Does Hegel Argue We Can Think Without Presuppositions and Axioms or That It Is Impossible?
Considering Hegel, “The Logic Dialogues (4),” and A Philosophy of Glimpses
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski
In my work, I often claim that “the true isn’t the rational,” which is to say that they are distinct categories, and the main point is that rationality is always relative to what we believe is true, which begs the question of how we might determine what we think is true if rationality comes afterwards? Rationality operates assuming axioms (it must), and so to try to think “nonrationally about truth” is to try to find ways of knowing that are free of axioms (or “between them”). But how is that possible? Well, that’s arguably Hegel’s whole question with Science of Logic, and we all obviously do indeed do it because we use rationality to function. We likely just “absorb a truth” somehow through experience, emotions, faith, etc., and that’s why we are the way we are now. Alright, fine, but how might we nonrationality choose a truth now, after having already absorbed one? Having operated according to presuppositions and axioms for so many years, how might we employ a new logic? And how might we do this and not feel like we are being irrational versus nonrational?
The very effort to try to think without axioms unveils that we always fall back into them, but the question is this: Are there are least moments and glimpses of “thought without axioms” before we fall back into them? I think that is a question we have to ask about Hegel, for it can sometimes be unclear if we can think without presuppositions, axioms, etc. or if ultimately that effort will fail. This topic came up in “The Logic Dialogues (4),” hosted by Cadell Last, which was a discussion that I found extremely inspiring and fruitful. In my opinion, it’s almost like we can catch “glimpses” of thought without axioms for a second or before we go back into our everyday lives, and Hegel wants to focus on those “glimpses” as grounds for his new logic.”
We learn from Samuel Barnes that it is impossible to access “The Meta-Question,” which is thought free of presupposition, but might Hegel be saying that it is only ultimately inaccessible (an Unknown versus Unknowability)? Hegel might be suggesting there are moments where we can access it, or at least think in the manner required to answer “The Meta-Question.” Perhaps we never can ultimately access it completely or totally, but that might only be because we cannot always think free of axioms, only do so for seconds and moments (before having to get back to the business of living). But those seconds would be enough to provide us “reason to think” that we can in fact access a degree of “The Absolute,” which would mean that Kant might describe how things are normally like but not always (and that changes everything). And again, to Hegel’s point, if we do in fact reason, we do so relative to a truth, and that truth must have been selected with thought that is free of axioms, for rationality comes after truth. And so it must be possible, or at the very least we somehow subtly form our worldviews not with “autonomous rationality” but with some involvement of “nonrationality” as well.
Most of us come to share the religion of our parents, as we come to think like the people around us, which suggests we “absorb” most of our worldviews (as discussed in “Compelling” by O.G. Rose). This suggests something important: we do not readily arrive at our worldview from a philosophical “ground,” but in relationships. The term I’ve used with Guy Sengstock and in “Net” conversations is “intersuppositional,” which is to say “suppositions we experience between us and ‘other-ness,’ ” whether that “other” be personal, materiality, worldly, etc. Here, we suggest that we all naturally start reasoning from axioms which we gain not pre-suppositionally but inter-suppositionally, but what is arrived at intersuppositionally is instantly translated into being “presuppositional,” for it immediately becomes the foundation and assumptions according to which we operate in the world. What we assume “under us” is what we experience “between us and other-ness” (things, people, etc.), and so it seems like we only ever operate according to presuppositions (in the same way that the quickness by which thinking translates perception into its own terms makes it seem like we only think, as discussed in “On Thinking and Perceiving” by O.G. Rose). But this is not the case: pre-suppositions can be “absorbed” inter-suppositionally.
The axioms which make possible rationality can be arrived at intersuppositionally, which means in experience between us and “others.” Now, the counter to this could be to say that we are simply absorbing the presuppositions of others, and so the axioms are not really intersuppositional, and that can be true to a degree. However, if we at least know that there is an “intersuppositional space” (versus only a “presuppositional ground”), what might happen if we try to think that space? What might we “glimpse” if we really try to make a point to understand how logic and thinking operate intersuppositionally and not just presuppositionally? Might something “new” emerge? If not, then we seem stuck with presuppositions, which suggests we might be stuck somewhat Kantian.
It is not possible for us to experience “a ground,” but we can experience “space between” (“lack”) and “the intersuppositional,” and so there is a way to gain knowing which isn’t just rational (for rationality, in being abstract, operates relative to an abstract “ground”). We are not limited to rationality to know, even if we must translate what we know into rationality to make it intelligible, and it is not the case that we only know what is intelligible to us (as seen, for example, when we can believe something or experience something we cannot put into words). A lack of explanation is not proof of nothingness, but we are stuck in a world where it must seem that way—the genius of Hegel was realizing that what “seemed to be the case” might only seem such.
What does Hegel see when he gazes into “the intersuppositional space” (versus “void of groundlessness”)? I think he sees the possibility of what we see emerge in Dialogos, Cyphers, creative acts, Circling—he sees something occurring which cannot be reduced to its parts. I elaborate on this in “Speaking Back, the Circling Cypher and Centering of Negative Space, and Proposing Hope” by O.G. Rose, but the point is that though we often just use “space between” to transfer presuppositions, it is possible for us to garner intersuppositions from out of that space or “lack” itself. Things can happen between people that cannot happen when people are alone, and parts really can become “wholes” which are greater than the parts. This strange “flip” itself can be material for intersuppositions, and these are experienced, and experience is possible without axioms. Furthermore, experience is practiced, and “the practical” in Hegel is more real than “the technical,” which would suggest “intersuppositional thought” can be more real than the presuppositional (which makes sense if “the presuppositional” comes from initial experiences which are actually more intersuppositional). Critically, if we “glimpse” something occurring in “intersuppositional space,” even if for a second, then whatever we “glimpsed” can occur, and the world has to be a place where such is possible. Thus, what is “glimpse” can change the whole world forever and always. If for a second we can “glimpse” thought that isn’t presuppositional, then the world is always a place where the intersuppositional is possible.
“Historical development” is intersuppositional, and so this is a way of knowing which doesn’t always require axioms. The movement itself is an emergence which occurs relative to the intersuppositional, which means it manifests a whole that cannot be reduced to its parts. An emergence doesn’t have presuppositions, because it can’t—it’s entirely new. An emergence is indeed proof of “intersuppositional possibility,” and though we cannot think it (rationally), we can experience it (truly), at which point we can immediately incorporate it into our rationality as grounds for a presupposition.
If emergence is free of presuppositions and occurs, then there is “reason to believe” that it might sometimes manifest “The Meta-Question,” and that experiencing and learning about an emergence is to learn something meaningful about “The Meta-Question.” No, not necessarily, and we cannot know “The Meta-Question” fully, but emergence gives us a way to make “The Meta-Question” something which is “unknown” versus “unknowable” (as elaborated on in “The Unknowable and the Unknown” by O.G. Rose). That is a critical difference, and we have Hegel to thank for the possibility.
A Spirit of Trust by Robert B. Brandom is for me a reading of Hegel that stresses that Hegel’s philosophy is “intersuppositional,” with a focus on the development of subjectivity intersubjectively. The self forms in relation to “others,” or otherwise the self forms with deficiencies. Brandom’s reading of Phenomenology of Spirit pays tribute to pragmatic attempts to situate Hegel as not an enemy of Analytical Philosophy but rather as a friend, and indeed I see value in that reading, but only so much as we don’t in this interpretation ignore “the speculative reason” which Hegel “works through negativity” to attempt. As argued in The Absolute Choice, the “intersuppositional” in Hegel can help us deal with the problem of “thinking without presuppositions,” so that space is paramount to consider.
The outstanding Dr. Stephen Houlgate argues that Hegel tries to avoid axioms, presuppositions, and the like by instead seeking to find “the enabling conditions” of philosophy, which is to say that Hegel searches for the conditions that make philosophy possible. Hegel is not asking, “What axioms are best?” but instead, “What makes philosophy occur and possible?” and from here Hegel seeks to describe what exactly philosophy “is” based on the fact that it arises from x conditions versus y conditions. Recognizing these conditions, Hegel then follows how thought develops relative to them, which then comes to incorporates presuppositions, assumptions, axioms, etc., but did the initial conditions entail and require presuppositions? If not, then it is possible for there to be source of thought and knowledge which are free of axioms, and that would mean we have “reason to believe” thought can access the Absolute. Granted, perhaps we cannot be certain about this, but giving ourselves “reason to believe” thought can access the Absolute is enough to help us avoid nihilism, hard deconstruction, and to view thought as in a business that is greater than merely positing “truth structures.” Helping address what Dr. Vervaeke calls “The Meaning Crisis” does not need us to learn the whole Absolute, only to reasonably shift it from being unknowable to being unknown (versus by mere assertion). This is my main goal.
The “enabling conditions” of thought suggested in this paper are “intersuppositional spaces,” which is to say thought develops from an encounter with “otherness.” In what the Kyoto School calls “Pure Experience,” before Lacan’s “Mirror Stage,” when there is no “subject/object divide,” rationality has arguably not really started (even if thoughts and images somehow pass through our heads). Really, it is when we realize “I am an I” and then “I am not Mom,” “I am not the bookcase,” etc. that we then can ask, “Why?” or “What does this mean?” or “Whom am I?” or “What is that?”—and so on. The divide begs thinking, and the “subject/object divide” (which Hegel will later want to “negate”) constitutes an “enabling condition” without which thought would not develop. We are not thinking according to axioms at this point, and though we could say we are assuming “the subject/object divide,” it’s not really that we “assume this” so much as an experience of something like it “forces itself” on us. Now, we cannot necessarily conclude from this that “therefore the subject/object divide is part of the Absolute,” for it is possible that “overcoming the subject/object divide is part of the Absolute (and we cannot overcome what we do not experience),” so there is something to be said about how drawing conclusions from this experience can spill over into the realm of assuming axioms, but the raw, initial experience itself that “forces itself” on us is still of unique relevance. This condition was not assumed, but “arose” free of axioms and presuppositions, and it is these conditions that Hegel focuses on to follow how thought develops in response. These conditions tend to be (and might always be) intersuppositional, and if there is a chance to think thought free of assumptions, categories, and the like, then this seems to be our best bet.
At this point, I would like to note Basic Questions of Philosophy by Martin Heidegger, which has been beautifully spoken on by Guy Sengstock. The point made in his conversation with John Russon, inspired by Heidegger, that philosophy something that we only know and understand in the same way we know and understand people (that it is through a relationship) is invaluable, and suggests how philosophy can be fundamentally intersuppositional and then presuppositional, but only if people let what happens between them not be something that is reducible to their preexisting beliefs, expectations, and the like, and a glimpse of that is what is needed for us to base and organize philosophy in the unique way which can help us approach “The Meta-Question.” Again, just because two people interact doesn’t mean that something intersuppositional necessarily arises (for people can and in fact usually just exchange assumptions, notions based on preset axioms, etc.), but a relational and “intersuppositional space” is a prerequisite and what makes possible an irreducible emergence.
For Heidegger, cups, tables, trees, cats, and the like as phenomenon are “there” in their facticity to provide “at hand” the material we need to arrive at “basic questions” about them. A cup is “there” regardless how we feel, think, act, or sense, and there is no “mode” we have to carefully and fragilely keep ourselves in so that the cup stays “there” exactly as it is in the way it is “there.” If we get upset or forget something, the cup won’t change colors or shape, let alone vanish. It’s “being-there” is not contingent on us, our mood, our thoughts, or anything, and so the process by which we ask basic questions about the cup is more straightforward and doesn’t require any “work on the subject” (or even “spiritual work”), for the cup to be (unchangingly) “there.” In fact, there’s almost a motivation not to emphasize “working on the subject,” for that can impede our experience of the object (“being-there”) and contribute to the wrong questions being derived. It is to the glory of science that we in fact came to meaningfully “bracket out” the subject in scientific inquiries and arrive at scientific questions and conclusions that way—but engaging in this “bracketing out” will not work for philosophy, for it is inherently reductionistic in that it removes from our consideration our relationship to the object. There are different epistemologies and different “mental models” relative to the kinds of knowledge we are seeking to gain, and keeping them distinct is critical so that we discover and learn each form of knowledge well.
Unlike the cup or topics of science, philosophy isn’t a “being-there,” and its manifestation is contingent upon the mode, mood, conditionality, etc. of the people seeking it, not because philosophy is relative (which is primarily perspectival), but because being able to experience it requires conditioning (which is primarily developmental), in the same way that fully experiencing great art, a great skill, a great conversation, etc. requires practice, work, and time. If we think it is a waste of time, it will “unveil” itself to us as a waste of time; if we think it is mathematical, it will “unveil” itself to us as mathematical; if we think it is simple, it will “unveil” itself as simple; and so on (we have the power to seal ourselves outside of it, “for good reason”). And this again is like a relationship, which forms, changes, and develops relative to who we are, what we do, how we act, etc. (and if we think relationships are a waste of time, dangerous, manipulative, etc., that is how they will likely “unfold” to us). Relationships are not relative, but conditional, and they too are like philosophy in that they are not there in the same way as is a cup, and if they are there, how they are so there changes depending on us (if we choose and act for the person to be a stranger, a friend, a spouse, etc.). The questions we then ask about the relationship and its meaning completely depend then on how the relationship is there, and the answers we arrive at from asking, “What is a relationship?” will completely depend on if we’re asking the question regarding relationships between us and strangers, us and lovers, us and coworkers, and so on, and what those relationships “are” will depend on us.
While we know there are many kinds of philosophy and that the answers we arrive at by asking questions about relationships will depend on “what kind” of relationships we inquire into, what often happens with philosophy is that we come to think that there is “one kind of philosophy,” not multiple “kinds” of philosophy in a deeper sense. Yes, we know there are different schools and fields of philosophy, but it’s another matter to say there are different forms and ways of philosophy which are conditioned by us, our modes, our ways of being, and the like (which hints at why Hegel stresses the need for “dialectically working through negativity,” because the philosopher who doesn’t do this will philosophizes differently from the one who does, perhaps causing great trouble). There are different styles and schools of painting, but there are always different ways to paint, and the “ways” we are capable of us as painters will be conditioned by who we are, what we do, how we practice, how we think—so it goes with philosophy.
Since we naturally come to think there is “one kind of philosophy,” we don’t think of philosophy like relationships, and thus don’t come to think that there are different ways for philosophy to “be” which will shape and change the basic questions we derive from it (as we will ask different questions about relationships if we define “relationship” as the experience we have with a stranger versus with a friend). This is Heidegger’s point, and so the question becomes: “What is the best way for philosophy to be there so that we might derive the right basic questions about the right kind of philosophy?” But how can Heidegger be so sure that what he considers “the right kind of philosophy” isn’t just his idea of what philosophy is (suggesting presupposition and assumption)? Also, there’s another problem: we must keep philosophy there while then asking basic questions about it, the very act of which risks changing our mood, mode, etc. and hence causing philosophy to vanish and/or not be there in the same way. What can be done?
This suggests why Heidegger is so concerned with “clearing” and “letting being be,” for it is only where being “unveils itself” that we might have any hope at philosophy manifesting there in a way that isn’t just a product of our assumptions and presuppositions (as I’ve discussed extensively with Andrew Luber). Furthermore, if we let philosophy just “be,” then it is not there due to mere abstract reasoning but something more experiential, and so it is far less likely that philosophy will vanish or cease to be there when we begin asking questions about it. Heidegger suggests that philosophy is really there when we are somehow “taken by it” (throughout being), and it is this mode which Heidegger suggests uniquely positions us to avoid the problem of changing what is there in asking questions about it or considering it (it is a mode that greatly reduces the problem of perspective, interpretation, etc.). When we are utterly in love with someone and “taken by them,” we tend to speak and ask questions of the lover that only magnify that experience, versus ask questions which “ruin the moment.” Not necessarily, and there is a risk, but the “mode” reduces the probability of us falling into the problem of losing what’s there (which suggests a critical role of beauty, due note). In this way, we could say that Heidegger is after an experience of philosophy that is like a “Beatific Vision,” where words and thinking fail but the experience itself does not. The experience transcends categories, and that experience of transcendence is intersuppositional and possible material for new thinking. When philosophy is there like this, then we can arrive at basic questions and not worry so much that the questions change what it is that we are inquiring into (like a problematic “Observer Effect”). No, certainty isn’t possible, but an experience of beauty or “awe-ful suspension” can provide us valid grounds for confidence (enough at lest to fight nihilism).
As Guy Sengstock brings out, philosophy is only there in the right way when it is primarily “wonder,” mainly the “wonder” that there is being at all. In a state of wonder and awe, we are suspended, and yet the thing is there, as itself, in its wonder, without our thoughts, presuppositions, and the like (intersuppositional). And it might instantly be gone, but that moment of there-ness can be remembered (hinting at a radical need for “memory,” which Heidegger was also interested in), and the fact that the world is a place where this experience of wonder can occur thus means the world is now a different place to us (mainly a place where such can occur). For me, this means the world is forever a place where “the intersuppositional” is possible, and since that is arrived at outside of presuppositions, and because “The Meta-Question” is free of presuppositions, there is reason to think we can gain thought that is at least “closer to” or “participating in” “The Meta-Question.” And this means we have “reason to think” we are dealing with an unknown versus an unknowability, and that alone can entirely change the way we carry ourselves in the world (less nihilistically).
For Heidegger, it is only in a mode of wonder that philosophy is really there for us to derive basic questions, and that would mean that if Western Philosophy has mostly been in the business of philosophizing from presuppositions or seeking thought free of presuppositions (which is negative, while seeking intersuppositions is a positive alternative to fill the space), then Heidegger’s point is that this “mode” of philosophy is finished and exhausted around Nietzsche. Not because Western Philosophy was all wrong, but because philosophy has reached a place where it’s previous “mode” (“story,” “way of being,” etc.) has exhausted its possibilities, and all it can find now (“overfitting”) is deconstruction and nihilism. For philosophy to proceed anew, it must change its mode, and Heidegger locates that mode in “wonder,” which he believes Western Philosophy once had in the Greeks but lost. Reclaiming that wonder is philosophy’s hope, and I agree that it is an expression of “the intersuppositional space” on which we must center our focus.
Heidegger stresses that philosophy only “appears” to us if we give everything up for it, which sounds extreme, but if “wonder” entails a radical suspension of our categories, assumptions, etc., then there is a very real sense in which “ever-thing” must go away for “being” to manifest (otherwise, it will just be “a being”). We also have to be ready to give up those categories, assumptions, etc., as well as give up our modes, dispositions, etc. that keep philosophy from “unfolding” in wonder. We have to get out of the way, per se, and do so entirely; furthermore, we have to be willing for everything in our lives to be things which can be reconstituted or changed by the experience of wonder and “being” itself. If we glimpse something we didn’t know was possible, the world forever becomes a different place, and so our relationship to everything in the world can change. This is what Heidegger is telling us, and also if there are still “things” or “beings” in our life that we have not surrendered over to philosophy, then there will always be things that can slip back into our view and “horizon” which make us lose sight of the wonder and being there. If we don’t give everything up to philosophy, there will always be materials and matters of “everydayness” which could reintroduce themselves into our focus and cause us to take our eyes off the wonder there, perhaps making the wonder/philosophy/being vanish (after which then we might conclude we were deluded, making it harder and perhaps impossible to reenter the mode).
What is the “wonder that is philosophy” which is there, though? It’s not a thing, like a cup, but is a relationship to things which change how those things “unfold” to us. For Heidegger, this means the basic questions of philosophy are derived from that relationship and from that “unfolding,” which might vary relative to the thing which “unfolds” (though I think Heidegger wants to find characteristics of “unfolding” that are less thing-dependent than more, for that would risk thinking “a being” versus “being itself,” but I’m not sure). The same logic applied to “wonder” could apply just as well to “emergence” or anything else which arises intersuppositionally, and there will be “reason to think” in this that the resulting “basic questions” will not be the same as basic questions which are derived presuppositionally or axiomatically. Yes, intersuppositional “basic questions” can instantly be translated into assumptions, but even those assumptions can be different in character (though not necessarily, and perhaps their uniqueness might slip away with time, for even an experience of deep wonder can start feeling familiar if we’re not careful).
Anyway, the point is that as Heidegger is primarily interested in the “wonder” we experience relating to a thing (and how it “unfolds”) more than the thing itself, so Hegel is more interested in the conditions, modes, and environments in which emergence occurs then what emerges (which I believe Hegel won’t let himself think, given the Owl of Minerva and ways thinking such changes the conditions). As Heidegger is trying to find a delicate balance between “relating to being” without that becoming “relating to a being,” so Hegel tries to find a delicate balance between “acknowledging intersuppositional space” without that becoming “thinking about what emerges intersuppositionally.” The moment a “what” appears in the intersuppositional, we’re dealing with assumptions, categories, and presuppositions, which falls back into the problem which Science of Logic seeks to (however imperfectly or tragically) avoid; similarly, the moment “a being” appears in the question of being, we’re dealing with the previous mode of Western Philosophy (for we are dealing with assumptions, categories, and presuppositions), which falls back into the mode that leads to nihilism and problematic deconstruction. If the tightrope isn’t walked, there is a fall.
(This all in mind, please note that I would claim both Heidegger and Hegel are in the business of “philosophy as art” (a term which critically blends skill with thing and way of being).)
Axioms or assumptions which result from translating intersuppositions into presuppositions are different from raw assumptions. Yes, ultimately such axioms function like typical assumptions, but the difference in origin is critical to note, for the difference suggests the possibility of experiences which uniquely provide us “reason to think” that we are able to gain knowledge free of presuppositions. Yes, a second later, that experience can only be remembered and carried with us through memories and us deciding what we think the intersuppositional experiences means, which is to say the experience is translated into assumptions, presuppositions, axioms, and the like, but still there was a “glimmer” we must never lose sight of, for the uniqueness of that “glimmer” as intersuppositional can give us “reason to think” we can meaningfully and positively speak of “The Absolute.” Perhaps only a percent of a percent of it, but that degree is actual all the same, and that means the Absolute isn’t unknowable but unknown. And that can go a long way to help us avoid nihilism and for us to believe in the possibility of intersuppositional “becoming-other,” which I think is paramount in our Globalize and Pluralistic world today.
Looking ahead to later in The Absolute Choice, for Hegel, as we have described in the context of Heidegger, the conditioning of philosophy, similar to a relationship, which orientates how it is there to us, is radically and perhaps most radically a result of history and historical development. And furthermore, the very Absolute there and that we are “toward” is shaped by our (historical) development now, and for Hegel the Absolute there needs to emerge relative to “a dialectical working through of negativity,” or otherwise it will prove problematic (a creature of Lovecraft versus a vision of Dante). Max Horkheimer supposedly once suggested, “Pessimism in theory, optimism in practice,” and for Hegel, “Optimism in theory leads to failure in practice.”
Now, at this point, we will need to discuss Deleuze’s critique of Hegel as “a false movement” and his claim that Hegel cannot think “radical repetition,” which I associate with “emergence,” and that will have to be done in “The Dialectic of Hegel, Clearing of Derrida, and Intuition of Deleuze” by O.G. Rose. But my view is not that Hegel can’t think emergence but that he more so won’t think emergence without conceptual meditation, because that would be to violate his famous “Owl of Minerva.” For Hegel, thinking and “working through” negativity is primary, and we add to that negativity in a way that makes it harder to work through (which increases the effectiveness of how the negativity can positively shapes us) if we don’t let ourselves think of what we are doing as bringing about an emergence. Yes, if a good emergence is to occur, it must result from “working through negativity,” but there are no guarantees there will be an emergence, and facing that lack of a guarantee is part of the negativity we must work through. Emergence must be conditioned by working with negativity, which people can resist because they don’t want to do a work that ultimately proves to be for nothing, but this risk is necessary in Hegel and why he might stress that we need to see “facing the negativity” as itself a value. We must see facing negativity as an end and not a means, which might be one of the hardest things in the world, but it is only in doing this might we have hope for “a good emergence,” precisely because there are no guarantees.
For him, beyond nodding toward an “intersuppositional space” which can surprise us, trying to “think emergence” is how we assure that it’s occurrence is something more like Lovecraft than Dante (a point I will elaborated on later in The Absolute Choice). Now, all that said, alternatively, for those who disagree with my reading of Hegel, we can also simply say that Hegel shows that thought without presuppositions is impossible (that there are no “glimpses” of thought without them), and such a move would simply align him with Hume. As a result, we should derive our presuppositions from “common life” and “lived experience” as much as possible. That, in my view, should be the case regardless, but I am admittedly extremely partial to a reading of Hegel that opens the door to the possibility of “the intersuppositional.” In this, we have a way to find a deep “becoming-other” based on practice, and since “the practical” is more real than “the technical” (as discussed in The Absolute Choice), we have in this a robust view of relationships that can help us deal with Pluralism today, without falling into Global Totalitarianism or Dugin.
David Hume is right that we all start with axioms, assumptions, and presuppositions that we absorb from our “common lives,” and philosophy has caused great suffering and devastation which has sought to deny its “nonrational foundation” and exercise “autonomous rationality” (as elaborated on in “Deconstructing Common Life” by O.G. Rose). Considering this, there is a danger in Hegel considering the possibility of rationality which isn’t bound to categories or presuppositions, and I indeed have personally hesitated to explore Hegel for this very reason. But it has become clear to me that not exploring the A/B and intersuppositional logic of Hegel is also dangerous, given how this can lead us into Dugin and/or a Global State. The key is the realization that Hegel is still bound to the concrete and of everyday experience and life in focusing on the intersuppositional, which means the rationality that emerges from Hegel is not an “autonomous rationality” against which Hume wrote. The intersuppositions considered in Hegel are not abstractions, but primarily between us and the people we immediately encounter and interact with in our “common lives”: the relations are those which require us to fact and risk “The Real” on which Lacan speaks. This makes the intersuppositions of Hegel existentially challenging and difficult, yes, but they can also bind rationality into acknowledging the necessity of “nonrationality,” while at the same time helping us avoid nihilism and an utter dismissal of philosophy in us realizing “presuppositionless philosophy” is impossible. Again, we all basically start with “absorbed presuppositions,” but in Hegel we can negate/sublate those into “intersuppositionally-informed presuppositions,” and that can make all the difference. We maintain the humility and embeddedness of Hume, but we also maintain a connection with the Absolute, which might also describe love and the experience of intimacy. Love is intersuppositional, yes? Perhaps there is a reason philosophy so often seems to come back to love.
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