Janko Stojanow

ON THE ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL

(SUBLATION OF ’S PHILOSOPHY) G.W.F. Hegel

  Volume 2 

Further development of the Philosophy of Absolute Rational Will

 

 

 

I. ON THE ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL

 

 

 

 

 

Aristotle is absolutely right when he defines Entelechy as free activity, which has the end (to teloz) in itself, and is the realization of this end but what he still does not attain to is the standpoint that Entelechy expresses the ends of the Absolute Volition, i.e. of the Absolute Rational Will. Being the philosopher of material entelechy, Aristotle begins his Nicomachean Ethics with the following words about the nature of human decisions and activities: "Every art and every inquiry, every action and choice, seems to aim at some good; whence the good has rightly been defined as that which all things aim." He bases his ethics on material teleology, i.e. the ethical is not determined by the motive but by the aim and the good that the aim would actualise through our action. Aristotle states that our conscious (preferential) choice - he calls it "reasonable desire" or "desireful reason," - has to do not with ends, but with means. Unquestionably, Aristotle failed to introduce the concept of Will in his philosophy - from today's point of view, it is easy to see that Aristotle lacks the concept of Absolute Will in its contemporary sense, - yet, he certainly was the first rational voluntarist.  It was his rational voluntarism that made it possible for him to attain to the standpoint that the ethical (practical, political philosophy) depends upon how much the practical Will of each epoch of World history is capable of achieving the ends of the Absolute.

The will wills to possess itself  - to be in power over itself, - because it is its own highest good; it is directed towards itself. One of the mistakes Aristotle does is to talk about the good and the highest good without examining the absolute Will. The good that the aim (the end of absolute material entelechy) actualises through our action is nothing else but the aim of Will to satisfy itself, to come to its total possession. What Hegel contempts (the fact that the Will  - and Hegel speaks first and foremost about our finite will, not about the infinite power of the Absolute Will, - has only finite aims) is in fact a part of the real process in which the Will itself is involved. The Absolute has and uses its immanent power to rule and determine itself and possess itself in the totality of its self-knowing and self-possessing Will. 

Hegel's philosophy lacks the contemporary concept of Absolute Will. Hegel does not take into consideration that although thinking is an immanent moment of the Absolute, it is not the Absolute itself. Hegel's Concept is the logical expression of the absolutely actual material Volition - the absolute actual material mover. That is why Hegel is forced to call the absolute actual  material volition a concept in itself. Hegel wanted to develop the science of psychology. I wrote about that in volume 1 of my book "On the Absolute Rational Will (Sublation of Hegel's philosophy)": Yet, Hegel's philosophy - notwithstanding the fact that it is knowledge about the Absolute Idea, about the absolute truth, - is still not the absolutely true. Although we find a very considerable number of great speculative ideas about the good and the volition, we cannot but bring out the defective character of Hegel’s philosophy. Hegel himself is fully aware of the fact that his notion of will is not equal to the task. It is no accident that the last book published by Hegel was The Philosophy of Right. It is no accident that - as he says in the introduction of this book, - he feels the need to develop psychology: “The proof that the will is free and the proof of the nature of the will and freedom can be established only as a link in the whole chain [of philosophy]. The fundamental premises of this proof are that mind to start with is intelligence, that the phases through which it passes in its development from feeling, through representative thinking, to thinking proper, are the road along which it produces itself as will, and that will, as practical mind in general, is the truth of intelligence, the stage next above it. These premises I have expounded in my Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences and I hope by and by to be able to elaborate them still further. There is all the more need for me by so doing to make my contribution to what I hope is the deeper knowledge of the nature of mind in that, as I have said in the Encyclopaedia, scarcely any philosophical science is so neglected and so ill off as the theory of mind, usually called ‘psychology.’”(17) But the concept of will has never been examined thoroughly and with all the attention it deserves - neither before Hegel nor after him. No other notion is as extremely indeterminate as the notion of will, although it is used in both psychological and ethical doctrines."                        (See http://www.jgora.dialog.net.pl/OnTheAbsoluteRationalWill/TheDefectOfHegel'sPhilosophy.htm)

Had Hegel made his contribution to deeper knowledge of the nature of mind in psychology, he would have developed his philosophy in a more materialistic manner. He failed to do it; his philosophy is only the highest apex of speculative intellectualistic philosophy. Making philosophy a speculative intellectualistic and voluntaristic science was not the task of his time yet; we cannot want him to have achieved this higher level of development of the science of philosophy. Hegel says that his standpoint is "the knowledge of the Idea as spirit, as absolute Spirit, which in this way opposes to itself another spirit, the finite, the principle of which is to know absolute spirit, in order that absolute spirit may become existent for it." (Hegel, Lectures on the history of philosophy, translated by E. S. Haldane and Frances H. Simson, volume 3, Medieval and modern philosophy, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln and London, 1995, page 553

According to Hegel the Absolute is Spirit, thinking itself thought. It is all the other way round in the philosophy of Absolute Rational Will. Matter thinks. In material brain it (matter) dematerialises itself (which was brilliantly expressed by Aristotle who defined sensation as the faculty "by which we receive the forms of sensible things without the matter, as the wax receives the figure of the seal without the metal of which the seal is composed". It is "a movement of the soul", the "form without the matter" being the stimulus which calls forth that movement). Matter (the absolute material entelechy) has the drive (the desire, the conation) to dematerialise itself, to come into a possession of its ideal (immaterial) form or cognitive form. Absolute Will is totally practical; its goal is to cognise itself - i.e. to mediate itself through itself with itself, - and through the process of its self-thinking to attain to complete knowledge of itself. Theoretical Reason is the first negation of the immediate natural Will (which is thoroughly material) with the result that the latter is now posited as mediated, referred to Theoretical Reason. Theoretical Reason knows itself as actus purus, i.e. as pure entelechy without its immanent other - the matter. Theoretical Reason is abstract; it lacks the absolute concreteness of the material entelechy and it is not the ultimate end which is valuable in itself. That is why the mediated is at the same time the mediating, i.e. the Will has the volition, the desire, to sublate its spiritual form and make it serve itself (serve the Will). The brain has its immanent desire to apply (to use) its theoretical knowledge for its practical purposes [that is Aristotle's so called conscious choice] and to materialise its ideal form again. In so doing, the Will sublates theoretical Reason to Practical Reason, whose end or purpose is Will itself, i.e. material action in its complete reality, not pure knowledge. This is the second negation of Will as Reason. Thus, the truth obtained by thinking matter (intellect) comes to its conformity with the law of Will, which now as thinking itself Will knows itself for itself and enters in total possession of itself as Absolute Rational Will. It is matter that dematerialises itself (cognises itself), but only to possess, use and materialise itself as Absolute Rational Will.  

We cannot divide cognition from taking into possession; dividing them, we regard them as abstract moments of the absolute. Cognition is a moment of the absolute, which constantly cognises itself in order to enter into complete possession of itself and, therefore, through the process of self-cognition actually takes possession of its own spirit. But this spiritual property of the absolute is neither the highest moment nor the totality of the latter. It is only a moment of the absolute; on their own account cognition, knowledge and spirit are one-sided and not half speculative enough. In thought the "I" has itself as a spiritual property of itself, but this is not the true and rightful way of existence of the absolute. Theoretical Reason is a means, not the ultimate end of the Absolute. The aim of the totally actual Absolute Will is to mediate itself with itself through itself so that as Theoretical Reason its goal is knowledge while the goal of Practical Reason is the will itself (complete material actuality, not mere knowledge). Through brain and its universal thoughts Will organises itself in a universal way and frees itself from its natural willing, from its pure materiality with the result that the Absolute Rational Will is both material and spiritual. But the primacy of the practical material entelechy over Spirit, the primacy of the practical over the pure reason, has been explicitly expressed above and it has to be decisively stated time and time again.

The Absolute Rational Will is as much the thoroughly true as it is the material-actual (the real). It is the self-moving principle of the world because it and it alone is what exists for itself and possesses itself for itself. It is an extremely important definition and that is why the philosophy of the Absolute Rational Will has to be elaborated on and deserves to be developed more than anything whatsoever in philosophy.

Completion of the Absolute substantial Will belongs to our nature because it is the Absolute that makes us want and act in order to complete its Will. We are free as much as we complete its Will and achieve unity of subjective and objective substantial Will as well as harmony between Absolute Power and Freedom. In-and-through Hegel's Concept as the immaterial manifestation of Absolute Will, the latter aims at cognising itself and acting (completing) itself as an Absolute Rational Will in order to come back to itself. Unifying subjective and objective substantial Will, the Absolute unifies with itself, develops itself for itself as Absolute Rational Will  and enters in possession of itself achieving its highest end - Freedom. This is the process of self-development of Absolute Rational Will, in which the beginning and the end are identical since the process is nothing else but the unfolding end (aim) of Will - to cognise and possess itself. Thus, man and the absolute, the subjective and objective substantial Will are one and the same. Their unity is the substantial concrete Rational Will. The task of the world is not - as Hegel claims, - "to reconcile itself with spirit, to cognise itself in it," but to cognise the Absolute Will, which takes total possession of itself in the world and develops its total power so that it obeys itself to itself only. Will consists in possessing itself, in becoming its own master, in using itself for itself, i.e. in manifesting itself; this is its nature.

Each animal is in its own way aware of its will - the will to preserve itself, to reproduce its genus, to have itself in-and-for-itself, i.e. to have its highest good in its complete reality; the will to live.  Being the subject of Rational Willing, in nature (in his other) Man wills his own other, his own will, so that Will has itself, refers to itself and has itself as its own object, i.e. making objective substantial will its object, the "I" takes possession of itself and is in total possession of itself. Nature does not come to Rational Willing. Only Man double himself with the result that he is the willing itself Will, the will of Will. It is man that is a thinking itself Will - the will to cognise himself (to cognise the Absolute universal law, the law of the objective substantial Will) and through its self-cognition to free himself, to possess himself totally. Then and only then - as a total self-possession of itself, - the Absolute Rational Will achieves its highest good: Freedom. And Jesus Christ expresses that. He says: "And you will cognise the Truth, and  the Truth will make you free." Freedom is the complete actuality of the Absolute Rational Will and the definite way, in which the latter wills itself substantially and possesses itself for itself. Only God, the Absolute, has the Absolute Rational Will and, thus, is the immortal living in which Material Will and its Spirit (its immaterial, incorporeal form) are unified and are one-and-the-same. We have to acknowledge the primacy of its ethical order (the divine ethical order), i.e. of its Absolute Law, in-and-through-which Will attains to and carries out into practice its highest good - the complete totality of its Absolute Freedom. 

Aristotle attained to the absolute principle of individuation of Material Entelechy, which makes a concrete, particular substance to be a particular individual. Matter has the entelechy or actuality to self-organise itself as a natural living body, so that every organ has its purpose, that purpose being an activity. In this natural organic body is one desire, one appetite, one conation, one end, i.e., one Will,  -  the Will to live and possess itself totally. It is the Absolute Will of material entelechy that manifests itself as the principle of individual life, i.e. as a soul. Each animal is striving for the fulfillment of its own nature - the end (the goal) toward which it develops is the complete reality of that animal. The latter is the manifestation of the Absolute Rational Will of its Material Entelechy, which desires its highest good - to have, to posses itself for itself as a concrete particular entirety.  

Hegel - to whom the Absolute is thinking itself thought, - says that without thinking, Will (he should have said that Rational Will in its complete reality as a result of its self-development) is not possible. However, the contary is true as well - no  thinking consciousness exists and can exists without material volition. This is the strongest contradiction of the Absolute, which - in virtue of its infinite elasticity, - unites its infinitely opposite moments and combines them in the unity of its complete reality as Absolute Rational Will. Rationality is an immanent, substantial moment of the Absolute Material Entelechy; the latter is intrinsically and primarily rational. But this moment deserves to be elaborated on. At the very beginning of its development the Absolute Material Entelechy creates cells, which according to the changing living conditions of their environment join in groups of cells. The groups of cells - through millions of generations and revolutionary transformations, -  join in hundreds of early plant and animal species, which in turn develop in tens of thousands of species. In each particular moment of its self-development, the Absolute has a clear aim (purpose), this aim being to find the best possible solution in line with the conditions of the environment, in line with the properties of its absolute nature. That is the reason that thinking matter, - human brain, - finds out that the Absolute is rational; whatever the latter creates is the best solution of its Will and, therefore, rational. Now we can say that:

What is volitional is rational and what is rational is volitional.

The last sentence is a paraphrase of Hegel's famous sentence: "What is actual is rational and what is rational is actual." This paraphrase allows us to see the tremendous headway the philosophy of the Absolute Rational Will has made. Let us compare its result with the result of Hegel's philosophy. In § 22 of his Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences Hegel states: "We said above that, according to the old belief, it was the characteristic right of the mind to know the truth. If this be so, it also implies that everything we know both of outward and inward nature, in one word, the objective world, is in its own self the same as it is in thought, and that to think is to bring out the truth of our object, be it what it may. The business of philosophy is only to bring into explicit consciousness what the world in all ages has believed about thought. Philosophy therefore advances nothing new; and our present discussion has led us to a conclusion which agrees with the natural belief of mankind. Thus, philosophy does not constitute anything new; what we have achieved throuhgh our reflection is the immediate conviction of every man."(Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1830) Part One, § 22) However, the very principle of Hegel's philosophy is not yet the truly ultimate and infinite principle of the Absolute. Hegel's philosophy does not express genuinely the point of view of the public in large, the reason being that his Science of Logic is the fundamental foundation to his entire philosophical system. In his Science of Logic Hegel says: "Accordingly, logic is to be understood as the system of pure reason, as the realm of pure thought. It can therefore be said that this content is the exposition of God as he is in his eternal essence before the creation of nature and a finite mind." It is beyond doubt that as a matter of fact not only his Philosophy of Right but all the other parts of his system are in a sense a repetition of his logic. Hegel examines the reason, the self-consciousness; in his philosophy Will is nothing more but manifestation of reason. 

Hegel's philosophy is only a cognitive, intellectualistic philosophy. Everywhere in his works he writes about the being in-and-for-itself, i.e. from the point of view of the cognising spirit only. Everywhere in his works he uses the language of his Logic. For example Hegel says that "Activity with Aristotle is undoubtedly also change, but change that is within the universal, and that remains self-identical ; consequently a determination which is self-determination, and therefore the self-realising universal end." Determination, self-determination, absolute negativity, the negation of negation - everywhere in Hegel's works we come across the categories of his Logic presented as categories of the absolute.  The language of Natural Sciences and the philosophy of Absolute Rational Will is closer to the point of view of the public in large. It is much more natural to say that the Absolute self-organises itself instead of using the language of his Logic and saying that it self-determines itself.                                        

Hegel does not treat the absolute per se as it has itself for itself. In the quotation above he states that "The business of philosophy is only to bring into explicit consciousness what the world in all ages has believed about thought." It is true but it is simply not true enough. Cognising itself - i.e. achieving its logic and its own Absolute Truth, - is only a part of the business of the Absolute. “Possess yourself” is the truly universal principle; “Cognise yourself” is only a moment subordinate to this truly higher principle. For that reason now we have to regard Hegel's objective determinations of thought such as they are on their own account, namely as material volitions and to cognise the absolute on the basis of its higher principle “Cognise and possess yourself”. Thus the concept, the reason, the spirit is not the highest principle of the absolute but the entelechial rational will is. If the reason, the spirit is the form of forms, the good is the absolute unity of form and matter. Volition is a higher moment of the Absolute than Concept and contains in itself Hegel's Concept as sublated; the latter is nothing else but cognised Volition. 

"Cognise thyself" - the principle of each intellectualistic philosophy, - is actually an immanent moment of the law of the World Will; the latter is definitely the universal principle of the absolute and its universal law as well as all the laws of nature in particular. The newest principle - the principle of the philosophy of the Absolute Rational Will, - "Cognise and possess yourself" is the cornerstone of the immanent SELF-SUBLATION of Hegel's philosophy. So, using both Hegelian language and sublated Hegelian language (based on the principle "Cognise and possess yourself") I should say that in itself Hegel's philosophy is sublated (Sublation is the inevitable fate of each philosophy, Hegel's not excluded. Sublation is just the result of the overmastering will of the Absolute to develop itself, to cognise and possess itself.) No wonder that as a result of the overmastering desire of the Absolute to raise its infinitely rich content to a higher level, it has to sublate the previous stages of its self-development, i.e. to come to genuine sublation of Hegel's philosophy for-itself. Thus, the Absolute has to sublate Hegel's philosophy - the highest philosophy it has attained to so far; a philosophy, in which the Absolute achieved its pure scientific form and scientific meticulousness. And there is no doubt that nowadays only through sublation of its highest stage - Hegel's philosophy, - can the Absolute enter into a deeper possession of its own material-rational will.

Hegel himself said that when a philosophy is refuted what is refuted is not the principle of a philosophy, but only the claim of its principle to be final and absolute and, as such, to have absolute validity. The old principle is taken up into the new one so that the latest philosophy preserves all the previous principles and contains them into itself and as something that deserves to be eternally alive since they are moments of the Absolute truth.

The Understanding, Reason - the whole nature of consciousness, - as well as  Hegel's Absolute Spirit can be understood only from the point of view of ends which are set up by the self, by the Will of the "I," which is the determining factor in reality. The laws of the Absolute Will rule the world; its laws govern everything on Earth and in the Universe. In its highest manifestation, in man or other forms of thinking itself willing matter, it attains to conscious realisation of the law of its Absolute Rational Will in the world satisfying the highest needs of its thinking willing nature. As a sublation of Hegel's philosophy, the philosophy of Absolute Rational Will preserves the whole content of that great philosophy. And Hegel's philosophy deserves to be sublated, i.e. to be preserved everything whatsoever that belongs to the Absolute truth and at the same time to be developed its true content to a higher level of its self-development. Beyond question, it is the absolute that manifests its infinite volition to develop itself further. It is not we that sublate great philosophies. It is the Absolute that develops the different stages of the science of philosophy sublating its previous stages. It is the Absolute that is self-sublating itself; the Absolute has to be comprehended as the speculative movement in which and through which it is in the process of constant self-sublating. It is the immanent power of the absolute to rule and determine itself and possess itself in the totality of its self-knowing and self-possessing Will.

 Janko Stojanow

5. 05. 2002, Poland 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janko Stojanow

ON THE ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL

(SUBLATION OF HEGEL’S PHILOSOPHY)

(an online book published on 29.10.2001 Copyright © 2001 Janko Stojanow)

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

   

Preface Philosophy of the Absolute Rational Will

Introduction 

I. Sublation of Hegel's philosophy

II. On the Absolute Material Entelechy

III. On Aristotle's concept of Will 

IV. On the Absolute Rational Will 

V. Political Will - the totally practical universal Rational Will

Conclusion   

 

FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL    

Preface to the 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)

 

A quotation

 

JOIN THE PROJECT    

 

 

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.

 

 

(SUBLATION OF ’S PHILOSOPHY) G.W.F. Hegel

 

Join *the Philosophy of Absolute Rational Will* Discussion Group   Art

 

HOME

PHILOSOPHY OF THE ABSOLUTE RATIONAL WILL