Monday, January 2, 2012

Comments on Hegel

Will Durant, in his The Story of Philosophy, 1933, Simon and Schuster, NY, NY,p.221 quotes Scottish philospher Edward Caird's "Hegel", Blackwood Philosophical Classics;pp.5-8: ""But the height of audacity in serving up pure nonsense, in stringing together senseless and extravagant mazes of words, such as had previously been known only in madhouses, was finally reached in Hegel, and became the instrument of the most bare-faced general mystification that has ever taken place, with a result which will appear fabulous to posterity, and will remain as a monument to German stupidity."

In his Fooled by Randomness Random House, NY, 2004 p.74, Nassim Nicholas Taleb says:
"The Father of All Psuedothinkers

It is hard to resist discussion of artificial history without comment on the father of all pseudothinkers, Hegel. Hegel writes jargon that is meaningless outside of a chic Left Bank Parisian cafe or the humanities department of some university extremely well insulated from the real world. I suggest this passage from the German 'philosopher' (this passage detected, translated, and reviled by Karl Popper):

Sound is the change in the specific condition of segregation of the material parts, and in the negation of this condition; merely an abstract or an ideal ideality, as it were, of that specification. But this change, accordingly, is itself immediately the negation of the material specific subsistence; which is, therefore, real ideality of specific gravity and cohesion, i.e.--heat. The heating up of the sounding bodies, just as of beaten and or rubbed ones, is the appearance of heat, originating conceptually together with sound.

. . . . Now consider that Hegelian thinking is generally linked to a 'scientific' approach to history; it has produced such results as Marxist regimes and even a branch called 'neo-Hegelian' thinking. These 'thinkers' should be given an undergraduate-level class on statistical sampling theory prior to their release into the open world."

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