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Waithe ed. Archived from the original on 24 July Retrieved 7 June Edited by Arkadiusz Chrudzimski and Wolfgang Huemer. Page Retrieved 17 May Archived from the original on 28 April Retrieved 26 April Archived from the original on 2 February Retrieved 1 February Archived from the original on 29 October Retrieved 20 March Archived from the original on 11 January What is it like to be a woman in philosophy? Archived from the original on 26 April Archived from the original on 12 February Retrieved Archived from the original on 31 October It did not only criticize the latter's denial of the existence of an external world anyway an unjust criticism , but also the bombastic, obscure style of Hegel's writings.

Archived from the original PDF on 28 November Zalta ed. Analytic philosophers, crudely speaking, aim for argumentative clarity and precision; draw freely on the tools of logic; and often identify, professionally and intellectually, more closely with the sciences and mathematics, than with the humanities. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 21 May Retrieved 12 July Grayling ed. Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.

Retrieved 20 March — via Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Archived from the original on 22 July From Hegel to Existentialism. Oxford University Press. Solomon, Existentialism McGraw-Hill, , pp. On Denoting. Schools of thought. Mazdakism Zoroastrianism Zurvanism. Kyoto School Objectivism Postcritique Russian cosmism more Formalism Institutionalism Aesthetic response. Consequentialism Deontology Virtue.

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All that is wanted is to realise that these beginnings are nothing but these empty abstractions, one as empty as the other. The instinct that induces us to attach a settled import to Being , or to both, is the very necessity which leads to the onward movement of Being and Nothing, and gives them a true or concrete significance.

This advance is the logical deduction and the movement of thought exhibited in the sequel. The reflection which finds a profounder connotation for Being and Nothing is nothing but logical thought, through which such connotation is evolved, not, however, in an accidental, but a necessary way. Every signification, therefore, in which they afterwards appear, is only a more precise specification and truer definition of the Absolute.

And when that is done, the mere abstract Being and Nothing are replaced by a concrete in which both these elements form an organic part. The supreme form of Nought as a separate principle would be Freedom: but Freedom is negativity in that stage, when it sinks self-absorbed to supreme intensity, and is itself an affirmation, and even absolute affirmation. The distinction between Being and Nought is, in the first place, only implicit, and not yet actually made: they only ought to be distinguished. A distinction of course implies two things, and that one of them possesses an attribute which is not found in the other.

Being however is an absolute absence of attributes, and so is Nought. Hence the distinction between the two is only meant to be; it is a quite nominal distinction, which is at the same time no distinction. In all other cases of difference there is some common point which comprehends both things.

Suppose e. But in the case of mere Being and Nothing, distinction is without a bottom to stand upon: hence there can be no distinction, both determinations being the same bottomlessness. If it be replied that Being and Nothing are both of them thoughts, so that thought may be reckoned common ground, the objector forgets that Being is not a particular or definite thought, and hence, being quite indeterminate, is a thought not to be distinguished from Nothing. It is natural too for us to represent Being as absolute riches, and Nothing as absolute poverty.

But if when we view the whole world we can only say that everything is , and nothing more, we are neglecting all speciality and, instead of absolute plenitude, we have absolute emptiness. The same stricture is applicable to those who define God to be mere Being; a definition not a whit better than that of the Buddhists, who make God to be Nought, and who from that principle draw the further conclusion that self-annihilation is the means by which man becomes God.

Nothing, if it be thus immediate and equal to itself , is also conversely the same as Being is. The truth of Being and of Nothing is accordingly the unity of the two: and this unity is Becoming. And indeed it is one of the hardest things thought expects itself to do: for Being and Nothing exhibit the fundamental contrast in all its immediacy — that is, without the one term being invested with any attribute which would involve its connection with the other.

This attribute, however, as the above paragraph points out, is implicit in them — the attribute which is just the same in both. So far the deduction of their unity is completely analytical: indeed the whole progress of philosophising in every case, if it be a methodical, that is to say a necessary, progress, merely renders explicit what is implicit in a notion.

It is as correct however to say that Being and Nothing are altogether different, as to assert their unity. The one is not what the other is. But since the distinction has not at this point assumed definite shape Being and Nothing are still the immediate , it is, in the way that they have it, something unutterable, which we merely mean. If Being and Nought are identical, say these objectors, it follows that it makes no difference whether my home, my property, the air I breathe, this city, the sun, the law, mind, God, are or are not.

Now in some of these cases the objectors foist in private aims, the utility a thing has for me, and then ask, whether it be all the same to me if the thing exist and if it do not. For that matter indeed, the teaching of philosophy is precisely what frees man from the endless crowd of finite aims and intentions, by making him so insensible to them that their existence or non-existence is to him a matter of indifference.

But it is never to be forgotten that, once mention something substantial, and you thereby create a connection with other existences and other purposes which are ex hypothesi worth having: and on such hypothesis it comes to depend whether the Being and not-Being of a determinate subject are the same or not. A substantial distinction is in these cases secretly substituted for the empty distinction of Being and Nought. In others of the cases referred to, it is virtually absolute existences and vital ideas and aims, which are placed under the mere category of Being or not-Being.

But there is no more to be said of these concrete objects, than that they merely are or are not. Barren abstractions, like Being and Nothing — the initial categories which, for that reason, are the scantiest anywhere to be found — are utterly inadequate to the nature of these objects. Substantial truth is something far above these abstractions and their oppositions.

And always when a concrete existence is disguised under the name of Being and not-Being, empty-headedness makes its usual mistake of speaking about, and having in mind an image of, something else than what is in question: and in this place the question is about abstract Being and Nothing. As for that, the notion of the unity is stated in the section preceding, and that is all: apprehend that, and you have comprehended this unity.

What the objector really means by comprehension — by a notion — is more than his language properly implies: he wants a richer and more complex state of mind, a pictorial conception which will propound the notion as a concrete case and one more familiar to the ordinary operations of thought. And so long as incomprehensibility means only the want of habituation for the effort needed to grasp an abstract thought, free from all sensuous admixture, and to seize a speculative truth, the reply to the criticism is that philosophical knowledge is undoubtedly distinct in kind from the mode of knowledge best known in common life, as well as from that which reigns in the other sciences.

But if to have no notion merely means that we cannot represent in imagination the oneness of Being and Nought, the statement is far from being true; for everyone has countless ways of envisaging this unity. To say that we have no such conception can only mean that in none of these images do we recognise the notion in question, and that we are not aware that they exemplify it.


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The readiest example of it is Becoming. Everyone has a mental idea of Becoming, and will even allow that it is one idea: he will further allow that, when it is analysed, it involves the attribute of Being, and also what is the very reverse of Being, viz. Nothing: and that these two attributes lie undivided in the one idea: so that Becoming is the unity of Being and Nothing. Another tolerably plain example is a Beginning.

In its beginning, the thing is not yet, but it is more than merely nothing, for its Being is already in the beginning. Beginning is itself a case of Becoming; only the former term is employed with an eye to the further advance. If we were to adopt logic to the more usual method of the sciences, we might start with the representation of a Beginning as abstractly thought, or with Beginning as such, and then analyse this representation; and perhaps people would more readily admit, as a result of this analysis, that Being and Nothing present themselves as undivided in unity.

They misrepresent the facts, by giving an exclusive prominence to the unity, and leaving the difference which undoubtedly exists in it because it is Being and Nothing, for example, the unity of which is declared without any express mention or notice. It accordingly seems as if the diversity had been unduly put out of court and neglected.

The fact is, no speculative principle can be correctly expressed by any such propositional form, for the unity has to be conceived in the diversity, which is all the while present and explicit. The opposition between the two factors seems to have vanished; it is only implied in the unity, it is not explicitly put in it. Thus explained, the proposition is the maxim of abstract identity as upheld by the understanding. Becoming is the first concrete thought, and therefore the first notion: whereas Being and Nought are empty abstractions.

The notion of Being, therefore, of which we sometimes speak, must mean Becoming; not the mere point of Being, which is empty Nothing, any more than Nothing, which is empty Being. Nor must we omit the distinction, while we emphasise the unity of Becoming; without that distinction we should once more return to abstract Being.

Becoming is only the explicit statement of what Being is in its truth. We often hear it maintained that thought is opposed to being. Now in the face of such a statement, our first question ought to be, what is meant by being. If we understand being as it is defined by reflection, all that we can say of it is that it is what is wholly identical and affirmative. And if we then look at thought, it cannot escape us that thought also is at least what is absolutely identical with itself.

Both therefore, being as well as thought, have the same attribute. This identity of being and thought is not however to be taken in a concrete sense, as if we could say that a stone, so far as it has being, is the same as a thinking man. A concrete thing is always very different from the abstract category as such. And in the case of being, we are speaking of nothing concrete: for being is the utterly abstract.

So far then the question regarding the being of God — a being which is in itself concrete above all measure — is of slight importance. As the first concrete thought-term, Becoming is the first adequate vehicle of truth. In the history of philosophy, this stage of the logical Idea finds its analogue in the system of Heraclitus.

Glancing at the principle of the Eleatics, Heraclitus then goes on to say: Being no more is than not-Being; a statement expressing the negativity of abstract Being, and its identity with not-Being, as made explicit in Becoming; both abstractions being alike untenable. This may be looked at as an instance of the real refutation of one system by another.

To refute a philosophy is to exhibit the dialectical movement in its principle, and thus reduce it to a constituent member of a higher concrete form of the Idea. Even Becoming, however, taken at its best on its own ground, is an extremely poor term: it needs to grow in depth and weight of meaning. Such deepened force we find e. Life is a Becoming but that is not enough to exhaust the notion of life. A still higher form is found in Mind. Here too is Becoming, but richer and more intensive than mere logical Becoming.

The elements whose unity constitute mind are not the bare abstracts of Being and of Nought, but the system of the logical Idea and of Nature. In Becoming the Being which is one with Nothing, and the Nothing which is one with Being, are only vanishing factors; they are and they are not.

Thus by its inherent contradiction Becoming collapses into the unity in which the two elements are absorbed. This result is accordingly Being Determinate Being there and so. In this first example we must call to mind, once for all, [that]: the only way to secure any growth and progress in knowledge is to hold results fast in their truth.

Foucault Studies

There is absolutely nothing whatever in which we cannot and must not point to contradictions or opposite attributes; and the abstraction made by understanding therefore means a forcible insistence on a single aspect, and a real effort to obscure and remove all consciousness of the other attribute which is involved. Whenever such contradiction, then, is discovered in any object or notion, the usual inference is, Hence this object is nothing. Thus Zeno , who first showed the contradiction native to motion, concluded that there is no motion; and the ancients, who recognised origin and decease, the two species of Becoming, as untrue categories, made use of the expression that the One or Absolute neither arises not perishes.

Such a style of dialectic looks only at the negative aspect of its result, and fails to notice, what is at the same time really present, the definite result, in the present case a pure nothing, but a Nothing which includes Being, and, in like manner, a Being which includes Nothing. Hence Being Determinate is 1 the unity of Being and Nothing, in which we get rid of the immediacy in these determinations, and their contradiction vanishes in their mutual connection — the unity in which they are only constituent elements.

And 2 since the result is the abolition of the contradiction, it comes in the shape of a simple unity with itself: that is to say, it also is Being with negation or determinateness: it is Becoming expressly put in the form of one of its elements, viz. Even our ordinary conception of Becoming implies that somewhat comes out of it, and that Becoming therefore has a result.

But this conception gives rise to the question, how Becoming does not remain mere Becoming, but has a result? The answer to this question follows from what Becoming has already shown itself to be. Becoming always contains Being and Nothing in such a way, that these two are always changing into each other, and reciprocally cancelling each other. Thus Becoming stands before us in utter restlessness — unable however to maintain itself in this abstract restlessness: for, since Being and Nothing vanish in Becoming and that is the very notion of Becoming , the latter must vanish also.

Becoming is as it were a fire, which dies out in itself, when it consumes its material. The result of this process however is not empty Nothing, but Being identical with the negation — what we call Being Determinate being then and there : the primary import of which evidently is that it has become. And as reflected into itself in this its character or mode, Determinate Being is a somewhat, as existent. The categories, which issue by a closer analysis of Determinate Being, need only be mentioned briefly.

Quality may be described as the determinate mode immediate and identical with Being — as distinguished from Quantity to come afterwards , which, although a mode of Being, is no longer immediately identical with Being, but a mode indifferent and external to it. A something is what it is in virtue of its quality, and losing its quality it ceases to be what it is. Quality, moreover, is completely a category only of the finite, and for that reason too it has its proper place in Nature , not in the world of the Mind.

Thus, for example, in Nature what are styled elementary bodies, oxygen, nitrogen, etc. But in the sphere of mind, Quality appears in a subordinate way only, and not as if its qualitativeness could exhaust any specific aspect of mind. If, for example, we consider the subjective mind, which forms the object of psychology, we may describe what is called moral and mental character, as in logical language identical with Quality. This however does not mean that character is a mode of being which pervades the soul and is immediately identical with it, as is the case in the natural world with elementary bodies beforementioned.

Yet a more distinct manifestation of Quality as such, in mind even, is found in the case of besotted or morbid conditions, especially in states of passion and when the passion rises to derangement.

Radical Philosophy

The state of mind of a deranged person, being one mass of jealousy, fear, etc. Quality, as determinateness which is , as contrasted with the Negation which is involved in it but distinguished from it, is Reality. Negation is no longer an abstract nothing, but, as a determinate being and somewhat, is only a form of such being — it is as Otherness. Since this otherness, though a determination of Quality itself, is in the first instance distinct from it, Quality is Being-for-another — an expansion of the mere point of Determinate Being, or of Somewhat.

The Being as such of Quality, contrasted with this reference to somewhat else, is Being-for-self. The foundation of all determinateness is negation. The unreflecting observer supposes that determinate things are merely positive, and pins them down under the form of being. Mere being however is not the end of the matter: it is, as we have already seen, utter emptiness and instability besides. Still, when abstract being is confused in this way with being modified and determinate, it implies some perception of the fact that, though in determinate being there is involved an element of negation, this element is at first wrapped up, as it were, and only comes to the front and receives its due in Being-for-self.

If we go on to consider determinate Being as a determinateness which is , we get in this way what is called Reality. We speak, for example, of the reality of a plan or a purpose, meaning thereby that they are no longer inner and subjective, but have passed into being-there-and-then. In the same sense the body may be called the reality of the soul, and the law the reality of freedom, and the world altogether the reality of the divine idea.

For example, we use the expression: This is a real occupation; This is a real man. Here the term does not merely mean outward and immediate existence: but rather that some existence agrees with its notion. In which sense, be it added, reality is not distinct from the ideality which we shall in the first instance become acquainted with in the shape of Being-for-self.

In Being determinate there and then , the determinateness is one with Being; yet at the same time, when explicitly made a negation, it is a Limit , a Barrier. Hence the otherness is not something indifferent and outside it, but a function proper to it. Somewhat is by its quality, firstly finite , secondly alterable ; so that finitude and variability appertain to its being. In Being-there-and-then, the negation is still directly one with the Being, and this negation is what we call a Limit Boundary.

A thing is what it is, only in and by reason of its limit. We cannot therefore regard the limit as only external to being which is then and there. It rather goes through and through the whole of such existence. The view of limit, as merely an external characteristic of being-there-and-then, arises from a confusion of quantitative with qualitative limit. Here we are speaking primarily of the qualitative limit.

If, for example, we observe a piece of ground, three acres large, that circumstance is its quantitative limit. But, in addition, the ground is, it may be, a meadow, not a wood or a pond. This is its qualitative limit. Man, if he wishes to be actual, must be-there-and-then, and to this end he must set a limit to himself. People who are too fastidious towards the finite never reach actuality, but linger lost in abstraction, and their light dies away. If we take a closer look at what a limit implies, we see it involving a contradiction in itself, and thus evincing its dialectical nature.

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On the one side limit makes the reality of a thing; on the other it is its negation. But, again, the limit, as the negation of something, is not an abstract nothing but a nothing which is — what we call an "other". Given something, and up starts an other to us: we know that there is not something only, but an other as well. Nor, again, is the other of such a nature that we can think something apart from it; a something is implicitly the other of itself, and the somewhat sees its limit become objective to it in the other.

If we now ask for the difference between something and another, it turns out that they are the same: which sameness is expressed in Latin by calling the pair aliad-aliud.


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Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Many philosophers have heralded the death of philosophy. Kant claimed responsibility for both its beginning and end, while Heidegger argued it concluded with Nietzsche. In the twentieth century, figures as diverse as John Austin and Richard Rorty have proclaimed philosophy's end, with some even calling for the advent of 'postphilosophy. In an effort to make sense of all these conflicting positions-which often say as much about the philosopher as the subject itself-Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel offers the first systematic treatment of 'the end of philosophy' and, in the process, recasts the history of western thought.

Thomas-Fogiel begins with postphilosophical claims such as scientism, which, by subsuming philosophy into the branches of the natural sciences, she reveals to be self-refuting. She discovers similar issues in Rorty's skepticism and strands of continental thought. Revisiting the work of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century philosophers, when the split between analytical and continental philosophy began, Thomas-Fogiel finds both traditions followed the same path and mdash;the road of reference and mdash;which ultimately led to self-contradiction.

This phenomenon, whether valorized or condemned, has been understood as the death of philosophy. Tracing this pattern from Quine to Rorty, from Heidegger to Levinas and Habermas, Thomas-Fogiel reveals the self-contradiction at the core of their claims while also divining a new path through self-reference that breathes much-needed life into the discipline. Trained under the French philosopher Bernard Bourgeois and a major, upcoming scholar in the field, Thomas-Fogiel remakes philosophy in exciting ways for the next century.

Isabelle Thomas-Fogiel provides the first extended analysis of the theme of the end, or 'death,' of philosophy, which has been on the agenda since at least the early nineteenth century. Thomas-Fogiel, one of our most promising young French philosophers, writes clearly, persuasively, and insightfully.


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She ranges widely over both continental and analytic sources and concentrates well on arguments, weighing and evaluating different interpretations of major figures. This is an important book.