The concept and its double : Power and powerlessness in Hegel's subjective logic

In David Carlson (ed.), Hegel's Theory of the Subject. Palgrave-Macmillan (2005)

Iain Macdonald
Université de Montréal
Hegel's concepts of force and power (absolute power, absolute force, infinite power, the power of the negative, the power of the Concept, etc.), scattered throughout the works, are doubled by other passages where Hegel speaks of various forms of impotence or powerlessness (Ohnmacht). What is powerlessness? In effect, for Hegel, powerlessness generally designates a defect or a deficiency, or a kind of laziness or contingent immaturity that prevents the Concept from fully realizing itself, even though its power is, on another level, absolute. Powerlessness (Ohnmacht) is a lack of power (Macht). But how is absolute power related to a relative lack of power? If power is absolute, then why is it that a little power isn’t always enough? Or alternatively, why does powerlessness have a role to play at all in a system where the power of the Concept determines everything inexorably? How do these two terms relate to each other in Hegel’s thought, especially in the context of the Subjective Logic?
Keywords Hegel  Power  Dialectic  Logic
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