Kierkegaard: The Arguments of the Philosophers by A. Hannay

By A. Hannay

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E. as a human individual of this or that character, standing, and circumstance, these or any such exemplifications are logically 24 TURNING HEGEL OUTSIDE-IN possible - as specific conjunctions of particular changeableand universal unchangeable. The question facing the unhappyconsciousness is rather, how, as a ‘protean’ particular merdy but already exemplifying this, that, or the other universal, or exemplifying mutably a succession of universals, it can conceive itself, in its entirety, as something immutable.

6 This paradigm follows upon scepticism in a kind of logical succession,and scepticism is preceded in its turn by Stoicism, which represents the form of freedom characteristic of emergencefrom the state of bondagein which the slave has been bound in all externals to the master. Common to scepticism and Stoicism is that the terms of the dual nature are not posed consciously in opposition to one another, but are taken in turn (inevitably in vain) as the foundation of consciousness. In their cases, therefore, the contradiction does not emerge.

This is, of course,a widely acceptedspecification of human fulfilment, more especially nowadays in its psychological aspect as the sense of a particular kind of satisfaction, often claimed to be an essential ingredient in mental health. ’ And, naturally enough, the psychological state of peacehas a counterpart in the state of longing which anticipates it. Hegel’sgeneralview seemsto have been, however, that this form of anticipation belongs to a spiritually inferior, religious frame of mind; the infinite longing ‘that yearns beyond body and world’22 is religious in character and represents an immaturity of spirit in which consciousness attempts ‘to accomplish in feeling what it cannot yet achieve in thought.

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