Monday, December 13, 2010

On Faith, Reason, And Understanding

I acknowledge, Lord, and I thank you, that you have created in me this image of you so that I may remember you, think of you, and love you. Yet this image is so eroded by my vices, so clouded by the smoke of my sins, that it cannot do what it was created to do unless you renew and refashion it. I am not trying to scale your heights, Lord; my understanding is in no way equal to that. But I do long to understand your truth in some way, your truth which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand in order to believe; I believe in order to understand. For I also believe that "Unless I believe, I shall not understand.”

- St. Anselm of Canterbury, Proslogion, trans. Thomas Williams (Indianpolis: Hackett Publishing Co., 1995).

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On Hegel's Geist Contra Kant's Transcendental Ego

However, the transition from Kant's talk of "consciousness in general" and "synthetic unity of consciousness" to Hegel's conception of a literally general consciousness has been understandably challenged as one of the most confused and notoriously invalid moves in the history of philosophy.
- Robert C. Solomon, “Hegel’s Concept of Geist,” in The Review of Metaphysics, vol. 23, no. 4 (1970).