Hegel: ‘The Folly of Inquiry’



‘Being’ is at the heart of Philosophical Inquiry.

Here is Friedrich Hegel:

It is a natural assumption in philosophy, before we start to deal with its proper subject matter, viz. the actual cognition of what really is, one must first of all come to an understanding about cognition..a certain uneasiness seems justified..

For if cognition is the instrument, [it] sets out to reshape and alter it. If [it] is not an instrument but a passive medium through which the light of Truth reaches us, then again we do not receive this Truth as it is, but only..through this medium.

Either way we employ a means which immediately brings about the opposite of its own end..what is really absurd is that we should make use of a means at all…


Note how Hegel is acutely aware of the Self-Loop and warning against it. It is one of the most unambiguous and unqualified statements I know of in Western Philosophical Writings.

Hegel [like Kant] never followed through on his own convictions, stopped short, turned back at the cliff’s edge.

Instead he transformed it into a consequential philosophical insight, reduced it to the less scary, more manageable trinity: ‘Thesis, Anti-Thesis and Synthesis’ [a structure that Hegel actually credited to Kant].

From Marx and Mao to Derrida and ‘Deconstructionism’, intellectuals saw explanation here. The rest as they say, is history.