Sunday, November 08, 2009

Anancasticism for Dumb-Dums

Hegel at Half-time (via CSPierce):

"The Hegelian philosophy is such an anancasticism [evolution by necessity]. With its revelatory religion, with its synechism (however imperfectly set forth), with its “reflection,” the whole idea of the theory is superb, almost sublime. Yet, after all, living freedom is practically omitted from its method. The whole movement is that of a vast engine, impelled by a vis a tergo, with a blind and mysterious fate of arriving at a lofty goal. I mean that such an engine it would be, if it really worked; but in point of fact, it is a Keely motor. Grant that it really acts as it professes to act, and there is nothing to do but accept the philosophy. But never was there seen such an example of a long chain of reasoning, – shall I say with a flaw in every link? – no, with every link a handful of sand, squeezed into shape in a dream. Or say, it is a pasteboard model of a philosophy that in reality does not exist. If we use the one precious thing it contains, the idea of it, introducing the tychism [evolution by chance, Darwin] which the arbitrariness of its every step suggests, and make that the support of a vital freedom which is the breadth of the spirit of love, we may be able to produce that genuine agapasticism [evolution by creativity, Lamarck], at which Hegel was aiming." [from CP 6.293-5, 1893]

Master Keely in the Lab-or-a-tory


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