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Being is a broad concept encompassing objective and subjective features of reality and existence.


  • Wir kommen für die Götter zu spät und zu
früh fürs Sein. Das Gedicht des Seins, erst
begonnen, ist der Mensch.
  • We are too late for the gods
and too early for being
being’s poem, just begun, is man.
  • Through Hegel, everyone is now familiar with the dialectic of becoming. That which in the process of becoming is the alternation between being and non-being is later the negative and the positive. In our time, we often enough hear talk about the negative and about negative thinkers, and in that connection often enough hear the preaching of the positive ones and their prayers offering thanks to God and Hegel that they are not like those negative ones but have become positive. In the domain of thinking, the positive can be classed in the following categories: sensate certainty, historical knowledge, speculative result. But this positive is precisely the untrue. Sensate certainty is a delusion, historical knowledge is an illusion, and the speculative result is a phantom. That is, all this positive fails to express the state of the knowing subject in existence; hence it pertains to a fictive objective subject, and to mistake oneself for such a subject is to be fooled and remain fooled.
  • Λέγω δὴ τὸ καὶ ὁποιανοῦν τινα κεκτημένον δύναμιν εἴτ᾿ εἰς τὸ ποιεῖν ἕτερον ὁτιοῦν πεφυκὸς εἴτ᾿ εἰς τὸ παθεῖν καὶ σμικρότατον ὑπὸ τοῦ φαυλοτάτου, κἂν εἰ μόνον εἰς ἅπαξ, πᾶν τοῦτο ὄντως εἶναι· τίθεμαι γὰρ ὅρον ὁρίζειν τὰ ὄντα, ὡς ἔστιν οὐκ ἄλλο τι πλὴν δύναμις.
    • I'm saying that a thing really is if it has any capacity at all, either by nature to do something to something else or to have even the smallest thing done to it by even the most trivial thing, even if it only happens once. I'll take it as a definition that those which are amount to nothing other than capacity.
      • Plato, Sophist, 247e, as translated by Nicholas P. White, in Plato: Complete Works (1997), p. 269
  • Whatever we postulate as a beginning of pure science must be, as such, not yet scientifically determined. It is the object of pure science to develop a system, and of course the beginning cannot be a system. Since in pure science we must not receive determinations (attributes, qualities, categories, definitions, logical terms, &c.) except those justified and defined by the system, any determination that we postulate, and that is not objectively evolved, must be regarded as unscientific and therefore rejected. Determination and negation are identical, and the complete removal of determination or negation should give us pure being as a beginning or starting-point of our system. Were our system to start with any other category, as for example with the Ego, that category must be as empty as pare being; if not, it would contain pure being plus determinations, and thus duality would be present before the system had evolved it. It would be ostensibly seized as a simple somewhat, and yet the mind would mean something else more concrete. Science has to do with what is expressed and not with what is merely meant. Hence, unless Science is to start unscientifically, it must commence with pure Being.
    • Hegel as the National Philosopher of Germany by Karl Rosenkranz 1805-1879; Hall, G. Stanley (Granville Stanley), 1844-1924. Tr

See also

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