Conspectus of Hegel’s Book Lectures On the History of Philosophy

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Author(s) Lenin
Written 1915

Source: Lenin Collected Works, 4th Edition, Moscow, 1976, Volume 38, pp. 243-302
Publisher: Progress Publishers
First Published: 1930 in Lenin Miscellany XII

Introduction to the History of Philosophy[edit source]


p. 37[1]...“If the truth is abstract it

must be untrue. Healthy human rea-

son goes out towards what is con-

crete.... Philosophy is what is most an-

tagonistic to abstraction, it leads back to the concrete....”
p. 40:
comparison of the history of philosophy with a circe—“a circle ...

which, as periphery, has very many

A very pro-

found correct


Every shade

of thought =

a circle on

the great

circle (a spi-

ral) of the


of human

thought in

conceptions of the systems appearing in

the history of Philosophy be entirely di-

vested of that which pertains to their

outward form, their relation to the partic-

ular and the like, the various stages in

the determination of the Idea itself are

found in its logical Notion.”

“Conversely in the logical progression

taken for itself, there is, so far as its prin-

cipal elements are concerned, the progres-

sion of historical manifestations; but it is

necessary, of course, to be able to discern

these pure Notions in what the historical

form contains.” (43)

P. 56—ridicule of the chasing after fash-

...“I maintain that the sequence in the

systems of philosophy in history is the same as the sequence in the logical deduc- tion of the Notion-determinations of the

Idea. I maintain that if the fundamental

NB : Extremely lengthy, empty and tedious on the relation

of philosophy to religion. In general, an introduction of

almost 200 pages—impossible!!
ion,—after those who are ready “auch

jedes Geschwöge (?) für eine Philo-

sophie auszuschreien.”[2]

Pp. 57-58—

excellent for strict historicity in the

history of philosophy, so that one

should not ascribe to the ancients a

“development” of their ideas, which

is comprehensible to us but which

in fact was not present in the ancients.

Thales, for example, did not possess

the conception άρχή[3](as a prin-

ciple), did not possess the concept of


...“Thus there are whole nations

which have not this concept” (of cause)

“at all; indeed it involves a great

step forward in development....” (58)

Volume XIII. Volume I of The History of Philosophy. History of Greek Philosophy[edit source]

IONIC PHILOSOPHY[4][edit source]
“Anaximander (610-547 B. C.) supposes

man to develop from a fish.” (213)

...“Hence the determinations are dry,

destitute of process, undialectical, and sta-

tionary....” (244)
negative de-


of dialectics
This refers to the general ideas of the

Pythagoreans;—“number” and its sig-

nificance, etc. Ergo: it is said in regard

to the primitive ideas of the Pythago-

reans, their primitive philosophy; their

“determinations” of substance, things,

the world, are “dry, destitute of process

(movement), undialectical.”

Tracing predominantly the dialectical in

the history of philosophy, Hegel cites the

views of the Pythagoreans: ...“one, added

to even, makes odd (2+1 = 3);—added

to odd, it makes even (3+1 = 4);—it”

(Eins[6]) “has the property of making ge-

rade (= even), and consequently it must

itself be even. Thus unity contains in it-

self different determinations.” (246)
Musical harmony and the philosophy of


(“harmony of

the world”)

“The subjective, and, in the case of hear-

ing, simple feeling, which, however, exists

inherently in relation, Pythagoras has at-

tributed to the understanding, and he at-

tained his object by means of fixed deter-

minations.” (282)

relation of

the subjec-

tive to the


Pp. 265--266:

the movement of the heav-

enly bodies—their harmony—the har-

mony of the singing heavenly spheres

inaudible to us (in the Pythago-

reans): Aristotle, De coelo, II, 13 (and 9)[7]:

...“Fire was placed by the Pythagoreans

in the middle, but the Earth was made

a star that moved around this central body

in a circle....” But for them this fire was

not the sun.... “They thus rely, not on

sensuous appearance, but on grounds....

These ten spheres”
ten spheres or orbits

or movements of the ten planets: Mer-

cury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Sun,

Moon, Earth, the Milky Way and the

Gegenerde[8] (—antipode?) invented “for

an even number,” for 10[9]

“like all that

is in motion, make a sound; but each

makes a different tone, according to the

difference in its size and velocity. This

is determined by the different distances,

which bear a harmonious relationship to

one another, in accordance with musical

intervals; by this means a harmonious

sound (music) arises in the moving spheres


Concerning the soul, the Pythagoreans

thought “die Seele set: die Sonnenstäub-

chen[10] (p. 268) (= dust particle, atom)

(Aristotle, De anima, I, 2).”[11]

An allusion

to the struc-

ture of


the role of

dust (in the

sunbeam) in


In the soul—seven circles (elements)

as in the heavens. Aristotle, De ani-

ma, I, 3—p. 269.





on the resem-

blance of the


and the

And here immediately are recounted the

fables that Pythagoras (who had taken

from the Egyptians the doctrine of the im-

mortality of the soul and the transmi-

gration of souls) related about himself, that

his soul had dwelt 207 years in other people,

etc., etc. (271)
NB: the linking of the germs of scien-

tific thought with fantasy à la religion,

mythology. And nowadays! Likewise,

the same linking but the proportions

of science and mythology are different.
More on the theory of numbers of Pytha-


“Numbers, where are they? Dispersed

through space, dwelling in independence

in the heaven of ideas? They are not

things immediately in themselves, for a

thing, a substance, is something quite

other than a number—a body bears no

resemblance to it.” 254

Quotation |from Aristotle?—Met-

aphysik, I, 9, is it not? From Sextus

Empiricus? Unclear|.

Pp. 279-280—the Pythagoreans accept the

ether (...“A ray penetrates from the

sun through the dense and cold ether,”


Thus the conjecture about the ether

has existed for thousands of years, re-

maining until now a conjecture. But

at the present time there are already

a thousand times more subsurface chan-

nels leading to a solution of the prob-

lem, to a scientific determination of

the ether.

THE ELEATIC SCHOOL[12][edit source]
In speaking of the Eleatic school, Hegel

says about dialectics:

...“We here” (in der eleatischen Schule[13])

“find the beginning of dialectics, i.e.,

simply the pure movement of thought

in Notions; likewise we see the opposition

of thought to outward appearance or sen-

suous Being, or of that which is implicit

to the being-for-another of this implicit-

ness, and in the objective existence we see

the contradiction which it has in itself,

or dialectics proper....” (280) See the next

what is


Here are essentially two determinations

(two characteristics, two typical features;

Bestimmungen, keine Definitionen[15]) of


α) “the pure movement of thought

in Notions”;

β) “in the (very) essence of objects

(to elucidate) (to reveal) the con-

tradiction which it (this essence)

has in itself (dialectics


In other words, this “fragment” of He-

gel’s should be reproduced as follows:

Dialectics in general is “the pure move-

ment of thought in Notions“ (i.e., putting

it without the mysticism of idealism:

human concepts are not fixed but are

eternally in movement, they pass into

one another, they flow into one another,

otherwise they do not reflect living life.

The analysis of concepts, the study of

them, the “art of operating with them”

(Engels)[17] always demands study of the

movement of concepts, of their inter-

connection, of their mutual transitions).

In particular, dialectics is the study

of the opposition of the Thing-in-itself

(an sich), of the essence, substratum, sub-

stance—from the appearance, from “Be-

ing-for-Others.” (Here, too, we see a tran-

sition, a flow from the one to the other: the

essence appears. The appearance is essen-

tial.) Human thought goes endlessly deeper

from appearance to essence, from essence of

the first order, as it were, to essence of

the second order, and so on without


Dialectics in the proper sense is the

study of contradiction in the very essence

of objects: not only are appearances tran-

sitory, mobile, fluid, demarcated only

by conventional boundaries, but the es-

sence of things is so as well.

Hegel on


(see the


Sextus Empiricus presents the point of

view of the Sceptics as follows:

...“Let us imagine that in a house in

which there are many valuables, there

were those who sought for gold by night;

each would then think that he had found

the gold, but would not know for certain

whether he had actually found it. Thus

philosophers come into this world as into

a great house to seek the truth, but were

they to reach it, they could not tell

whether they had really attained it....”

the compari-

son is

a tempting


Xenophanes (the Eleatic) said:
“Did beasts and lions only have hands,

Works of art thereby to bring forth, as

do men,

They would, in creating divine forms,

give to them

What in image and size belongs to them-

Gods in the

image of

selves....” (289-290)

“What especially characterises Zeno is

dialectics, which ... begins with him....”


“We find in Zeno likewise true objective

dialectics.” (309)

(310: on the refutation of philosophic

systems: “Falsity must not be demonstrat-

ed as untrue because the opposite is true,

but in itself....”)

“Dialectics is in general α) external dia-

lectics, in which this movement is differ-

ent from the comprehension of this move-
ment; β) not a movement of our intelli-

gence only, but what proceeds from the

nature of the thing itself, i. e., from the

pure Notion of the content. The former

is a manner of regarding objects in such

a way that reasons are revealed and aspects

of them shown, by means of which all

that was supposed to be firmly fixed, is

made to totter. There may be reasons which

are altogether external too, and we shall

speak further of this dialectics when deal-

ing with the Sophists. The other dialectics,

however, is the immanent contemplation

of the object: it is taken for itself, without

previous hypothesis, idea or obligation,

not under any external conditions, laws,

grounds. We have to put ourselves right

into the thing, to consider the object in

itself and to take it in the determina-

tions which it has. In regarding it thus,

it” (er) (sic!) “shows from itself that it con-

tains opposed determinations, and thus

transcends itself; this dialectics we more

especially find in the ancients. Subjec-



tive dialectics, which reasons from exter-

nal grounds, does justice when it is granted

that: ‘in the correct there is what is not

correct, and in the false the true as well.’

True dialectics leaves nothing whatever

to its object, as if the latter were defi-

cient on one side only; but it disintegrates

in the entirety of its nature....” (p. 311)

With the “principle of development” in

the twentieth century (indeed, at the end

of the nineteenth century also) “all are

agreed.” Yes, but this superficial, not

thought out, accidental, philistine “agree-

ment” is an agreement of such a kind as

stifles and vulgarises the truth.—If every-

thing develops, then everything passes from

one into another, for development as is

well known is not a simple, universal and

eternal growth, enlargement (respective dim-

inution), etc.—If that is so, then, in the

first place, evolution has to be under-

stood more exactly, as the arising and

passing away of everything, as mutual

transitions.—And, in the second place,

if everything develops, does not that

apply also to the most general concepts

and categories of thought? If not, it means

that thinking is not connected with being.

If it does, it means that there is a dialec-

tics of concepts and a dialectics of cogni-

tion which has objective significance. +

the question

of dialec-

tics and

its objective



I.II.The principle

of develop-

The principle

of unity...

+ In addition, the uni-

versal principle of de-

velopment must be com-

bined, linked, made to

correspond with the uni-

versal principle of the

unity of the world, nature, motion,

matter, etc.

“Zeno’s treatment of motion was above

all objectively dialectical....” (p. 313)

...“Movement itself is the dialectic of

all that is....” It did not occur to Zeno

to deny movement as “sensuous certainty,”

it was merely a question “nach ihrer (move-

ment’s) Wahrheit” (of the truth of move-

ment). (313) And on the next page, where

he relates the anecdote how Diogenes the

Cynic, of Sinope, refuted movement by

walking, Hegel writes:
NB. This can

and must be

turnedround: the

question is

not whether

there is


but how

to express

it in the logic

of concepts
...“But the anecdote continues that, when

a pupil was satisfied with this refutation,

Diogenes beat him, on the ground that,

since the teacher had disputed with reasons,

the only valid refutation is one derived

from reasons. Men have not merely to sat-

isfy themselves by sensuous certainty, but

also to understand....” (314)

Not bad!

Where is this


of the anec-

dote taken

from? It is

not to be

found in Dio-

genes Laerti-

us, VI, § 39,[18]

or in Sextus


cus, III, 8[19](Hegel p.

314). Did He-

gel invent it?

Zeno has four ways of refuting motion:

1. That which is moving to an end must

first cover half of the path. And of

this half, again first its half, and so

on ad infinitum.

Aristotle replied: space and time

are infinitely divisible (δννάμει[20])

(p. 316), but not infinitely divided

(ένεργεία[21]), Bayle (Dictionnaire,[22]

Vol. IV, article Zeno) calls this reply

of Aristotle’s pitoyable[23] and says:

...“if one drew an infinite number

of lines on a particle of matter, one

would not thereby introduce a division

that would reduce to an actual infin-

ity that which according to him was

only a potential infinity....”

And Hegel writes (317): “Dies si ist


i.e., if one carried out the infinite division to the end!!
...“The essence of space and time is mo-

tion, for it is universal; to understand

it means to express its essence in the form
of the Notion. As unity of negativity and

continuity, motion is expressed as the No-

tion, as thought; but neither continuity

nor discontinuity is to be posited as the

essence....” (pp. 318--319)
“To understand means to express in the

form of notions.” Motion is the essence

of space and time. Two fundamental con-

cepts express this essence: (infinite) con-

tinuity (Kontinuitä) and “punctuality”

(= denial of continuity, discontinu-

ity). Motion is the unity of continuity

(of time and space) and discontinuity (of

time and space). Motion is a contra-

diction, a unity of contradictions.

Überweg-Heinze, 10th edition, p. 63

(§ 20), is wrong when he says that Hegel

“defends Aristotle against Bayle.” Hegel

refutes both the sceptic (Bayle) and the

anti-dialectician (Aristotle).

Cf. Gomperz, Les penseurs de la

Grèce, p ...[25], the forced recognition, under

the lash, of the unity of contradictions,

without recognising dialectics (owing to

cowardice of thought)....

2. Achilles will not overtake the tortoise.

“First the half” and so on endlessly.

Aristotle answers: he will overtake

it if he be permitted “to overstep the

limits.” (320)

And Hegel: “This answer is cor-

rect and contains all that can be

said” (p. 321)—for actually the half

here (at a certain stage) becomes the


...“If we speak of motion in general, we

say that the body is in one place and then

it goes to another; because it moves it is

no longer in the first, but yet not in the

cf. Chernov’s




second; were it in either it would be at

rest. If we say that it is between both,

this is to say nothing at all, for were it

between both, it would be in a place, and

this presents the same difficulty. But move-

ment means to be in this place and not

to be in it; this is the continuity of space

and time—and it is this which first makes

motion possible.” (Pp. 321--322)


Movement is the presence of a body in

a definite place at a given moment and

in another place at another, subsequent

moment—such is the objection which Cher-

nov repeats (see his Philosophical Studies)

in the wake of all the “metaphysical”

opponents of Hegel.

This objection is incorrect: (1) it de-

scribes the result of motion, but not mo-

tion itself; (2) it does not show, it does

not contain in itself the possibility of mo-

tion; (3) it depicts motion as a sum, as

a concatenation of states of rest, that is

to say, the (dialectical) contradiction is

not removed by it, but only concealed,

shifted, screened, covered over.

“What makes the difficulty is always

thought alone, since it keeps apart the mo-

ments of an object which in their separa-

tion are really united.” (322)

We cannot imagine, express, measure,

depict movement, without interrupting con-

tinuity, without simplifying, coarsening,

dismembering, strangling that which is liv-

ing. The representation of movement by

means of thought always makes coarse,

kills,—and not only by means of thought

but also by sense-perception, and not only

of movement, but every concept.

And in that lies the essence of dialectics.

And precisely this essence is ex-

pressed by the formula: the unity, identity

of opposites.
3. “The flying arrow rests.”

And Aristotle's answer: the error

arises from the assumption that “time

consists of the individual Nows” (έχ

τών νϋν) p. 324.

4. Half is equal to the double: motion

measured in comparison with an un-

moving body and in comparison with

a body moving in the opposite


At the end of the § on Zeno, Hegel com-

pares him to Kant (whose antinomies, he

says, “do no more than Zeno did here”).

The general conclusion of the dialectic

of the Eleatics: “the truth is the one, all

else is untrue”—“just as the Kantian phi-

losophy resulted in “We know appearances

only.” On the whole the principle is the

same.” (p. 326)

But there is also a difference.
“In Kant it is the spiritual that de-

stroys the world; according to Zeno, the

world of appearance in itself and for itself

has no truth. According to Kant, it is our

thought, our spiritual activity that is bad;—

it shows excessive humility of mind to be-

lieve that knowledge has no value....”


Kant and his


ism, scep-

ticism, etc.)

The continuation of the Eleatics in Leucippus and among the Sophists...
After Zeno (? he lived after Heracli-

tus?)[27] Hegel passes on to Heraclitus and


“It” (Zeno’s dialectics) “may, to that

extent, also be called subjective dialec-

tics, insofar as it rests in the contemplative

subject, and the one, without this dialec-

tics, without this movement, is one ab-

stract identity....” (328)
but it was previously said, see the

passage quoted from p. 309, and

others, that Zeno’s dialectics is ob-

jective dialectics. Here is some kind

of superfine “distinguo.” Cf. the


“Dialectics: (α) external dialectics,

a reasoning which goes hither and

thither, without reaching the soul of the
thing itself; (β) the immanent dialectics

of the object, but (NB) following within

the contemplation of the subject; (γ) the

objectivity of Heraclitus, i.e., dialectics

itself taken as principle.” (328)


subjective dialectics.

in the object there is dialectics,

but I do not know, perhaps it is

Schein,[28] merely appearance, etc.

fully objective dialectics, as the

principle of all that is

(In Heraclitus): “Here we see land; there is

no proposition of Heraclitus which

I would not have adopted in my Log-

ic....” (328)

“Heraclitus says: Everything is be-

coming; this becoming is the principle.

This is contained in the expression: Being

no more is than not-Being....” (p. 333)

“The recognition of the fact that Being

and not-Being are only abstractions de-

void of truth, that the first truth is to be

found only in Becoming, forms a great ad-

vance. The understanding comprehends both

as having truth and validity in isolation;

reason on the other hand recognises the one

in the other, and sees that in the one its

other” (NB “its other”) “is contained—

that is why the All, the Absolute is to be

determined as Becoming.” (334) “Aristotle says (De mundo,[29] Chapter 5)

that Heraclitus ‘joined together the

complete whole and the incomplete’

(part)” ... “what coincides and what

conflicts, what is harmonious and what

discordant; and from out of them all

(the opposite) comes one, and from

one, all.” (335)

Plato, in his Symposium,[30] puts forward

the views of Heraclitus (inter alia in their

application to music: harmony consists

of opposites), and the statement: “The art

of the musician unites the different.”

Hegel writes: this is no objection against

Heraclitus (336), for difference is the es-

sence of harmony:
“This harmony is precisely absolute Be-

coming, change,—not becoming other, now

this and then an other. The essential

thing is that each different thing, each

particular, is different from another, not

abstractly so from any other, but from its

other. Each particular only is, insofar

as its other is implicitly contained in its

Quite right

and impor-

tant: the

“other” as

its other,


into its


“So also in the case of tones; they must

be different, but so that they can also

be united....” (336) P. 337: incidentally

Sextus Empiricus (and Aristotle) are reckon-

ed among the ... “best witnesses”....

Heraclitus said: “die Zeit ist das erste

körperliche Wesen”[31] (Sextus Empiricus)—

p. (338)

körperliche[32]—an “unfortunate” expres-

sion (perhaps, Hegel says (NB), it was

chosen by a sceptic (NB),—but time, he

says, is “das erste sinnliche Wesen”[33]....

...“Time is pure Becoming, as per-

ceived....” (338)

In regard to the fact that Heraclitus

considered fire as a process, Hegel says:

“Fire is physical time, it is this absolute

unrest” (340)—and further, in regard to

the natural philosophy of Heraclitus:
...“It” (Natur) “is process in itself....”

(344) “Nature is the never-resting, and

the All is the transition out of the

one into the other, from division into

unity, and from unity into division....”


“To understand Nature means to rep-

resent it as process....” (339)

Here is what is said to be the narrow-

ness of natural scientists:
...“we listen to their account“ (Natur-

forscher[34]), “they only observe and say

what they see; but this is not true, for un-

consciously they transform what is im-

mediately seen by means of the Notion.
And the strife is not due to the opposi-
tion between observation and the absolute

Notion, but between the limited rigid

notion and the Absolute Notion. They

show that changes are non-existent....”

...“Water in its decomposition re-

veals hydrogen and oxygen: these have

not arisen for they were already there

as such, as the parts of which the water

consists” (thus Hegel mimics the na-

tural scientists)....

“As we find in all expression of per-

ception and experience; as soon as men

speak, there is a Notion present, it

cannot be withheld, for in conscious-

ness there is always a touch of univer-

sality and truth.”

Quite right and important—it is pre-

cisely this that Engels repeated in more

popular form, when he wrote that natu-

ral scientists ought to know that the re-

sults of natural science are concepts, and

that the art of operating with concepts

is not inborn, but is the result of 2,000

years of the development of natural science

and philosophy.[35]

The concept of transformation is taken

narrowly by natural scientists and they

lack understanding of dialectics.

...“He” (Heraclitus) “is the one who first

expressed the nature of the infinite, and

who first understood nature as infinite in

itself, i.e., its essence as process....” (346) On the “concept of necessity”—cf. p.347. Heraclitus could not see truth in

“sensuous certainty” (348), but in “necessity”

NB ||Absolute mediation” (348)(absoluteconnec-


“The rational, the true, that which I

know, is indeed a withdrawal from the

objective as from what is sensuous, individ-

ual, definite and existent; but what rea-

son knows within itself is just as much

necessity or the universal of being; it is

the essence of thought as it is the essence

of the world.” (352)

NB: Necessi-

ty = “the universal of

Being” (the

universal in





LEUCIPPUS[edit source]
368: “The development of philosophy in

history must correspond to the de-

velopment of logical philosophy; but

there will still be passages in the lat-

ter which are absent in historical de-


The develop-ment of phi-

losophy in

history “must


(??) to the


of logical


Here there is a very profound and cor-

rect, essentially materialist thought (ac-

tual history is the basis, the foundation,

the Being, which is followed by conscious-

Leucippus says that atoms are invisible

“because of the smallness of their body”

(369)—Hegel, however, replies that this

is “Ausrede”[38] (ibid.), that “Eins”[39] cannot be seen, that “das Princip des Eins” “ganz ideell”[40] (370), and that Leucippus is no

“empiricist”, but an idealist.
((stretching of a pointby the idealist Hegel,

course, stretching a point.))

([Straining to make Leucippus conform

to his Logic, Hegel expatiates on the impor- tance, the “greatness” of the principle (368) Fürsichsein,[41] descrying it in Leucippus. It savours in part of stretching a point.][42]But there is also a grain of truth in it;

the nuance (the “moment”) of separateness;

the interruption of gradualness; the mo-

ment of the smoothing out of contradic-

tions; the interruption of continuity—the

atom, the one. (Cf. 371 i.f.):—“The one

and continuity are opposites....” Hegel’s logic cannot be applied in its

given form, it cannot be taken as given. One must separate out from it

the logical (epistemological) nuances, after purifying them from Ideenmystik[43]: that

is still a big job.)

“The Atomists are, therefore, generally

speaking, opposed to the idea of the crea-

tion and maintenance of the world by

means of a foreign principle. It is in the

theory of atoms that natural science first

feels released from the need for demonstrat-

ing a foundation for the world. For if nature

is represented as created and held together

by another, then it is conceived of as not

existent in itself, and thus as having its

Notion outside itself, i.e., its basis is

foreign to it, it has no basis as such, it is

only conceivable from the will of another—

as it is, it is contingent, devoid of ne-

cessity and Notion in itself. In the idea

of the atomists, however, we have the con-

ception of the inherency of nature, that is

to say, thought finds itself in it....” (372-373)


(Hegel is

afraid of the

word: keep

away from

me) versus

In the presentation—according to Dio-

genes Laertius, IX, § 31-33—of the atomism

of Leucippus, the “vortex” (Wirbel— δίνην)[44]of atoms, Hegel finds nothing of interest

(“no interest,” ...“empty representation,” “dim, confused ideas”—p. 377 i.f.).

Hegel’s blindness, the one-sidedness of

the Idealist!!

DEMOCRITUS[edit source]
Democritus is behandelt[45] by Hegel in

a very stiefmütterlich[46] fashion, in all pp. 378-380! The spirit of materialism is intolerable to the idealist!! The words of

Democritus are quoted (p. 379):
“Warmth exists according to opin-

ion (νόμφ) and so do cold and colour,

sweet and bitter; only the indivisible

and the void are in accordance with

truth (έτεή)” (Sextus Empiricus, Ad-versus Mathematicos, VII, § 135).[47]

And the conclusion is drawn:
...“We see this much, that Demo-

critus expressed the difference between

the moments of Being-in-itself and

Being-for-other more distinctly....”

By this “the way is at once opened up”

to “the bad idealism,” that ... “meine Emp-

findung, mein....”[48]
“bad ideal-

ism” (my

feeling) cf.


...“A sensuously notionless manifold of

feeling is established, in which there is

no reason, and with which this idealism

has no further concern.”



E. Mach...
Anaxagoras. Noΰς[50] “the cause of the world

and of all order,” and Hegel elucidates this:

...“Objective thought ... reason in the

world, also in nature—or as we speak of

genera in nature, they are the universal.

A dog is an animal, this is its genus, its

substantial; the dog itself is this. This

law, this understanding, this reason is

itself immanent in nature, it is the essence

of nature; the latter is not formed from

without as men make a chair.” (381-382)

the concept

of genus is

“the essence

of nature,” is law...
“Noΰς is the same as soul (Aristotle on Anaxagoras)—p. 394
and ...[51] the elucidation of this

leap from the general in nature

to the soul; from objective to subjec-

tive, from materialism to idealism.

C’est ici que ces extrêmes se touchent

(et se transforment!)[52]

On the homoeomeriae[53] of Anaxagoras

(particles of the same kind as the whole

body) Hegel writes:

“Transformation is to be taken in a

double sense, according to existence and

according to the Notion....” (403-404)

Thus, for instance, it is said that water

can be removed—the stones remain; blue

colour can be removed, red, etc., will



tion (its

“This is only according to existence;

according to the Notion, they only inter-

penetrate, it is inner necessity.” Just as

one cannot remove the heart by itself from

the living body without the lungs perish-

ing, etc.

“Nature likewise exists only in unity,

just as the brain exists only in unity with

the other organs” (404)

whereby some conceive transformation

in the sense of the presence of small

qualitatively determined particles and

their growth (respective diminution)

[combination and separation]. The

other conception (Heraclitus)—the

transformation of the one into an other.


Existence and Notion—are to be distinguished in Hegel approximately as follows:

fact (Being) taken separately,

torn from its connection, and connection

(the Notion), mutual relation, concat-

enation, law, necessity.
415: ...“The Notion is that which things

are in and for themselves....” Hegel speaks of grass being the end for

animals, and the latter for men, etc., etc.,

and concludes:

“It is a circle which is complete in itself,

but whose completion is likewise a passing

into another circle; a vortex whose mid-

point, that into which it returns, is found

directly in the periphery of a higher circle

which swallows it up....” (414)

So far the ancients are said to have fur-

nished little: “Universal is a meagre deter-

mination; everyone knows of the univer-

sal, but not of it as essence.” (416)


the “univer-

sal” as “es-


“But here we have the beginning of

a more distinct development of the relation-

ship of consciousness to Being, the de-

velopment of the nature of knowledge as

a knowledge of the true.” (417) “The mind

has gone forth to express essence as thought.“


of the nature

of knowl-


“We see this development of the univer-

sal, in which essence goes right over to the

side of consciousness, in the so much de-

cried worldly wisdom of the Sophists.”(418)

((End of the first volume)) [The second

volume begins with the Sophists.]

Volume XIV. Volume II Of the History Of Philosophy[edit source]

Speaking of the Sophists, Hegel in ex-

treme detail chews over the thought that

sophistry contains an element common to

all culture (Bildung) in general, our own

included, namely, the adducing of proofs(Gründe) and Gegengründe[55] —“reflecting

reasoning”;—the finding of the most di- verse points of view in everything; ((sub- jectivity—lack of objectivity)). In discuss- ing Protagoras and his famous thesis (man is the measure of all things) Hegel places Kant close to him:

...“Man is the measure of everything,—

man, therefore, is the subject in general;

the existent, consequently, is not in iso-

lation, but is for my knowledge—conscious-

ness is essentially the producer of the con-

tent in what is objective, and subjective

thinking is thereby essentially active. And

this view extends even to the most modern

Philosophy, as when, for instance, Kant

says that we only know phenomena, i.e.,

that what seems to us to be objective, to

be reality, is only to be considered in its

relation to consciousness, and does not

exist without this relation....” (31)[56]



The second “moment” is objectivity

(das Allgemeine[57]), “it is posited by me, but is likewise in itself objec- tively universal, not posited by me....” (32)

Diese “Relativität”[58] (32) “Every-

thing has a relative truth only” (33),

according to Protagoras.
the relativ-

ism of the

...“Kant’s phenomenon is no more than

an external impulse, an x, an unknown,

which first receives these determinations

through our feeling, through us. Even if

there were an objective ground for our

calling one thing cold and another warm,

we could indeed say that they must have

diversity in themselves, but warmth and

cold first become what they are in our

feeling. Similarly ... things are, etc. ...

thus experience was called a phenome-

non....“ (34)


and the

Sophists and


ogism[59] à la


“The world is consequently not only

phenomenal in that it is for consciousness,

and thus that its Being is only one rela-

tive to consciousness, but it is likewise

phenomenal in itself.” (35)
not only


...“This scepticism reached a much deep-

er point in Gorgias....” (35)

...“His dialectic” ... that of Gor-

gias, the Sophist [many times: p. 36, idem

p. 37].
Tiedemann said that Gorgias went fur-

ther than the “common sense” of man. And

Hegel makes fun of this: every philosophy

goes further than “common sense” for

common sense is not philosophy. Prior to

Copernicus it was contrary to common

sense to say that the earth goes round the

sun. (36)





“It” (der gesunde Menschenverstand[60])

“is the mode of thought of its time, con-


sense = the

prejudices of

its time

Gorgias (p. 37):1)
Nothing exists. Nothing


Assuming that Being

is, it cannot be known.

Even if it is knowable,

no communication of

what is known is pos-


...“Gorgias is conscious that they” (Be-

ing and not-Being, their mutual sublation)

“are vanishing moments; the unconscious

conception has this truth also, but knows

nothing about it....” (40)
“Vanishing moments” = Being

and not-Being. That is a magnifi-

cent definition of dialectics!!
...“Gorgias α) justly argues against abso-

lute realism, which, because it has a no-

tion, thinks it possesses the very thing

itself, when actually it possesses only some-

thing relative; β) falls into the bad ideal-

ism of modern times: ‘what is thought

is always subjective, and thus not the

existent, since through thought an existent

is transformed into what is thought....’” (41)



(and Kant)

(and further below (p. 41 i.f.) Kant

is again mentioned).

To be added on Gorgias[61]: He puts “either—

or” to the fundamental questions. “But

that is not true dialectics; it would be

necessary to prove that the object must

be necessarily in one or another determi-

nation, not in and for itself. The object

resolves itself only into those determi-

nations; but from that nothing follows

regarding the nature of the object it-

self.” (39)

dialectics in

the object

To be added further on Gorgias[62]:
In the exposition of his view that the

existent cannot be imparted, communi-

“Speech, by which the existent has to

be expressed, is not the existent, what is

imparted is thus not the existent, but only
words.” (Sextus Empiricus, AdversusMathematicos. VII. § 83-84)—p. 41

Hegel writes: “The existent is also compre-

hended as non-existent, but the comprehen-

sion of it is to make it universal.” (42)


This individual cannot be ex-

pressed....” (42)

Every word

(speech) already

universalises cf.


The senses show

reality; thought

and word — the


Final words of the section on the Soph-

ists: “The Sophists thus also made dia-

lectic, universal Philosophy, their object,

and they were profound thinkers....” (42)

Socrates is a “world-famed personage”

(42), the “most interesting” (ibid.) in the

philosophy of antiquity—“subjectivity of

thought”(42) [“freedom of self-conscious- ness” (44)].

“Herein lies the ambiguity of dia-

lectics and sophistry; the objective

disappears”: is the subjective contin-

gent or is there in it (“an ihm selbst”[65])

the objective and universal? (43)[66] “True thought thinks in such a way that its content is as truly objective as subjec- tive” (44)—and in Socrates and Plato we see, Hegel says, not only subjectivity (“the reference of any judgment to conscious- ness is held by him”—Socrates—”in common

with the Sophists”)—but also objectivity.
“Objectivity has here” (in Socrates) “the

sense of the universal, existent in and for

itself, and not external objectivity” (45)—
idem 46: “not external objectivity but the

spiritual universal.”

And two lines further down:
“Kant’s ideal is the phenomenon, not

objective in itself....” (46)

Socrates called his method Hebammen-kunst[67]—(p. 64) (derived from his mother,

he said) ((Socrates’ mother = midwife))— to help in bringing thoughts to birth.

Hegel’s example: everyone knows, he

says, what Werden is, but it surprises us

if we analyse (reflektierend) and find that it

is “the identity of Being and not-Being”—

“so great a distinction.” (67)
Werden =




Meno (Plato’s “Meno”)[69] compared Socra-

tes to an electric eel (Zitteraal), which makes

anyone who touches it “narkotisch”[70](69): and I, too, am “narkotisch” and Icannot answer you.[71]
...“That which is held by me as truth

and right is spirit of my spirit. But what

the spirit derives thus from itself, what

it so holds, must come from it as the uni-

versal, as from the spirit which acts in

a universal manner, and not from its pas-

sions, interests, likings, whims, aims, in-

clinations, etc. These, too, certainly come

from something inward which is ‘implanted

in us by nature,’ but they are only in

a natural way our own....” (74-75)
très bien


Intelligent idealism is closer to intelligent ma-

terialism than stupid materialism.

Dialectical idealism instead of intelligent;

metaphysical, undeveloped, dead, crude,

rigid instead of stupid.
To be elaborated:

Plekhanov wrote on philosophy (dialec-

tics) probably about 1,000 pages (Beltov +

against Bogdanov + against the Kantians +

fundamental questions, etc., etc.).[73] Among

them, about the large Logic, in con-

nection with it, its thought (i.e.,

dialectics proper, as philosophical sci-

ence) nil!!
Protagoras: “man is the measure of all

things.” Socrates: “man, as thinking, is the

measure of all things.” (75)
Xenophon in his Memorabilien described

Socrates better, more accurately and more

faithfully than Plato. (Pp. 80-81)
THE SOCRATICS[edit source]
In connection with the sophisms about

the “heap” and “bald,” Hegel repeats the

transition of quantity into quality and vice

versa: dialectics. (Pp. 139-140)

143-144: At length about the fact that

“language in essence expresses only

the universal; what is meant, however,

is the special, the particular. Hence

what is meant cannot be said in speech.”

(“It”? The most universal word of all.)


in language

there is only

the universal

Who is it? I. Every person is an I.

Das Sinnliche?[74] It is a univer-

sal, etc., etc. “This”?? Everyone

is “this.”

Why can the particular not be

named? One of the objects of a given

kind (tables) is distinguished by some-

thing from the rest.

“That the universal should in philosophy

be given a place of such importance that

only the universal can be expressed, and

the ‘it’ which is meant, cannot, indicates

a state of consciousness and thought which

the philosophical culture of our time has

not yet reached.”

Hegel includes here “the scepticism of

our times” (143)— [Kant’s?] and those who

assert that “sensuous certainty is the truth.”


For das Sinnliche “is a universal.” (143)
Thereby Hegel hits every materialism

except dialectical materialism. NB

To call by name?—but the name is a

contingent symbol and does not express

Sache selbst[75] (how can the partic-

ular be expressed?) (144)

Hegel seriously “believed,” thought,

that materialism as a philosophy was

impossible, for philosophy is the science

of thinking, of the universal, but the

universal is a thought. Here he repeated

the error of the same subjective ideal-

ism that he always called “bad” ideal-

ism. Objective (and still more, abso-

lute) idealism came very close to ma-

terialism by a zig-zag (and a somersault),

even partially became transformed into it.




The Cyrenaics[76] held sensation for the

truth, “the truth is not what is in sensation,

the content, but is itself sensation.” (151)

in the theory

of knowledge

of the

“The main principle of the Cyrenaic

school, therefore, is sensation, which

should form the real criterion of the true

and the good....” (153) “Sensation is the indeterminate unit”

(154), but if thinking is added, then the

universal appears and “simple subjectivity”

(Phenomenologists à la Mach & Co.

inevitably become idealists on the

question of the universal, “law,” “ne-

cessity,” etc.)

NB[77]the Cyrenaics

and Mach

and Co.

Another Cyrenaic, Hegesias, “recognised”

“this incongruity between sensation and

universality....” (155)
They confuse sensation as a principle

of the theory of knowledge and a prin-

ciple of ethics. This NB. But Hegel

separated the theory of knowledge.

In regard to Plato’s plan by which

philosophers ought to rule the state:

...“The territory of history is different

from that of philosophy....” ...“We must recognise that action repre-

sents at the same time the endeavours of

the subject as such for particular ends....All

those particular ends are really only means

for bringing forth the Idea, because it

is the absolute power.” (193)

ends in

history create

the “Idea”

(the law of


Concerning Plato’s doctrine on ideas:
...“because sensuous perception shows

nothing purely, or as it is in itself” (Pha-edo)—p. 213—therefore the body is a

hindrance to the soul.


(= lifeless-

ness?) of


The significance of the universal is

contradictory: it is dead, impure, in-

complete, etc., etc., but it alone is

a stage towards knowledge of the

concrete, for we can never know

the concrete completely. The infinite

sum of general conceptions, laws, etc.,

gives the concrete in its completeness.


the dialec-

tics of



The movement of cognition to the

object can always only proceed dia-

lectically: to retreat in order to hit
more surely—reculer pour mieux sauter

(savoir?).[78] Converging and diverging

lines: circles which touch one another.

Knotenpunkt[79] = the practice of man-

kind and of human history. (Practice = the criterion of the coin-

cidence of one of the infinite aspects

of the real.)
These Knotenpunkte represent

a unity of contradictions, when Be-

ing and not-Being, as vanishing

moments, coincide for a moment,

in the given moments of the move-

ment (= of technique, of history,

In analysing Plato’s dialectics, Hegel

once again tries to show the difference

between subjective, sophistic dialectics and

objective dialectics:

“That everything is one, we say of each

thing: ‘it is one and at the same time we

show also that it is many, its many parts
“empty dialectics” in Hegel
and properties’—but it is thereby said:
‘it is one in quite another respect from

that in which it is many’—we do not

bring these thoughts together. Thus the

conception and the words merely go back-

wards and forwards from the one to the
other. If this passing to and fro is performed

with consciousness, it is empty dialectics,

which does not unite the opposites and

does not come to unity.” (232)



P l a t o in the “Sophistes”: “The point of difficulty, and what we

ought to aim at, is to show that what

is other is the same, and what is the same

is other, and indeed in the same regard

and from the same point of view.” (233)
“But we must be conscious of the fact

that the Notion is neither merely the im-

mediate in truth, although it is the sim

ple—but it is of spiritual simplicity,

essentially the thought which has re-

turned into itself (immediately is only

this red, etc.); nor that it is only that

which reflects itself in itself, the thing

of consciousness; but is also in itself, i.e.,

it is objective essence....” (245)



The concept is not something imme-

diate (although the concept is a “simple”

thing, but this simplicity is “spiritual,”

the simplicity of the Idea)—what is im-

mediate is only the sensation of “red”

(“this is red”), etc. The concept is not

“merely the thing of consciousness”; but

is the essence of the object (ge-

genständliches Wesen), it is something

an sich, “in itself.”

...“This conviction of the nature of the

Notion, Plato did not ixpress so defi-

nitely....” (245)
Hegel dilates at length on Plato’s

“Philosophy of Nature,” the ultra-non-

sensical mysticism of ideas, such as that

“triangles form the essence of sensuous

things” (265), and such mystical non-

sense. That is highly characteristic! The

mystic-idealist-spiritualist Hegel (like

all official, clerical-idealist philosophy

of our day) extols and expatiates on

mysticism, idealism in the history of

philosophy, while ignoring and slight-

ing materialism. Cf. Hegel on Democ-

ritus—nil!! On Plato a huge mass

of mystical slush.

idealism and

mysticism in

Hegel (and

in Plato)

Speaking of Plato’s republic and of the

current opinion that it is a chimera, Hegel

repeats his favourite saying:
...“What is real is rational. But one must

know, distinguish, exactly what is real;

in common life all is real, but there is

a difference between the phenomenal world

and reality....” (274)
what is real

is rational

Incorrect, says Hegel, is the generally

held opinion that the philosophy of Aristotle

is “realism” (299), (id. p. 311 “empiricism”)

in contrast to the idealism of Plato. ((Here

again, Hegel clearly squeezes in a great

deal under idealism.))

In presenting Aristotle’s polemic against

Plato’s doctrine on ideas, Hegel sup-presses its materialistic features. (Cf.

322-323 and others.)

He has let the cat out of the bag: “The

elevation of Alexander” (Alexander of Mac-

edon, Aristotle’s pupil) “... into ... a god

is ... not matter for surprise ... God and

invert it))


man are not at all so very wide asunder....”

(305) Hegel perceives the idealism of Aris-

totle in his idea of god. (326) ((Of

course, it is idealism, but more ob-

jective and further removed, more

general than the idealism of Plato,

hence in the philosophy of nature more

frequently = materialism.))

Hegel has

made a com-

plete mess of

the critic-

ism of Plato’s

“ideas” in

Aristotle’s criticism of

Plato’s “ideas” is a criticism

of idealism as ideal-

ism in general: for

whence concepts, abstrac-

tions, are derived, thence

come also “law” and “ne-

cessity,” etc. The idealist

Hegel in cowardly fashion

fought shy of the under-

mining of the foundations

of idealism by Aristotle

(in his criticism of Plato’s


When one idealist

criticises the founda-

tions of idealism of

another idealist, ma-

terialism is always the

gainer thereby. Cf.

Aristotle versus Plato,

etc., Hegel versus

Kant, etc.
“Leucippus and Plato accordingly say

that motion has always existed, but they

give no reason for the assertion.” (Aristot-

le, Metaphysik, XII, 6 and 7.) p. 328

Aristotle thus pitifully brings

forward god against the material-

ist Leucippus and the idealist Plato.

There is eclecticism in Aristotle

here. But Hegel conceals the

weakness for the sake of


Hegel, the supporter of dialectics,

could not understand the dialec-

tical transition from matter to

motion, from matter to con-

sciousness—especially the second.

Marx corrected the error (or weak-

ness?) of the mystic.
Not only is

the transition

from matter

to conscious-

ness dialecti-

cal, but also

that from

sensation to

thought, etc.
What distinguishes the dialectical tran-

sition from the undialectical transition?

The leap. The contradiction. The inter-

ruption of gradualness. The unity (iden-

tity) of Being and not-Being.
The following passage shows especially

clearly how Hegel conceals the weakness

of Aristotle’s idealism:

“Aristotle makes objects into thoughts;

hence, in being thoughts, they exist in

truth; that is their ούσία.[80] “The meaning of this is not, however, that natural objects have themselves the

power of thinking, but as they are subjec-

tively thought by me, my thought is thus

also the Notion of the thing, which there-

fore constitutes its substance. But in na-

ture the Notion does not exist as thought

in this freedom, but has flesh and blood;

yet it has a soul, and this is its Notion.

Aristotle recognises what things in and
for themselves are; and that is their ούσία.

The Notion does not exist for itself, but it

is stunted by externality. The ordinary def

inition of truth is: ‘truth is the harmony

of the conception with the object.’ But

the conception itself is only a conception,

I am still not at all in harmony with my

conception (with its content); for when

I represent to myself a house, a beam, and

so on, I am by no means this content—

‘I’ is something other than the conception

of house. It is only in thought that there is

present a true harmony between objective

and subjective; that constitutes me (Hegel’s

italics). Aristotle therefore finds himself

at the most advanced standpoint; nothing

more profound can one desire to know.”


“In nature” concepts do not exist “in

this freedom” (in the freedom of thought

and the fantasy of man!!). “In nature”

they (concepts) have “flesh and blood.”—

That is excellent! But it is materialism.

Human concepts are the soul of nature

—this is only a mystical way of saying

that in human concepts nature is reflect-

ed in a distinctive way (this NB: in

a distinctive and dialectical way!!).

Pp. 318-337 solely on the Meta-

physics of Aristotle!! Everything essen-

tial that he has to say against Plato’s

idealism is suppressed!! In particu-

lar, there is suppressed the question of

existence outside man and humani-

ty!!! = the question of materialism!
Aristotle is an empiricist, but a think-ing one. (340) “The empirical, comprehend-ed in its synthesis, is the speculative No-tion....” (341) (Hegel’s italics.)cf. Feuer-bach: To

read the

gospel of

senses in


tion = to


The coincidence of concepts with

“synthesis,” with the sum, summing up

of empiricism, sensations, the senses,

is indubitable for the philosophers ofall trends. Whence this coincidence?

From God (I, the idea, thought, etc., etc.)

or from (out of) nature? Engels was right

in his formulation of the question.[82]

...“The subjective form constitutes the

essence of the Kantian philosophy....” (341)

On the teleology of Aristotle.

...“Nature has its means in itself and

these means are also end. This end in

nature is its λόγοζ,[83] the truly rational.”

“end” and

cause, law,



...“Understanding is not only thinking

with consciousness. There is contained in

it also the whole, true, profound Notion

of nature, of life....” (348)

Reason (understanding), thought,

consciousness, without nature, not

in correspondence with nature is

falsity = materialism!

It is repulsive to read how Hegel extols

Aristotle for his “true speculative notions”

(373 of the “soul,” and much more besides),

clearly spinning a tale of idealistic (= mys-

tical) nonsense. Suppressed are all the points on which

Aristotle wavers between idealism and ma-

Regarding Aristotle’s views on the “soul,”

Hegel writes:

“All that is universal is in fact real,

as particular, individual, existing for anoth-

er” (375)—in other words, the soul.
lets the cat

out of the

bag in regard

to “realism”

Aristotle. De anima, II, 5:
“The difference” (between Empfinden and

Erkennen[84]) “is: that which causes the

sensation is external. The cause of this is

that perceptive activity is directed on the

particular, while knowledge has as its

object the universal; but the universal is,

to a certain extent, in the soul itself as

substance. Everyone can therefore think

if he wishes but sense-perception does not

depend on him, since the necessary con-

dition is that the object perceived be pres-

ent.” (377)


tion and


comes very

close to


The crux here—“außen ist”[85]

outside man, independent of him.

That is materialism. And this founda-

tion, basis, kernel of materialism,

Hegel begins wegschwatzen[86]:

“This is an entirely correct view of sense-

perception,” writes Hegel, and he goes on

to explain that there is undoubtedly “pas-
sivity” in sense—perception: “it is a matter

of indifference whether subjectively or

objectively; in both there is contained

the moment of passivity.... With this mo-

ment of passivity, Aristotle does not fall
short of idealism, sense-perception is al-
ways in one aspect passive. That is, how-

ever, a bad idealism which thinks that

the passivity and spontaneity of the mind

depend on whether the determination given

is from within or from without, as if there
the idealist

is caught!

were freedom in sense-perception; the lat-

ter is a sphere of limitation”!!... (377-378)

((The idealist stops up the gap leading

to materialism. No, it is not gleich-

gültig[87] whether from without or

from within. This is precisely the

point! “From without”—that is mat-

terialism. “From within” = idealism.

And with the word “passivity,” while

keeping silent about the term (“from

without”) in Aristotle, Hegel descri-

bed in a different way the same

from without. Passivity means

precisely from without!! Hegel re-

places the idealism of sense-percep-

tion by the idealism of thought, but

equally by idealism.))

...“Subjective idealism declares that there

are no external things, they are a determi-

nation of our Self. This must be admitted

in respect to sense-perception. I am passive

in sense-perception, sense-perception is

subjective; it is existence, a state, a deter-

mination in me, not freedom. Whether

the sense-perception is external or in me,

is a matter of indifference, it exists....”(378)

an evasion

of mate-rialism

Then follows the famous analogy of the

soul with wax, causing Hegel to twist and

turn like the devil confronted with holy

water, and to cry out about it having “so

often occasioned misapprehension.” (378-

379) Aristotle says (De anima, II, 12):

"Sense-perception is the receiving of sen-

sible forms without matter” ... “as wax

receives only the impress of the golden

signet ring, not the gold itself, but merely

its form.”

Soul = Wax

Hegel writes: ...“In sense-perception
only the form reaches us, without matter.

It is otherwise in practical life—in eating

and drinking. In the practical sphere in

general we behave as single individuals,


in practice

and as single individuals in a determinate

Being, even a material determinate Being,

we behave towards matter in a material

way. Only insofar as we are of a material

a cowardly

evasion of

nature, are we able to behave in such a
way; the point is that our material exist-

ence comes into play:” (379)

((A close approach to materialism—and

equivocation.)) Hegel gets angry and scolds on account

of the “wax,” saying: “everyone can under-

stand it” (380), “we do not get beyond the

crude aspect of the analogy,” (379) etc.
“The soul should by no means be pas-

sive wax or receive determinations from

without....” (380)
...“It” (die Seele[88]) “changes the form of

the external body into its own....” (381) Aristotle, De anima, III, 2:

...“The effect of being perceived and of

sense-perception is exactly one and the

same; but their existence is not the same....”


And Hegel comments:
...“There is a body which sounds and a

subject which hears: their existence is

twofold....” (382)
Hegel con-

ceals the


of idealism

But he leaves aside the question of

Being outside man!!! A sophistical dodge

from materialism!

Speaking about thinking, and about rea-

son (νουζ), Aristotle (De anima, III, 4) says:

...“There is no sense-perception inde-
pendent of the body, but νουζ is separable

from it....” (385) “νουζ is like a book upon

whose pages nothing is actually written”
tabula rasa
(386)—and Hegel again becomes irate:
“another much-decried illustration” (386),

the very opposite of what he means is

ascribed to Aristotle, etc., etc. ((and the
question of Being independent of
mind and of man is suppressed!!))—all that

for the sake of proving “Aristotle is there-

fore not a realist.” (389)
ha-ha! he’s


“In this way he who perceives nothing
by his senses learns nothing and under-

stands nothing when he discerns anything

(ΰεωρή[89]) he must necessarily discern it

as a pictorial conception, for such con-

ceptions are like sense-perceptions, only



without matter....” (389)
...“Whether the understanding

thinks actual objects when it is abs-

tracted from all matter requires spe-

cial investigation....” (389) And Hegel

scrapes out of Aristotle that ostens-

ibly “νουζ[90] and νοητόν[91] are one

and the same” (390), etc. A model

example of the idealistic misrepresen-

tations of an idealist!! Distorting Aris-

totle into an idealist of the eighteenth-

nineteenth century!!



In regard to the “criterion of truth” of

the Stoics—“the conception that is laid

hold of” (444-446)—Hegel says that con-

sciousness only compares conception with

conception (not with the object—(446):

“truth ... is the harmony of object and

consciousness” = “the celebrated definition

of the truth”) and, consequently, the whole

question is one of the “objective logos, the

rationality of the world.” (446)

“Thought yields nothing but the form

of universality and identity with itself;

...hence everything may harmonise with

my thought.” (449)

Hegel against

the Stoics

and their


“Reasons, however, prove to be a hum-
bug; for there are good reasons for every-

thing....” (469) “Which reasons should be

esteemed as good thereby depends on the

end and interest....” (ibidem)

there are

“reasons” for

Speaking of Epicurus (342-271 B. C.),

Hegel immediately (before describ-

ing his views) adopts a hostile attitude

to materialism and declares:

“It is already (!!) self-evident (!!) that

if sense-perceived Being is regarded as

the truth, the necessity for the Notion is

altogether abrogated, in the absence of





speculative interest everything falls apart,
and, on the contrary, the vulgar view

of things prevails; in point of fact it does

not go beyond the view of ordinary human

understanding, or rather, everything is

lowered to the level of ordinary human

understanding”!! (473-474)

Slander against materialism!! “Ne-

cessity for the Notion” is not in the

slightest “abrogated” by the theory

of the source of cognition and

the concept!! Disagreement with

“common sense” is the foul quirk

of an idealist.
Epicurus gave the name of Canonic[93]to the theory of knowledge and the crite-

rion of truth. After a brief exposition of

it, Hegel writes: “It is so simple that nothing can well be simpler—it is abstract, but also very

trivial; more or less on the level of ordi-

nary consciousness that begins to reflect.

It consists of ordinary psychological con-

ceptions; they are quite correct. Out of
sense-perceptions we make conceptions as

the universal; thanks to which it becomes

lasting. The conceptions themselves (bei
der δόξα, Meinung[94]) are tested by means
of sensations, as to whether they are last-

ing, whether they repeat themselves. That

is quite correct on the whole, but quite

superficial; it is the first beginning, the

mechanics of conception with respect to

the first sense-perceptions....” (483)

The “first beginning” is forgotten

and distorted by idealism. Dia-

lectical materialism alone

linked the “beginning” with the

continuation and the end.
NB: p. 481—on the significance of

words according to Epicurus:

“Everything has its evidence, energy,

distinctness, in the name first conferred

on it” (Epicurus: Diogenes Laertius, X,
§ 33). And Hegel: “The name is something

universal, belongs to thinking, makes the

manifold simple.” (481) “On the objective manner in general
in which the images of external things

enter into us, and on our relation to exter-

nal things, by which conceptions arise—


outside us
Epicurus has evolved the following met-

aphysical explanation:

“From the surfaces of things there passes

off a constant stream, which cannot be

detected by our senses ... and this be-

cause, by reason of the counteracting re-

plenishment, the thing itself in its solid-

ity long preserves the same arrangement

and disposition of the atoms; and the mo-

tion through the air of these surfaces which

detach themselves is of the utmost rapidity,

because it is not necessary that what is

detached should have any thickness.” “The

sensation does not contradict such an idea,

when we consider” (zusehe) “how images

produce their effects; they bring us a cor-

respondence, a sympathetic link with ex-

ternal things. Therefore something passes

out from them which within us is like

something external.” “And since the ema-

nation passes into us, we know of the def-

initeness of a sensation; the definite lies

in the object and thus flows into us”

(pp. 484-485, Diogenes Laertius, X,

§ 48-49).
NBtheory of

knowledge of

The genius of Epicurus’ conjecture (300

B.C., i.e., more than 2,000 years before

Hegel), e.g., on light and its velocity.
Hegel completely concealed (NB)

the main thing: (NB) the existence

of things outside the consciousness

of man and independent of it

—all that Hegel suppresses and merely


...“This is a very trivial way of repre-

senting sense-perception. Epicurus elected

to take the easiest criterion of the truth—a

criterion still in use—inasmuch as it is not

apprehended by sight, namely: that it does

not contradict what we see or hear. For in

truth such matters of thought as atoms, the

detachment of surfaces, and so forth, are

beyond our powers of sight and hearing; [cer-

tainly we manage to see and to hear some-

thing different][95] but there is abundance of

room for what is seen and what is conceived

or imagined to exist alongside of one anoth-

er. If the two are allowed to fall apart, they

do not contradict each other; for it is not

until we relate them that the contradic-

tion becomes apparent....” (485-486)
A model of


and slander



by an ideal-

Hegel has avoided Epicurus’ theory

of cognition and begun to speak of some-

thing else, which Epicurus does not

touch on here and which is com-patible with materialism!!

P. (486):

Error, according to Epicurus, proceeds

from an interruption in movement (in

the movement from the object to us, to

sense-perception or to conception?).

“It is impossible,” Hegel writes, “to have a

more meagre (theory of knowledge).” (486)
Everything becomes dürftig,[96]if it is distorted and despoiled.
The soul, according to Epicurus, is a

“certain” arrangement of atoms. “This is

what Locke also (!!!) said.... These are

empty words ...“ (489) ((no, they are the

guess-work of genius and signposts forscience, but not for clericalism)).


auch,[97] is




270 BC),


(1632-1704). Dif-

ferenz[98] = 2,000 years

NB. NB. (489), id. (490):
Epicurus ascribes to the atoms a

“krummlinigte” Bewegung,[99]

this according to Hegel is “most arbitrary


and wearisome” (489) in Epicurus.—

((and the “God” of the idealists???)).

“Or else Epicurus altogether denies No-

tion and the Universal as the essential...”

(490) although his atoms “themselves have

this very nature of thought”... “the incon-

sistency ... which all empiricists are guil-

ty of....” (491)



This avoids the essence of

materialism and material-

ist dialectics.
“In Epicurus there is no ... final end in

the world, wisdom of a Creator; everything

consists of events, which are determined

by the chance (??) external (??) coming

together of configurations of atoms....” (491)
he pities

God!! the



And Hegel simply hurls abuse at

Epicurus: “His thoughts on particular as-

pects of Nature are, however, in them-

selves feeble....” (492)

And immediately afterwards is a polemicagainst the “Naturwissenschaft” heute,[100]

which, like Epicurus, allegedly judges “by

analogy,” and “explains” (492)—e.g., light

as “vibrations of the ether....” “This is an

analogy quite in the manner of Epicu-

rus....” (493)
and the

“manner” of



and its


((Modern natural science ver-

sus Epicurus,—against (NB) Hegel.))

In Epicurus, “the kernel of the matter,

the principle, is nothing else than the

principle of our usual natural science....”

(495) ... “it is still the manner which lies

at the basis of our natural science....” (496)
Epicurus and

modern na-

tural science
Correct is only the reference to

the ignorance of dialectics in gen-

eral and of the dialectics of con-

cepts. But the criticism of ma-terialism is schwach.[101]

“Of this method (of Epicurean philosophy)

we may say in general that it likewise

has a side on which it possesses value.
Aristotle and the more ancient philosophers

took their start in natural philosophy from

universal thought a priori, and from this
developed the Notion. This is the one side.

The other side is the necessary one that

experience should be worked up into uni-

versality, that laws should be determined;

that is to say, that the result which fol-

lows from the abstract Idea should coin-

cide with the general conception to which

experience and observation have led. The

a priori is with Aristotle, for instance,

most excellent, but not sufficient, because

it lacks connection with and relation to

experience and observation. This develop-

ment of the particular to the general is

the discovery of laws, natural forces and

so on. It may be said that Epicurus is the

inventor of empirical natural science, of

empirical psychology. In contrast to the
Stoic ends, conceptions of the understand-

ing, is experience, the sensuous present.

There we have abstract, limited understand-
ing, without truth in itself, and therefore

without the presence and reality of nature;

here we have this sense of nature, which

is more true than these other hypotheses.”

The importance of Epicurus—the strug-

gle against Aberglauben[102] of the

Greeks and Romans (498)—and

modern priests??

all this nonsense about whether a hare ran

across the path, etc. (and the good Lord?).

Hegel on

the pros of

“And from it” (the philosophy of Epi-

curus), “more than anything, those con-

ceptions which have altogether denied the

supersensuous have proceeded.” (498)

|| But this is good only for “end-

lichen”[103] .... “With superstition there

also passed away self-dependent Con-nection and the world of the Ideal.” (499)
for what did

they (the

classics) val-

ue idealism??

P. 499: Epicurus on the soul: the

finer (NB) atoms, their more rapid

(NB) motion, their connection (NB)

etc., etc., with the body (Diogenes

Laertius, X, § 66; 63-64)—very naïve

and good!—but Hegel becomes irate, he

hurls abuse: “meaningless talk,” “empty

words,” “no thoughts.” (500)

for Hegel

the “soul”

is also a


The Gods, according to Epicurus, are

“das Allgemeine”[104] (506) in general—“they

consist partly in number” as number,

i.e., abstraction from the sensuous....

“In part, they” (the gods) “are the perfect-

ed type of man, which, owing to the simi-

larity of the images, arises from the con-

tinuous confluence of like images on one

and the same subject.” (507)
NBGods = the


type of man,

cf. Feuer-bach[105]
Speaking of Scepticism, Hegel points

to its apparent “invincibility” (Unbezwing-

lichkeit) (538):
“If anyone actually desires to be a Scep-

tic, he cannot be convinced, or be brought

to a positive philosophy, any more than he

who is paralysed can be made to stand.” (539)

Bien dit!!
“Positive philosophy in relation to it”

(den denkenden Skeptizismus[107]) “may

have this consciousness: it contains in itself the negative of Scepticism; Scepticism is not opposed to it, nor outside it, but is

a moment of it; but it contains the negative

in its truth, as it is not present in Scepti-

cism.” (539) (The relation of philosophy to Scepti-


“Philosophy is dialectical, this dialectic is change; the Idea, as abstract Idea, is

the inert and existent, but it is only true insofar as it grasps itself as living; this is that it is dialectical in itself, in order

to transcend that quiescence and inertness.

Hence the philosophic idea is dialectical

in itself and not contingent; Scepticism,
on the contrary, exercises its dialectic

contingently—for just as the material, the

content comes before it, it shows that it

is negative in itself....” (540)


dialectics of

Scepticism is


The old (ancient) Sciepticism has to be

distinguished from the new (only Schulze

of Göttingen is named). (540) Ataraxie (imperturbability?) as the ideal

of the Sceptics:

“Pyrrho once pointed out to his fellow-

passengers on board a ship, who were fright-

ened during a storm, a pig, which remained

quite indifferent and peaceably ate on,

saying to them: in such imperturbahility

the wise man must also abide” (Diogenes

Laertius, IX, 68)—pp. 551-552.
not a bad


about the


“Scepticism is not doubt. Doubt is just

the opposite of the tranquillity that is

the result of scepticism.” (552)

Scepticism is

not doubt
...“Scepticism, on the contrary, is indif-

ferent to the one as well as to the other....”

Schulze-Aenesidemus passes off for Scep-

ticism the statement that everything sen-

suous is truth (557), but the Sceptics did

not say so: one must sich danach richten,

orientate oneself by the sensuous, but that

is not the truth. The new Scepticism does

not doubt the reality of things. The old

Scepticism does doubt the reality of things.

Tropes (turns of speech, arguments, etc.)

of the Sceptics:

everything in



(second cen-

tury A. D.)

a.The diversity of animal organisation.


Differences in sensations: the jaun-

diced (dem Gelbsiichtigen) sees as

yellow what to others appears white,


b.The diversity of mankind. “Idiosyn-

crasies.” (559)

Whom to believe? The majority? Fool-

ish, for all men cannot be interro-

gated. (560)
Diversity of philosophies: Stupid re-

ference, Hegel waxes indignant: ...

“such men see everything in a phi-

losophy excepting Philosophy itself,

and this is overlooked....” “However

different the philosophic systems may

be, they are not as different as white

and sweet, green and rough, for they

agree in the fact that they are philos-

ophies and this is what is overlooked.”

...“All tropes proceed against the

‘is,’ but the truth is all the same

not this dry ‘is,’ but essentially proc-

ess....” (562)

c.The diversity in the constitution of

the organs of sense: the various sense

organs perceive differently (on a paint-

ed panel something appears erha-

ben[108] to the eye but not to the


d.The diversity of circumstances in the

subject (rest, passion, etc.).

e.The diversity of distances, etc.
the earth going round

the sun or vice versa, etc.

f.Intermixture (scents in strong sun-

shine and without it, etc.).

g.The composition of things (pounded

glass is not transparent, etc.).

h.The “relativity of things.”
i.The frequency, rarity of happenings,

etc.; habit.

k.Customs, laws, etc., their diversity....
|These (10) are all old tropes| and He-

gel: this is all “empirical”—“do not have

to do with the Notion....” (566) This is

“trivial”..., but ....

“In fact, as against the dogmatism of

the common human understanding they

are quite valid....” (567)
The five new tropes (are said by Hegel

to he much more advanced, they contain

dialectics, concern concepts)—also accord-

ing to Sextus:



The diversity of the opinions ...

of philosophers...

The falling into an infinite pro-

gression (one thing depends on an-

other and so on without end).

Relativity (of premises).

Presupposition. The dogmatists put

forward unprovable presupposi-


Reciprocity. Circle (vicious)...

“These sceptical tropes, in fact, concernthat which is called a dogmatic philosophy

(and in accordance with its nature such

a philosophy must display itself in all

these forms) not in the sense of its having

a positive content, but as asserting some-

thing determinate as the absolute.” (575)
Hegel against the absolute!

Here we have the germ of dialectical mat-

“To the criticism which knows nothing

in itself, nothing (not nichts) (sic!!)[109] ab-

solute, all knowledge of Being-in-itself,

as such, is held to be dogmatism, while

it is the worst dogmatism of all, because

it maintains that the ‘I,’ the unity of self-

consciousness, opposed to Being, is in and

for itself, and that what is ‘in itself’ in

the outside world is likewise so, and there-

fore that the two absolutely cannot come

together.” (576)
“Criticism” is

the “worst

“These tropes hit dogmatic philosophy,

which has this manner of representing one

principle in a determinate proposition as

determinateness. Such a principle is always

conditioned; and consequently contains dia-

lectics, the destruction within it of itself.”

(577) “These tropes are a powerful weapon

against the philosophy of reason.” (ib.)



Dialectics =


of itself”
Sextus, for example, reveals the dialec-

tics of the concept of a point (der Punkt).

A point has no dimensions? That means

that it is outside space! It is the limit

of space in space, a negation of space, and
at the same time “it touches space”—“but

at the same time it is also in itself some-

thing dialectical.” (579)
“These tropes ... are powerless against

speculative ideas, because the latter contain

within themselves a dialectical moment

and the abrogation of the finite.” (580)

End of Volume XIV (p. 586).

Volume XV. Volume III Of The History Of Philosophy (The End Of Greek Philosophy, Medieval and Modern Philosophy up to Schelling, pp. 1-692)[edit source]

BERLIN, 1836

THE NEO-PLATONISTS[110][edit source]
...“The return to God....” (5),[111] “self-

consciousness is absolute Essence”..., “the

world-spirit”... (7), “Christian religion”....

(8)And a mass of thin porridge

ladled out about God.... (8-18)
But this philosophical idealism, open-

ly, “seriously” leading to God, is more

honest than modern agnosticism with

its hypocrisy and cowardice.

A. Philo—(about the time of the birth

of Christ), a Jewish savant, a mystic,

“finds Plato present in Moses” (19),

etc. The main point is “the knowl-

edge of God” (21), etc. God is λόγοζ,[112]

“the epitome of all Ideas,” “pure Be-

ing” (22) (“according to Plato”)....

(22) Ideas are “angels” (messengers

of God).... (24) The sensuous world,

however, “as with Plato” = ούχ όν[113] =

= not-Being. (25)


(of Plato)

and the

good Lord

B. Cabbala,[114] the Gnostics[115]——————


C. Alexandrian philosophy[116]—(= eclectic

ism) (=Platonists, Pythagoreans, Ari-

stotelians). (33, 35)

Eclectics are either uncultured men, or

cunning (die klugen Leute[117] —they take the

good from every system, but...
—they collect every good but do not have

“consistency of thought, and consequently

thought itself.” (33)
on the


They developed Plato....
“The Platonic universal, which is in

thought, accordingly receives the significa-

tion of being as such absolute essence”(33)....
Plato’s ideas

and the good

HEGEL ON PLATO’S DIALOGUES[118][edit source]







  1. Hegel, Werke, Bd. XIII, Berlin, 1833.—
  2. to call every twaddle (?) a philosophy”—Ed.
  3. beginning—Ed.
  4. The Ionic school, or Miletian school (from the town of Miletus, trading and cultural centre of the ancient world on the coast of Asia Minor), was the earliest school of naturalistic materialism (6th century BC) in the history of Greek philosophy. (See F. Engels, Dialectics of Nature, Moscow, 1954, p. 250.)
  5. Pythagorean philosophy (6th-4th. century BC)—an idealist philosophy that considered the essence of all things to lie in numbers. Named after Pythagoras, the founder of a philosophical, religious and political league in Crotona (Southern Italy) that fought for the supremacy of the aristocracy.
  6. one—Ed.
  7. Aristotle’s work De coelo (On the Heavens) belongs to his natural-philosophic writings and consists of four books that are subdivided into chapters. In modern editions, these books are designated by Roman nvmerals and the chapters by Arabic ones.
  8. Antichthon—Ed.
  9. The number ten was viewed by the Pythagoreans as sacred, as the most perfect number, embracing the entire nature of numbers.
  10. the soul is solar dust”—Ed.
  11. Aristotle’s work De anima (On the Soul) belongs to his natural-philosophic writings and consists of three books.
  12. The Eleatic school (end of 6th-5th century BC) was named after the town of Elea in Southern Italy. In contradistinction to the natural dialectic teachings of the Miletian school, and of Heraclitus, regarding the changeable nature of things, the Eleatic school believed in their indivisible, immovable, unchangeable, homogeneous, continuous, eternal essence. At the same time, some of the propositions of representatives of the Eleatic school, and particularly the proofs advanced by Zeno concerning the contradictoriness of motion (the so-called paradoxes of Zeno), despite their metaphysical conclusions, played a positive role in the development of ancient dialectics, having raised the problem of expressing in logical concept the contradictory character of the processes of motion.
  13. In the Eleatic school—Ed.
  14. The next page of the manuscript contains the text given below.—Ed.
  15. determinations, not definitions—Ed.
  16. Determination is the comprehensive conception of the object which characterises its essential aspects and connections with the surrounding world and the laws of its development. Definition, in this case, is the abstract formal-logical determination that takes into account only the external features of the object.
  17. See F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, Moscow, 1959, p. 21. Also see p. 264 of this volume.
  18. The reference is to the work of Diogenes Laertius, Lives and Opinions of Famous Philosophers, consisting of ten books. It was published in ancient Greek by G. Gübner, Vols. 1-2, Leipzig, 1830-33.
  19. The reference is to the work of Sextus Empiricus, Basic Tenets of Pyrrhonism, in three books.
  20. in potentiality—Ed.
  21. in actualityEd.
  22. The reference is to Pierre Bayle, Dictionnaire historique et critique (Historical and Critical Dictionary), 4 Vols., Amsterdam and Leyden, 1740.
  23. pitifulEd.
  24. This if is good!”—Ed.
  25. Lenin has in mind the French translation of the first volume of Theodor Gomperz’s work Griechische Denker (Greek Thinkers).
  26. The reference is to § 1 of the book by V. Chernov, Philosophical and Sociological Studies, Moscow, 1907.
  27. Heraclitus (c. 530-470 BC) lived prior to Zeno of Elea (c. 490-480 BC). Hegel discusses Heraclitus after the Eleatics because his philosophy, especially his dialectics, was superior to that of the Eleatics, in particular, the dialectics of Zeno. Whereas Eleatic philosophy embodied, in Hegel’s view, the category of being, Heraclitus’ philosophy was an historical expression of the higher, more concrete and genuine category of becoming. This is an example of how Hegel “adapted” the history of philosophy to fit the categories of his logic. At the same time Hegel’s treatment of Heraclitus and the Eleatics reflected the actual law-governed nature of the history of philosophy as a science. Such deviations from the chronological order are quite legitimate in examining the history of individual aspects or categories of philosophy, since in this case their development emerges in a form free from historical accident. Lenin wrote the following in his fragment On the Question of Dialectics about the “circles” in philosophy: “Ancient: from Democritus to Plato and the dialectics of Heraclitus” and remarks: “Is a chronology of persons essential? No!” (See present volume, p. 360.)
  28. semblance, show—Ed.
  29. The work De mundo (On the Universe), included in Aristotle’s collected works, was written after Aristotle’s death by an unknown author at the end of the 1st or beginning of the 2nd century A.D.
  30. Symposium (Feast)—a dialogue by Plato.
  31. Time is the first corporeal essence.”—Ed.
  32. corporeal—Ed.
  33. the first sensuous essence”—Ed.
  34. of natural scientists—Ed.
  35. See F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, Moscow, 1959, pp. 21-22.
  36. fate—Ed.
  37. logos—Ed.
  38. subterfuge”—Ed.
  39. One”—Ed.
  40. the principle of the One” is “altogether ideal”—Ed.
  41. Being-for-itself—Ed.
  42. In Lenin’s manuscript these five lines have been crossed out.—Ed.
  43. mysticism of ideasEd.[Back to note #14]
  44. Diogenes Laertius (p. 235)—“vertiginem”—Latin translation.—Ed.
  45. treated—Ed.
  46. step-motherly—Ed.
  47. The reference is to the work of Sextus Empiricus, Against Mathematicians, consisting of 11 books, six of which are devoted to a critique of grammar, rhetoric, geometry, arithmetic, astronomy and music, and five (Against Dogmatists) to a critique of logic, physics and ethics.
  48. “my feeling, mine
  49. A critique of the subjective idealist teachings of Mach on sensations was presented by Lenin in his book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Chapter 1, §§ 1 and 2 (V. I. Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Moscow, 1960, pp. 32-61).
  50. reason—Ed.
  51. A word has remained undeciphered here.—Ed.
  52. It is here that these extremes come into contact (and are transformed!).—Ed.
  53. Homoeomeriae — according to Aristotle, a term used by Anaxagoras to denote tiny material elements consisting in their turn of an infinite number of smaller particles and containing all existing properties (“all in everything”). The elements themselves are inert and set in motion by νοΰς (mind, reason), believed by Anaxagoras to be a kind of fine and light matter. He explained any emergence and destruction by the junction and separation of elements. In the extant fragments of Anaxagoras’ works these elements are called “seeds” or “things”; the term homoeomeriae was introduced by Aristotle.
  54. Sophists (from the Greek sophos—a wise man)—the designation (since the second half of the 5th century BC) for professional philosophers, teachers of philosophy and rhetoric. The Sophists did not constitute a single school. The most characteristic feature common to Sophists was their belief in the relativity of all human ideas, ethical standards and values, expressed by Protagoras in the following famous statement: “Man is the measure of all things, of what is, that it is, and of what is not, that it is not.” In the first half of the 4th century BC, sophism disintegrated and degenerated into a barren play with logical conceptions.
  55. counterproofs—Ed.
  56. Hegel, Werke, Bd. XIV, Berlin, 1833.—Ed.
  57. the universalEd.
  58. this “relativity”—Ed.
  59. Phenomenologism—a branch of subjective idealism that considers phenomena to be only the totality of man’s sensations. The Machists were phenomenalists. An important role in the Marxist criticism of phenomenologism was played by Lenin’s book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism (Collected Works, Vol. 14).
  60. common sense—Ed.
  61. This excerpt was made by Lenin somewhat later in outlining the philosophy of Socrates (pp. 43-44 of Hegel; see p. 273 of this volume).—Ed.
  62. This excerpt was made by Lenin in outlining the philosophy of Socrates (p. 69 of Hegel; see p. 274 of this volume).—Ed.
  63. See § 27 of Feuerbach’s Principles of the Philosophy of the Future for his views on being and essence.
  64. The reference is to the following statement of Feuerbach: “At the beginning of phenomenology we immediately come across a contradiction between the word which represents the universal, and the thing, which is always a particular.” (See § 28 of Feuerbach’s Principles of the Philosophy of the Future.)
  65. in it itself”—Ed.
  66. Following this paragraph in the MS. is an excerpt on Gorgias’ philosophy, beginning with the words: “To be added on Gorgias....” (See p. 271 of this volume.)—Ed.
  67. the art of midwiferyEd.
  68. Becoming = not-Being and Being.—Ed.
  69. MenoPlato’s dialogue directed against the Sophists. It is considered to be one of Plato’s early works.
  70. drugged”—Ed.
  71. Following this paragraph in the MS. is an excerpt on Gorgias’ philosophy, beginning with the words: “To be added further on Gorgias....” (See p. 272 of this volume.)—Ed.
  72. very well put—Ed.
  73. Lenin is referring to the following philosophical works by Plekhanov: N. Beltov, The Development of the Monist View of History, published as a separate volume in 1895 in St. Petersburg (see Selected Philosophical Works, Vol. 1, Moscow, 1960, pp. 542-782); articles against Bogdanov appearing in Social-Democratic periodicals and published in the collection entitled “From Defence to Attack” (1910); articles against the Kantians E. Bernstein, C. Schmidt and others appearing in the journal Die Neue Zeit and published in the collection: N. Beltov, “Criticism of Our Critics,” St. Petersburg, 1906; and “Fundamental Questions of Marxism,” published as a separate volume in 1908 in St. Petersburg.
  74. the sensuous—Ed.
  75. the very essence of the thingEd.
  76. Cyrenaics-adherents, of an ancient Greek school of philosophy, founded in the 5th century BC by Aristippus of Cyrene (North Africa). In the theory of knowledge, the Cyrenaics adhered to sensualism. They asserted that objective truth does not exist and that, with certainty, one can only speak of subjective sensations. In Cyrenaicism, the sensualist theory of knowledge is supplemented by sensualist ethics—the doctrine of sensual satisfaction as the basis of morality. The Cyrenaic school produced a number of representatives of ancient atheism.
  77. Cf. Überweg-Heinze, § 88, p. 122 (10th edition)— and also about them in Plato’s Theaetetus.[24a] Their (the Cyrenaics’) scepticism and subjectivism.—Ed.
  78. to fall back, the better to leap (to know?)—Ed.
  79. nodal point—Ed.
  80. substance—Ed.
  81. See L. Feuerbach, Against Dualism of Body and Soul, Flesh and Spirit.
  82. See F. Engels, Anti-Dühring, Moscow, 1959, p. 54.
  83. logos—Ed.
  84. sense-perception (sensation) and cognition—Ed.
  85. is external”—Ed.
  86. to talk out of existence—Ed.
  87. A matter of indifference—Ed.
  88. the soul—Ed.
  89. perceives—Ed.
  90. reason—Ed.
  91. what is apprehended by reason—Ed.
  92. Stoics—adherents of an ancient Greek school of philosophy arising about the 3rd century BC and existing until the 6th century A.D. The Stoics recognised two elements in the universe: an enduring element—matter without quality; and an active one—reason, logos, god. In logic, the Stoics proceeded from the assumption that the source of all cognition is sensuous perception and that a conception can be true only if it is a faithful and full impression of the object. The Stoics taught, however, that perceptual judgment arises only as a result of agreement between the mind and a true conception. This the Stoics called “catalepsy” (or “seizure”) and viewed it as a criterion for truth.
  93. In the manuscript the word “Canonic” is linked by an arrow with the word “It” at the beginning of the following paragraph.—Ed.
  94. in opinion—Ed.
  95. The words in brackets are missing in Lenin’s manuscript.—Ed.
  96. meagerEd.
  97. alsoEd.
  98. difference—Ed.
  99. “curvilinear” motion—Ed.
  100. natural science” today—Ed.
  101. feeble—Ed.
  102. superstitionsEd.
  103. finite” things—Ed.
  104. the universal”—Ed.
  105. See L. Feuerbach, Lectures on the Essence of Religion: “the God of man is nothing but the deified being of man.” (L. Feuerbach, Werke, Bd. 6, Berlin, 1840, S. 21.)
  106. Sceptics—in this case, adherents of the ancient Greek philosophical school founded by Pyrrho (c. 365-275 B.C.). The best known of the ancient Sceptics were Aenesidemus and Sextus Empiricus (2nd century A.D.). [See also: “Scepticism and Dogmatism”]
    Tropes—the designation for the reasons for doubt advanced by the ancient Sceptics (ten tropes) and later supplemented (five tropes) by Agrippa. By means of these reasons the Sceptics tried to prove the impossibility of cognising things and the absolute relativity of all perceptions.
  107. thinking scepticism—Ed.
  108. raised—Ed.
  109. Lenin’s remark in parentheses was evoked by a misprint in the German text, which had nicht (not) instead of nichts (nothing) before the word “absolute.”—Ed.
  110. Neo-Platonists—followers of the mystical philosophical doctrine, the basis of which was Plato’s idealism. Neo-Platonism (Plotinus was the head of this school) developed during the period from the 3rd to the 5th centuries and was a combination of the Stoic, Epicurean and Sceptical doctrines with the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. The influence of neo-Platonism was strong in the Middle Ages; it was expressed in the doctrines of the leading medieval theologians and is also to be seen in certain trends of modern bourgeois philosophy.
  111. Hegel, Werke, Rd. XV, Berlin, 1836.—Ed.
  112. logos—Ed.
  113. non-existent—Ed.
  114. Cabbala—a medieval mystical religious “doctrine” prevalent among the most fanatical followers of Judaism, as well as among adherents of Christianity and Islam. The basic thought of this doctrine is the symbolic interpretation of the Holy Scripture, whose every word and number acquires special mystical importance in the eyes of the Cabbalists.
  115. Gnostics—followers of mystical, religious-philosophical doctrines during the early centuries of our era. They tried to unite Christian theology and various theses of Platonic, Pythagorean and Stoic philosophy.
  116. Alexandrian philosophy—several philosophical schools and trends that arose during the early centuries of our era in Alexandria, Egypt. Their distinguishing feature was their attempt to unite Plato’s and Aristotle’s philosophy and the mystical Eastern cults.
  117. clever people—Ed.
  118. This entry was made by Lenin in German on the back cover of the notebook containing the conspectus of Hegel’s book Lectures on the Philosophy of History.—Ed.
  119. Hegel, Werke, Bd. XIV, Berlin, 1833.—Ed.