Alternatives to spontaniety (hegel)

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In summary: So, I am wondering if the "synthesis" of the two is the same as becoming, or if it is something else entirely. In summary, alternatives to spontaniety (hegel) include that there could be alternative, more "causal", explanations proposed, without changing overall "spirit" of this doctrine. Hegel does not explain movement as "spontaneous" but instead reasons about motion as something inherently as "real contradiction" (something being here and not here at the same moment). External, sensuous movement itself is contradiction's immediate existence.
  • #1
alternatives to "spontaniety" (hegel)

hegel paints idea movement spontaneous. personally, I have problems with imagining that happening without cause. could there be alternative, more "causal", explanations (of movement) proposed, without changing overall "spirit" of this doctrine?
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  • #2
Hegel does not explain movement as "spontaneous" but instead reasons about motion as something inherently as "real contradiction" (something being here and not here at the same moment).


§ 958​

Now as regards the assertion that there is no contradiction, that it does not exist, this statement need not cause us any concern; an absolute determination of essence must be present in every experience, in everything actual, as in every notion. We made the same remark above in connection with the infinite, which is the contradiction as displayed in the sphere of being. But common experience itself enunciates it when it says that at least there is a host of contradictory things, contradictory arrangements, whose contradiction exists not merely in an external reflection but in themselves. Further, it is not to be taken merely as an abnormality which occurs only here and there, but is rather the negative as determined in the sphere of essence, the principle of all self-movement, which consists solely in an exhibition of it. External, sensuous movement itself is contradiction's immediate existence. Something moves, not because at one moment it is here and at another there, but because at one and the same moment it is here and not here, because in this 'here', it at once is and is not. The ancient dialecticians must be granted the contradictions that they pointed out in motion; but it does not follow that therefore there is no motion, but on the contrary, that motion is existent contradiction itself.
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  • #3
Did Hegel read Aristotle ? If so, how can he make such a false claim as to say "as regards the assertation that there is no contradiction"...clearly Aristotle never made such a claim, one only needs to read his chapter "On Intrepretation", and we see that Aristotle informs that:

It is a "contradiction" to say:

it may be & it cannot be (at the same moment)

But it is "not a contradiction" to say:

it may be & it may not be (at the same moment)

Thus, it is NOT a contradiction to say that:

motion may be here & motion may not be here (at the same moment) -- this is a contrary statement, not a contradiction.

Did Hegel think he the first to find contradiction in "motion" ? Did he forget where he put his copy of Aristotle ?

For Aristotle would inform Hegel that it is a contradiction to say:

motion may be here & motion cannot be here (at the same moment), which is all the Hegel is saying, but nothing new not already said by Aristotle years before.

So, I do not understand why Hegel is so full of himself, as if he invented correct "understanding" of contradiction.
  • #4
The contradiction Hegel pointed out is the contradiction of motion, that something is at this place and not at this place at the same motion.

It is quite surprising that quantum mechanics just leads to this notion, since in QM he notion of something being at a precise location, gets lost.
  • #5
Heusdens: I have a few questions about thinking of Hegel:

1. Clearly Hegel is a type of dialectic thinker (thesis+antithesis=synthesis. But my question here, how would/does Hegel deal with the concept of what I would call a "complementary resolution of synthesis", eg., the synthesis of the many vs the two ? As an example, in nuclear physics there are 50+ models of the structure and function of the atomic nucleus, each with different assumptions, each having some "partial" correctness in understanding of the reality of the entity, with the actual correctness (let me call it the complementary synthesis from Hegel), thought by modern day physicists to be the union of many, many such models, not just two opposites. How does Hegel deal with such situations of complementary synthesis derived from the many ?

2. A second question. On another thread, you stated that Hegel would agree:

if thesis = 'becoming'


antithesis = 'ceasing to be'

(correct me if I error).

But what is the synthesis of the two ? I will argue below it cannot be "being", so I grasp to understand what Hegel would call the synthesis.

For example, consider how humans come to be, union of two opposite cells, male and female genetics (gametes) that form a new being of a single cell we call the fertilized egg. Thus, until the union of the DNA, we have a "becoming" of the egg (the human DNA potential). But we know from quantum mechanics (the HUP) we can never observe the place and motion of "the DNA union" simultaneously, thus the transformation is direct from the thesis ("becoming") to the antithesis ("ceasing to be")--that is, there is NO SYNTHESIS, no "being" to the human just this (I am on my way out the door of life the exact moment I enter):

becoming -----------> ceasing to be​

Thus, do we find the type of dialectic model of Hegel falsified by the existence of Hegel himself--can Hegel find Hegel as a "being" in his philosophy ?
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  • #6
@heusdens, I don't understand a whole big deal about "contradictions". the point I am referring to can be summed up by following quote:
David Gray Carlson said:
"..we call dialectic the higher movement of reason in which such seemingly utterly separate terms pass over into each other spontaneously... a movement in which the presupposition sublates itself." (SoL §175) Notice, in this formulation, that sublation is spontaneous. Spontaneity is a great Kantian word. It stands for freedom. The free thing is that which is uncaused.

@Rade 1st, trying to boil Hegel down to "thesis+antithesis=synthesis" -like arithmetics is pretty pointless. 2nd, "two opposites" you are referring to have nothing to do with things you mention in your "questions"; they are from different dimension. perhaps you can understand them better from this Spinosa quote, "omnis determinatio est negatio" (a thing is determined by what it is not). finally, this discussion is irrelevant to my thread, so feel free to start your own on this subject :)
  • #7
more @heusdens, perhaps I misspelled my question, by using the word "movement", where the word "development" (or, specifically, "sublation") should have been used. I thought, however, that attaching adjective "idea" to it would clarify its intended use.

The quote you responded with,
heusdens said:
§ 958 Something moves, not because at one moment it is here and at another there, but because at one and the same moment it is here and not here...
seems to be a reference to Zeno arrow paradox, which assumes the most ordinary meaning of the word, "movement". Duh. Clearly that is not what I mean in my question.
  • #8
Just trying to get a handle on this post. Zeno' arrow posits a series of 'now' moments, is Hegel (like Aristotle) refuting these moments? When he says "because at the same moment it is here and not here" I get the impression he accepts the 'now' moments but disputes the 'state' of the arrow (ie: not 'at rest' as in Zeno's). He then calls this 'state' a contradiction (I think).
Two things I'm finding confusing:
1) If he accepts the 'now' moment, what exactly does he mean (physically) by saying "it is here and not here". (I could understand "here and not going to be here" but he seems to get away with a genuine explanation by calling it a 'contradiction')
2) Where does spontaneity come into this? (Is this to do with 'development' and not 'movement'? Have you moved on already?)
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  • #9
@mosassam, you wrote:
mosassam said:
Where does spontaneity come into this? (Is this to do with 'development' and not 'movement'? Have you moved on already?)
spontaniety was, and remains, a subject of my initial question. Hegel thoughts on Zeno arrow were posted by heusdens and are not relevant to my question as far as I can see.

mosassam said:
Just trying to get a handle on this post... what exactly does he mean (physically) by saying "it is here and not here".
as always we are only left with what Hegel himself wrote (see link in heusdens' post). what other people (like me) write in response to questions like yours should be taken as these people own opinion.

with that said, I think the best way for you to "get a handle on this post" is as follows: if Hegel was to describe position of arrow at some instant mathematically, instead of specifying coordinates of some single point (like barycenter) he would propose a field ARROW(x,y,z) defined, for example, like this: ARROW = 1 if arrow is in (x,y,z) and 0 if it is not. This field, ARROW, is now defined everywhere in the space ("here and not here").
  • #10
I'm a bit on the slow side. Does this mean viewing the path of the arrow from bow to target as a single 'entity' (bad choice of word I'm sure but hopefully you get my point)?
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  • #11
it means viewing arrow together with its opposite (no arrow) as a single 'entity'.
  • #12
So, mathematically the field, ARROW, is defined as everywhere in space (by which you mean all universal space) and that the arrow and it's opposite (no arrow) should be considered as a single entity. Thanks for clearing that up.
PS. I have less of a handle on this post than I did before your clarification.
  • #13
mosassam, a single 'entity' for "arrow" and "no arrow" is modeled in my example by field, ARROW, which marks "arrow" by 1 and "no arrow" by 0. Watching this 'entity', you will notice how 1 passes into 0, and 0 passes into 1 over a time when "arrow" moves from one place to another. this is not necessary accurate, but simplest "physical" model you were asking for; I don't think I can explain it better, so you will have to make some efforts on your side to make sense out of it.
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  • #14
I think I've got it. When I said to view the path of the arrow as a single entity I envisaged a thin arc from bow to target along which the arrow travels (the field, ARROW). As it moves it continually passes from 1 into 0 into 1 etc. In respect to the field as a whole I can see how it can be "here and not here".
OK! Let's get it on with spontaneity and development. Does Hegel give any reason why he views development as spontaneous?
  • #15
mosassam said:
When I said to view the path of the arrow as a single entity I envisaged a thin arc from bow to target along which the arrow travels...
In this example it doesn't really matter, it could be either way.
mosassam said:
Does Hegel give any reason why he views development as spontaneous?
I don't know. That's why I ask if it could be other way.
  • #16
Where's Heusdens when you need him?
  • #17
okay, I think I'd post some thoughts on subject to give it a kick.

I think getting something to push idea transformations instead of nothing simply goes against Hegel deliberate decision to kick it out (see beforementioned SoL §807-809). Even when I try to consider two opposite possibilities, that is
  • this something is external to idea (that I just said about);
  • this something is internal to idea
I can't seem to find anything in "mere being" (even more so in "nothing") that would fit for later option. So, materialism seem to be the only way to get away with non-spontaneous sublation.
  • #18
mosassam said:
Where's Heusdens when you need him?

Sorry, been temporarily disconnected.

1. What is the concept of spontaneity according to Hegel?

According to Hegel, spontaneity refers to the ability of the mind to actively create and shape reality through its own thoughts and actions, rather than simply being passive and reacting to external stimuli.

2. Why do people seek alternatives to spontaneity?

Some people may seek alternatives to spontaneity because they feel overwhelmed by the constant need to actively create and shape their reality, or they may believe that spontaneity leads to unpredictable and potentially negative outcomes.

3. What are some alternatives to spontaneity?

Some alternatives to spontaneity include following a predetermined plan or set of rules, relying on external authority or guidance, or taking a more passive and reactive approach to life.

4. How do these alternatives differ from spontaneity?

These alternatives differ from spontaneity in that they prioritize following a predetermined path or external guidance, rather than actively shaping one's own reality. They also tend to be more structured and predictable, rather than embracing the potential for unexpected outcomes.

5. Can alternatives to spontaneity be beneficial?

Yes, alternatives to spontaneity can be beneficial for some individuals, as they may provide a sense of structure and stability in an otherwise chaotic world. Additionally, following external guidance can sometimes lead to more efficient and effective outcomes. However, it is important to find a balance and not completely abandon the ability to be spontaneous and shape one's own reality.

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