History, Confucius, Hegel, and Bettie Page

Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does many things. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Paris Bureau" from Dio Press (early 2021).

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6 Responses

  1. Jason Kuznicki says:

    You might find Friedrich Hayek’s The Counterrevolution of Science interesting, particularly the later chapters. There are some very direct, often personal connections between Hegel and the positivists. It makes intuitive sense, and it even turns out to be confirmed historically.Report

    • Rufus in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      @Jason Kuznicki, Yeah, I sort of thought they were there. I’d have to look, but I think Georg Iggers must have touched on that in The German Conception of History, which is highly recommended.

      I will check out the Hayek. By some strange coincidence, I found out today that the local library has been getting in the volumes of his collected works.Report

  2. Bob Cheeks says:

    Dude, any analysis of history is significant only if it acknowledges that man is defined as that being who conjures order through existence within the metalepsis, the communion with God. Consequently, we might consider that the telos of history begins in the movement of the Logos in time, where the knowledge of Him is illuminated for the “oikoumene”, the known world, and is brought to denouement in the Second Coming and the Apocalypse.

    “However, the 19th century saw a proliferation of historicist arguments that the human spirit was approaching a sort of self-aware perfection, an argument that could be, not entirely correctly, called Hegelian.”
    I would take issue with your interpretation above, insofar that that period of time up to and including the present represents in general a “deculturation of the West” where as Voegelin comments “..the grotesque rubble into which the image of God is broken today is not somebody’s wrong opinion about the nature of man but the result of a secular process of destruction.”
    When our existence is outside the noetic field of the push/pull related to life and death “and the tension between the human and divine reality” than we have failed to ground our existence on the truth rather we ground of self that reveal itself as a perverse speculative system, very much reflecting Hegel, Marx, and similar deformations “..of the life of reason through the magic practice of self-divination and self-salvation.” (Voegelin, CW, Vol. 12, Published Essays).Report

    • Rufus in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

      @Bob Cheeks, I’d actually agree with Voegelin on Hegel. I see God in Hegel, but a broken-up and man-based version, that might well be part of “the deculturation of the west”.

      To be fair, Hegel once said, “only one man ever understood what I am saying, and he didn’t really understand.” I can’t say I’m entirely justified in my sense that Hegelian thinking is an ill wind that has blown little good.Report

  3. I think there is a prevailing human tendency across all times, races, and cultures to think of ourselves as “special”. How much this tendency biases our history is endlessly debatable, but I wouldn’t consider it unreasonable (technological advance being implicitly excluded from my model) that my life as a teacher bears more resemblance to that of a teacher in ancient Greece than it does to the life of a farmer or a doctor in 2010.Report

  4. Bob Cheeks says:

    You’re right that any analysis of Hegel is an “iffy’ proposition…at least for me. I am far more inclined toward Von Schelling (at least what I know and understand of him) in his rejection of Hegel’s project and his freedom, love, God differentiation of the transcendent.
    Hegel, Voegelin tells us, is understood in the question of ‘Selfs’ and the Death of God which can only occur “in the fullness in “Hegel’s’ system. So, I think, it is here that the ‘deculturation of the West’ reaches something of an apogee in its forward rush through history..the complete hypostatization of the transcendent (the obliteration of God).
    I’ve recently taken to asking Peter Lawler question’s related to Rawls and Rorty along these lines to determine if this ‘deculturation’ continues, this idea of self-salvation is dominent in society, or if there is some other existential movement currently in vogue.
    This was a good piece, Rufus.Report