Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 3, No 2-3 (2007)

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Dialectical Reason and Necessary Conflict—Understanding and the Nature of Terror

Angelica Nuzzo

Abstract


Taking as point of departure Hegelrsquo;s early reflections on his historical present, this essay examines the relationship between dialectical reason and the activity of the understanding in generating contradiction. Dialecticmdash;as logic and methodmdash;is Hegelrsquo;s attempt at a philosophical comprehension of the conflicts and the deep changes of his contemporary world. This idea of dialectic as logic of historical transformation guides the development of consciousness in the emPhenomenology of Spirit/em. Since my claim is that the dialectic of consciousness and its capacity of overcoming contradiction are rooted in the historical situation of 1807, the question is raised of what would be the specific problems encountered by consciousness in our contemporary worldmdash;in 2007. What are the challenges posed by our globalized world to a phenomenology of contemporary spirit; and what is the role that contradiction and dialectic play in the understanding of our own historical present?

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