Hegel's philosophical psychology of the individual
Walsh, Samuel Wesley Jacobs
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The problem of this diseertation is that of determining the nature ot the individual person and his social status within the scope ot Hegel's philosophical Psychology. The problem is that of ascertaining to what extent the individual, on all levels of existence, is conceived as an aspect or moment of the universal. No definitive work has as yet appeared dealing exclusively with the problem as presented herewith. The basic Hegelian material utilized in this work is contained within the Phänomenologie, the Encyclopädie, the Philosophie des Rechts and, to a lesser extent within the earlier philosophie Propädeutik. Among secondary sources the writings of Harris, Baillie, Wallace, Stirling, Royce, McTaggart, Stace, Knox and Mure may be cited. In German, the work of Lasson, Glockner, Hartmann, Kroner, Fischer deserve mention. Hegel's philosophy within its historical background is briefly sketched, noting in particular the influence ot Aristotle and Kant. Atter recognition ot the linguistic problem in Hegel, it is aeen that the emphasis on the empirical and the organic everywhere characterizes his philosophy. A review or the historical development of the dialectic trom Heraclitus to Kant discloses that Hegel gives it a distinctive place in his thought. The principle of negativity is paramount to any advance towards the speculative truth discoverable within the synthesis. His metaphysical principles are so interwoven within his logic that no sharp distinction can be made between them. The nature ot the Real is disclosed to be dialectic, empirical, organic, concrete and Absolute. The logical development of the category of individuality reveals the broad dialectical developnent by which Hegel expounds every philosophical subject according to a well-conceived theory of degrees of reality. The development of the individual is expressed on the various levels ot consciousness, self-consciousness, and reason, all requiring the existence of social institutions tor their realization. But whereas individuality unfolds dialectically as an organic whole, it appears that Hegel does not always recognize the exact relationship between the various expressions of individuality as displayed on the many levels. This procedure results in the shading of psychology and metaphysics into each other. Personality is envisioned as the logical outcome of individuality but its description is disappointingly formal. By expounding personality within a legal and economic context, Hegel fails to do justice to its empirical richness. This is most evident within the scope ot Hegel's psychology of personality which sets forth the forms of mental activity. The minimizing ot the uniqueness of the ordinary individual and the failure to provide tor a tension between him and his society is everywhere apparent in Hegel's analysis, especially in his treatment ot the will. The universal and the particular coalesce so imperceptibly that the individual is in grave danger or being absorbed within "objective mind." It is highly questionable whether the ease tor individual freedom can be sustained in his thought. Hegel identities the aims of the individual with those of the state by means of the logical Begriff. Ethical personality is not possible until the individual is thoroughly integrated within society whose ethical substance is contained within the family, civil society and the state. Personality is envisioned as an inwardly developed, genuinely organic whole. The scope of Hegel's psychology od the individual leads to an inquiry concerning the nature and need for a metaphysics of the self. That mind manifests itseltf dialectically as the processes of reason, constitutes the guiding principle in Hegel's metaphysics of the self. This concrete development or mind as a synthesis supplies the Hegelian view of speculation. His philosophy of mind discloses the presenee of mind on every level of existence, no matter how inadequate the expression may be on any given level. Matter and mind are modes of one reality, the Absolute. His clear-cut doctrine or degrees of truth and reality is a logical outcome of his understanding ot the dynamic organic nature of knowledge. In pursuing the problems or selfhood one notes the structure of the self as outlined in modern psychology. The psychology of traits is especially negative for a psychology or the individual, although its philosophical limitations are apparent. Basic to the problem of a metaphysics of the self is the question of the empirical unity of personality in which the complimentary processess of differentiation and integration may be maintained within the solid core of self-consciousness. One promising venture in empirical unity is to be found in Gestalt psychology, with which Hegel's organic emphasis has many affinities. But the Gestaltists run into the same danger at the empirical level as does Hegel, namely, the problem of saving the uniqueness of individuality of the ordinary individual person. It appears that the problem of the philosophical unity and identity ot the person transcends all psychological descriptions of it, thus forming the watershed between modern psychology and philosophy. The organic theory of personality in which the whole is realized in and through particular parts, and particulars are upheld within the whole, is the view arrived at here. This approach requires the organic community for its completion, involving the relationship between the individual will and the policies of the group as reflected in the universal will. For Hegel the univereal is the rational and is known only through speculation. But the universal so permeates the particular that the latter stands in grave danger of being subdued. This dissertation aims not only to offer a sympathetic exposition of Hegel's leading ideas as germaine to a philosophical psychology ot the individual, but proceeds to press these ideas to as fair a conclusion as possible. This requires strict attention to the internal structure of Hegel's system and poses the problem of the relation of the rational to the empirical, the relevancy ot Hegel's logical categories for a philosophy of mind. The heart ot Hegelianism is tound in the concept of an organic whole the constituent moments of which are serial phases of a single self-constituting activity called mind or spirit. The present study has disclosed the presence of an inherent dualistic struggle in human experience, recognized by Hegel in his exposition and appearing within the dialectic as the principle of negativity. The rational development of thought and experience requires that all partial truths be transcended yet preserved within the whole. While it would appear that Hegel sacrifices the individual to the state, he has in mind a rational state, and fully recognizes the evils inherent in the empirical state. Moreover, the dialectic moves forward to a higher consummation in the realms of religion and philosophy. A synthesis, therefore, does not necessarily mean the destruction ot the particulars but their preservation in something higher. By commitment to the dialectic, Hegel provides an ongoing developmental view of human experience with new vistas to challenge hwnan thought and achievement. The conelusions reached in this dissertation are as follows: 1. The principle o£ inclusiveness, basic for an adequate philosophical psychology, is apparent everywhere throughout Hegel's writings. The assertion that "the true is the whole" implies a system featuring an orderly relation of parts within a living significant whole. Reality is thus conceived as a coherent system of unity established through a reconciliation of opposites. The logic of the concrete universal is that all phases of being must be preserved though transcended. 2. Hegel makes reason the touchstone of his philosophy. It is indispensable for his synoptic grasp of mind, experience and reality. No phase of human experience is independent or another, hence the importance of internal relations. Reason makes human experience an intelligible venture. 3. The organic view of personality implies that all the features or traits have no concrete existence apart from the conscious whole. The experience of self-consciousness makes possible the unity of personality. In so far as Hegel fails to do justice to the empirical richness of personality, particularly its emotional overtones, his view is defective. The cognitive emphasis overshadows all others in his treatment. 4. The sagacious use or historical data in Hegel's exposition of human experience atones somewhat for the lack ot psychological experimental data at his disposal. There is, however, a too facile acceptance of the view that the individual recapitulates his culture and too little recognition of the fact that he helps create and modify that culture. 5. No ethics of the individual as such appears in Hegel's treatment. Ethical theory is absorbed within political philosophy. The individual is a participator in the nature and ends or others. Hegel unwisely ignores the value of individual conscience. The social becomes the central category in his ethics. He fails to see that man is by nature individual as well as social. 6. The importance or human experience is paramount since nothing is known which does not fall within experience, broadly considered. Hegel's experiential basis for all knowledge is fundamental and profound, thus making his philosophy epistemologically significant. 7. By virtue of reason the state possesses an organic nature and is based on universal, rational laws calculated to assist in the individual's growth and development. The dialectic makes all veneration of the empirical state highly questionable, since it is superseded by religion, art and philosophy. To the degree that Hegel's state calls for the predominance ot reason and the existence of freedom, it contains the necessary principles for individual preservation. 8, Hegel's philosophical psychology grapples searchingly with man's nature and destiny. It is a brilliant dialectical account of man's true existence, encompassing questions or the nature and scope or knowledge, the universal nature of mind, the significance of self-consciousness as these are related to the Absolute. It is the contention of his present work, however, that Hegel alights unduly the uniqueness and individuality of the particular individual person.
Author mislabeled page 130 as page 133. Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University