In §324 of Science of Logic Hegel writes explicitly that

the ideal [ das Ideelle ] is again one of the moments, and the real [ das Reale ] the other

In the rest of the text, of course, whenever two opposites are identified as two moments, that unity of opposites gets a name. (As in the archetypical example of "becoming" being the name of the unity of the moments of "nothing" and "being", e.g §152.)

Here I am wondering: what is the name (the term, if any) that Hegel assigns to the unity of the ideal and the real? The ideal and the real are two moments... of what?

(Is it maybe "ideality"? I probably don't really understand yet the rest of §324.)

  • I think if you could name that moment, perhaps the history of logic would be over. The ongoing goal of logic is closing that gap. So perhaps we do not get to apprehend the closure? It would then be logical to avoid naming it, so as not to have a completely indeterminate reference.
    – user9166
    Jan 7, 2015 at 17:36
  • Good question; perhaps Hegel forgot; if not does he use the unity of the ideal and real elsewhere? Jan 7, 2015 at 19:33
  • Mr. Ullah, that's a sweet question of yours. I suppose he uses it to show how pure being eventually transmutes into the essence by sublating all its determinations, only to then... But it's a long story that won't fit into this comment box here. Jan 7, 2015 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


The unity of the Real and the Ideal is what Hegel called the Idea. The Idea means, as for Kant, an ideal, infinite concept. But unlike Kant, for Hegel the Idea does get actualized in Reality. Hence the unity of Real and Ideal.

This is what Hegel says in the Shorter Logic §214:

The Idea may be described in many ways. It may be called reason; (and this is the proper philosophical signification of reason); subject-object; the unity of the ideal and the real, of the finite and the infinite, of soul and body; the possibility which has its actuality in its own self; that of which the nature can be thought only as existent, etc. All these descriptions apply, because the Idea contains all the relations of understanding, but contains them in their infinite self-return and self-identity.

  • Excellent, just what I was looking for! Thank you. Jan 9, 2015 at 17:17
  • 1
    Now, in SoL §1636 it has "Idea = Notion + Reality" instead of "Idea = Ideal + Real". But, as in the remark on Idealism there (in the Transition-section) the Notion is ideal ("wie noch mehr der Begriff, die Idee, der Geist, Ideelles zu nennen ist"). Jan 9, 2015 at 21:27
  • @Urs, you're welcome! And I think you're right about Notion. The Notion, which is the genus of the Idea, is the ideal moment of the Idea. Jan 11, 2015 at 21:27

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