The first dialectical triad in Hegels Logic and put in a mathematical form is

Being + Nothing = Becoming

Although a strange sum, I find this understandable. His second dialectical triad takes the form:

Quality + Quantity = Measure

And then

Measure + Measureless = Essence

How should one understand these two dialectical triads? Quantity on the face of it seems analogous to Measure.

Is Quantity to be thought of as pure abstract quantity and then Measure to be a kind of quantifiable quality?

Essence, as far as I understand it, is of Ancient Greek provenance and modified by Medieval Scholastic philosophy. How does the ancient or traditional understanding of Essence fit into Hegels schema?

  • W.T. Stace, The Philosophy of Hegel, Dover, beginning at around page 120. Internet Archive. I don't know if you are aware of this book.
    – Gordon
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 1:53
  • archive.org/details/W.T.StaceThePhilosophyOfHegelDoverPress1955 Essence begins at page 175.
    – Gordon
    Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 5:52
  • @Gordan: Thanks for the ref. I haven't come across this book before. I've just read the SEP entry on Hegels Dialectics and that cleared up a number of confusions that I had, especially with his pre-modern notion of logic. He calls something a logic when it has an aspect of necessity, which to me, seems apt. Though it raises the question, whether physical necessity is then a form of logic. If one dispenses with Lewises possible worlds - which seems only apt only from the perspective of formal logic - it seems viable. Physicists, then, are searching for Natures logic and not the nature of logic. Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 9:39
  • I'd also add that what interests me is that Hegels logic is dynamic, it changes and this has interesting parallels with the point of view argued for by Lee Smolin in his book Time Reborn, where he argues that natures laws change in time. So Natures logic would be dynamic. Hegel is also interesting from the perspective of holism and emergence since higher laws emerge from his logic, but aren't reducible to lower logical laws, each level has an irreducible novelty. Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 9:43
  • 1
    @Gordan: I think Stace is enough for me at present :), but thanks for the tip. I like Hegels discussion on art & religion, I think he has some useful things to say there and the relationship between them. I tend to think of secularised art as being a bit unmoored. Yes, poor us who try to assimilate what others have thought up and thought through - the question I have is how on earth did they find the time for all that thinking, writing and speaking. Perhaps because they lived in a slower time. Commented Jan 18, 2018 at 17:21


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .