Hegel on the Particular in the Science of Logic

The Owl of Minerva 43 (1/2):1-40 (2011/12)
Hegel begins the third main part of the Science of Logic, the “logic of the concept,” with the dialectic of universality. This dialectic, however, proves to be insufficient for the exposition of the fundamental structure of being-as-concept, because it is dominated by the perspective of self-identity. For this reason speculative logic develops a dialectic of particularity whose domain is dominated by the perspective of difference. While the dialectic of universality made explicit the meaning of the proposition-of-reason being-as-concept is universal, the dialectic of particularity aspires to make explicit the meaning of the conflicting proposition-of-reason being-as-concept is particular. The present paper attempts a detailed reconstruction of this dialectic and thereby a disclosure of the meaning of the onto-logical claim that being-as-concept is particular. It is first shown how Hegel’s account of the particular relates to the expression of a totality of particulars. Next it is argued that the speculative notion of the particular is extremely complex and that this complexity can be decoded by means of four dimensions. Third, it is explained how abstraction comes to be regarded by Hegel as the essence of the particular. I end the paper by discussing how the collapse of the dialectic of particularity gives rise to the category of the individual and its peculiar dialectic.
Keywords Hegel  Science of Logic  abstraction  particular  difference  concept  individual  universal
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DOI 10.5840/owl2011-12431-21
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