Friday, March 4, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 22

What has been said may also be expressed by saying that reason is expedient [zweckmäßige] activity. The elevation of what is taken to be nature over what is misunderstood to be thought, and above all the banishment of external expediency [Zweckmäßigkeit] have brought the form of purpose in general [des Zwecks überhaupt] into disrepute. Yet in the sense in which Aristotle specifies nature as expedient activity, purpose [der Zweck] is the immediate, stationary, the unmoved which is self-moving; as such, it is subject. Its power of moving, taken abstractly, is being for itself, or pure negativity. The result is only the same as the beginning because the beginning is purpose; or, what is real is only the same thing as its concept because the immediate, as purpose, has the self, or pure actuality, within it. The realized purpose, or existent actuality, is movement and unfolded becoming; yet precisely this agitation is the self; and it is therefore identical with that immediacy and simplicity of the beginning, because it is the result, the returned-into-self, while this latter again is just the self, and the self is identity and simplicity relating to itself.

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