THE ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL
An online book
Hegel claimed “the Greek world developed thought up to the Idea, while the Christian or Germanic world has grasped the thought of spirit. It is Idea and Spirit which mark the distinction between the two.”(1) It is true - moreover it is perfectly true from the point of view of Hegel's objective idealism, - but it is not true enough. Hegel threw materialism overboard and did not take it into consideration at all in spite of the fact that materialism developed freely and out of the bounds of philosophical idealism. A very considerable number of brilliant philosophers worked hard and tirelessly trying to bring materialism to perfection; no wonder that this philosophical doctrine also produced wonderful fruits. On their own account, either of these doctrines of the absolute - the idealism and materialism, - was the true, and at the same time either of them was defective and deficient, because it had not yet developed to totality in which it becomes its other, unites with its other and achieve the absolute in its truth and right.
From the very beginning philosophy did not have a greater task – even if philosophers were not fully aware about it, - but to unify and reconcile these two infinitely contradicting to one another doctrines - the idealism and materialism, - in a unified science of the absolute. However, none of the philosophers has accomplished this deed so far, the simple reason being that each of them remained firmly only within the confines of idealism or only within the confines of materialism. We have shown that Aristotle - the great pupil of Plato, - was the philosopher, who laid the beginnings of the philosophical revolution of unifying idealism and materialism. He was the first to introduce the category of entelechy, but in his philosophy the entelechy is still a very poor determination of the material actuality, the reason being that it is only in the beginning of its development. It is true that in the whole history of philosophy no one has busied himself in developing this superb Aristotelian category; however, the fact remains that at the same time all philosophers developed its determinations in one way or another. Thus the world spirit has never stopped its great work as it infinitely strives for founding a unified philosophical science of the absolute. Beyond question, it has made great advances in reaching its goal; its forward movement is insuperable.
Our principle thesis is that due to this enormous preparatory work of the world Spirit, at last the absolute has attained the higher standpoint of the absolute entelechy and its highest determination - the Absolute Rational Will. The first act of the infinite and unconditional power of the latter is to achieve the unity of idealism and materialism because it itself is a manifestation of the material actuality, i.e. a manifestation of the absolute indivisible unity of actuality (which all the idealists regarded as actus purus, as the ideal) and matter. Thus, as material ideality the entelechial Rational Will sublates both matter and Hegel's absolute Spirit. If it is difficult in the extreme for someone to move in this new ideal materiality, we have to say that the division of philosophy into idealism and materialism was a result of the work of the philosophical Understanding, not the work of Reason. It was easy for the understanding to grasp the absolute dogmatically and in its one-sidedness. The unity of these two philosophical doctrines has always seemed to the Understanding to be mystical and unachievable. The Absolute Rational Will, on the contrary, is at home with itself in this ideal materiality.
As we have shown above, Hegel's objective determinations of thought are actually different circles of the energy of materializing the ends of the absolute entelechy; this energy is a manifestation of the Volition of the absolute entelechy. Thus the concept and the Volition equalize and constitute the strongest contradiction of absolute entelechy. The living being, which according to Hegel is only a for-itself-existing concept, is at the same time an actual Volition. It is the material actuality, which the principle "Will yourself" has at a certain stage of its development. The realization of this principle is - let us use one of Hegel's favourite expressions, - a circle of circles. The higher circle of development of the principle has power over the preceding one and assimilates it. The living being (the subjective, the subject) enters in possession of what absolutely rightly belongs to it. It has the great energy of the absolutely actual; it wills and strives for its good, for its self-preservation and the self-preservation of its genus. It has the urge, the Volition, to transform its inorganic Other, to subdue it and to make the outer world its own. It enters in possession of its inorganic other, its inorganic nature, which cannot oppose against its power. It is not yet a thinking Volition; its still unconscious Will is only a pure manifestation of the absolute Will of its own universal creator - the absolute entelechy.
But only in man, who is the materialization and the actuality of the principle "Will yourself" - the principle of Man's self-cognition, self-possession and self-rule, - the absolute entelechy develops into its highest circle, in which it has power over all its preceding stages. It is precisely this highest degree of its development, in which the absolute entelechy manifests its Absolute Rational Will as the self-knowing Good, which cognises itself so as to come in perfect possession of itself in politovolia - the totally practical universal Political Will. The absolute entelechy is the infinite flexible contradiction of Volition and concept; it sublates them in its speculative unity, so that it is as much a volitional concept as it is a conceptual Volition. It is the Absolute Rational Will to know, to possess and to rule itself.
The principle of Absolute Rational Will "Will yourself" is the principle of politovolia, which - as we have shown, - is as much a unified science of the absolute as it is the absolute itself in its living deed. The principle of politovolia is the truth of the principle of Hegel's philosophy; it recognizes the affirmative element in the latter and retains "Cognise yourself" as its own moment. Thus, the Absolute Rational Will replaces Hegel's absolute Spirit, and politovolia sublates philosophy so that the principle of Hegel's philosophy is retained. Politovolia is the result of the whole development of Absolute Rational Will so far. It was, is and will continuously be the realization of the absolute end of Rational Will at each particular stage of its development.
Without question, politovolia goes beyond the bounds of the only cognising philosophy. At the same time it is up to the requirements of a true philosophy as it contains in itself the whole preceding development of the science of philosophy as sublated. Hegel's philosophy is refuted by the newest standpoint of the absolute in a true way because the latter contains in itself the whole content of the former as sublated, retains it as true and develops it. Thus, art, religion and philosophy - which Hegel regarded as the highest determinations of Absolute Spirit and, therefore, as higher than the Objective Spirit, i.e. as higher than the totality of determinations of political and civil freedom on which each state is based, - are degraded to ordinary spheres of the absolute material actuality. Politovolia is the truly highest self-determination of Absolute Rational Will. The world-history presents us the development of the living self-organizing deed of politovolia or, in other words, it is the history of Absolute Rational Will, which in and through its self-mediation is the living process of coming into possession of itself. Politovolia is the science that we have to develop providing that we feel the needs of our time and make them our own.
1. Hegel’s Introduction to the Lectures on the History of Philosophy, translated by T. M. Knox and A.V. Miller, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1987, pp. 175-176
ON THE ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL
(an online book published on 29.10.2001 Copyright © 2001 Janko Stojanow)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL
1. On the Absolute Rational Will (Published on 5.05.2002)
2. On the Soul (Published on 16.06.2002)
3. On Property (Published on 5.02.2003)
4. Sublation of Hegel's philosophy (Published on 28.08.2002)
5. WILL YOURSELF (Published on 10.09.2002)
6. A Copernican Revolution in Philosophy (Published on 19.10.2002)
7. The totally practical universal Philosophy (Published on 26.12.2002)
Copyright © 2001 Janko Stojanow. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.
OF THE ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL