Friday, May 03, 2002

"Opinion considers the opposition of what is true and false quite rigid, and confronted with a philosophical system, it expects agreement or contradiction. And in an explanation of such a system, opinion still expects to find one or the other. It does not comprehend the difference of the philosophical systems in terms of the progressive development of the truth, but sees only the contradiction in this difference.

The bud disappears as the blossom bursts forth, and one could say that the former is refuted by the latter. In the same way, the fruit declares the blossom to be a false existence of the plant, and the fruit supplants the blossom as the truth of the plant. These forms do not only differ, they also displace each other, because they are incompatible. Their fluid nature, however, makes them at the same time elements of an organic unity in which they not only do not conflict, but in which one is as necessary as the other. And it is only this equal necessity that constitutes the life of the whole."

—Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface.
Translated by Walter Kaufmann.
There is a poorer translation here.

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