Introduction-16

16. What the will has decided to choose (see Paragraph 14) it can equally easily renounce (see Paragraph 5). But its ability to go beyond any other choice which it may substitute, and so on ad infinitum, never enables it to get beyond its own finitude, because the content of every such choice is something other than the form of the will and therefore something finite, while the opposite of determinacy, namely indeterminacy, i.e. indecision or abstraction from any content, is only the other, equally one-sided, moment of the will.

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6 Responses to “Introduction-16”

  1. arybudhi Says:

    However, when comes to willing something ‘real’, when the choice is made or the content found its form, fundamentalist will again take a refuge to the Blessing of God’s will for the contingence of the result.

  2. Anu Says:

    This is a continuation of the previous paragraph, where Hegel says that the will is still in its finite form as long as it does not grasp itself as its content. No matter what else the will chooses or renounces, or chooses again or alternatively as its content, these are all finite content. Similarly, as opposed to choice or decision, indecision or abstraction is also equally finite, as that too is only one more moment of the will.

  3. P Says:

    Hegel’s formulation of the concept of the will is a reply to Kant’s idea of the ‘universal organism’, which he suggested could bridge the divide between the ideal and the real, the noumenal and phenomenal, which had been a stumbling block for critical philosophy.
    “In the ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ (1781) and ‘ Critique of Practical Reason’ (1788) Kant resolved the conflict between freedom and necessity by assigning to each a distinct ontological domain: freedom belongs to a noumenal or intelligible realm where people act according to rational principles; and necessity is the hallmark of the phenomenal or empirical realm of nature, where everything acts according to mechanical laws of cause and effect… In ‘The Critique of Judgement’ Kant postulated the idea of the universal organism to address the dualism. There would be no mysterious harmony between the noumenal and the phenomenal if the entire realm of nature is created according to the design of a divine understanding. The concept of a natural purpose seemed to provide an even closer connection between the ideal and the real because the purpose of the organism, its formal or ideal element, is inherent in its matter, the material or real element. The purpose is internal to the matter, the source of all its activity.”( Beiser 2008, 97). According to Kant, we understand the power to act from purposes only from our own human experience when we create something according to our will, where will consists ‘in the power to produce something according to an idea’ (VIII 181). If something cannot act according to ideas, we have no right to assume that it has the power to act for ends. Hence the concept of a being that acts purposively yet does not have a will is completely fictitious and empty (181). (Beiser 2008, 98). Kant attributes intentionality as a criterion of purposiveness.
    Hegel insists that the concept of natural purpose does not involve intentionality or the attribution of will or self agency to organic beings. The will contains within itself, its finitude, difference and abstract.

  4. Nalini Says:

    This concept of the will as being at once finite as well as infinite leads one to think that the will contains both opposites.

  5. zubin Says:

    Hegel re clarifies his dialectic here: the content of the will vs the form; finite vs infinite; determinate vs indeterminate etc. He sets up what he calls the “moment of the will” which is the flip side to the determinate so-called arbitrary choices that the individual will believes it has.

  6. Udayakumar Says:

    This is a continuation of paragraph 15 and it is a description of a key moment of the will as its own finitude. This is a reaffirmation of the dialectics will as well: Hegel expounds, “What the will has decided to choose, it can equally easily renounce. But its ability to go beyond any other choice which it may substitute, and so on ad infinitum, never enables it to get beyond its own finitude, because the content of every such choice is something other than the form of the will and therefore something finite, while the opposite of determinacy, namely indeterminacy, i.e. indecision or abstraction from any content, is only the other, equally one-sided, moment of the will”. The subjective tendency working at this stage becomes crucial in deciding what freedom means.

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