore, the raising-up of its depth, or its extension, the negativity of this withdrawn 'I', a negativity which is its externalization or its substance, and this revelation is also the Notion's Time, in that this externalization is in its own self externalized, and just as it is in its extension, so it is equally in its depth, in the Self. Thegoal, Absolute Knowing, or spirit that knows itself as Spirit, has for its path the recollection of the Spirits as they are in themselves and as they accomplish the organization of their realm. Their preservation, regarded from the side of their free existence appearing in the form of contingency, is History; but regarded from the side of their [philosophically] comprehended organization, it is the Science of Knowing in the sphere of appearance (1): the two together, comprehended History, form alike the inwardizing and the Calvary of absolute Spirit, the actuality, truth, and certainty of his throne, without which he would be lifeless and alone. Only
from the chalice of this realm of spirits
foams forth for Him his own infinitude. (2)

(1). Phenomenology
(2). Adaptation of Schiller's Die Freundschaft, ad fin.


[—Obsérvese cómo la imaginería cristiana de este finale casi sinfónico efectúa una síntesis conceptual entre dos Innombrables en interacción dialéctica consigo mismos—el Dios del Génesis que crea el cosmos para estar menos solo en el vacío de la eternidad, y el propio sujeto pensante, el filósofo pensando a ese dios y pensándose a sí mismo en la última atalaya del pensamiento.]




—oOo—
Si hay una idea central en la Fenomenología del Espíritu, está en estas secciones autoexplicativas, el mapa conceptual de la obra visto desde su propiatopsight, en donde se explica cómo el conocimiento se vuelve reflexivamente sobre sí; cómo consiste en comprender y superar sus fases previas y superadas; cómo la vía a la comprensión de la realidad es el estudio de cómo la realidad se ha comprendido—cómo la humanidad lleva dentro de sí la historia de la humanidad, y cómo la filosofía no puede separarse de la historia de la filosofía.

—oOo—

Termino con una pequeña colección de comentarios que he ido haciendo al hilo de algunos episodios de la Fenomenología del Espíritu, releídos desde mi propia perspectiva, es decir, tirando un poco hacia la narratología, la semiótica y la teoría literaria.

_____. "Percepción primigenia." (Hegel, la emergencia).

_____. "Raíces hegelianas de ciertas dicotomías estructuralistas."  (La diferencia).
   
_____. "Constitución reflexiva de la percepción." 

_____. "Nueva refutación de la frenología." (Tallis, Hegel, neurociencia).

   
_____. "Dialéctica insalubre del amo y el esclavo."

_____. "Las dos leyes." (Antígona).
   
_____. "El buenismo aburre."

_____. "Teoría hegeliana de la apropiación (y de la vanidad de las obras)."

_____. "Hegel on Wilde."
   
_____. "El autor implícito y el narrador no fiable—según nuestro punto de vista."
   
_____. "Dialéctica de la Religión y la Ilustración."
   
_____. "Socialidad y perspectivismo moral, cognitivo y proairético en Hegel."
   
_____. "El espíritu y la sustancia de su conexión."
   
_____. "Crítica hegeliana de la hermenéutica de la sospecha."
   
_____. "Hegel: La comedia y la vida como metadrama." 

_____. "Acercándonos al saber absoluto."


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