Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hegel was not a Cubs fan

Probably not a Cards fan either. But I hit upon a fun new way of trying to explain Hegel yesterday in Co-Phi, inspired by an essay on 19th century St. Louis Hegelians Henry Brokmeyer and W.T. Harris:
Hegel’s progressive unfolding [of rational consciousness, geist, Utimate Reality] thrived on conflict, what Hegel’s popularizers (but rarely Hegel himself) referred to as “thesis and antithesis.” Hegel stuck to lofty abstractions like Being (thesis), Nothing (antithesis) and Becoming (synthesis.) Henry Brokmeyer, not so much. His unimpeachably practical list of theses and antitheses encompassed nearly every aspect of American life: religion vs. science, abolitionism vs. slavery, St. Louis vs. Chicago.
It just so happens that St. Louis defeated Chicago on Sunday to keep their flickering MLB postseason hopes alive. What could be the "world-historical" significance of that? Or of the fact that the lowly Astros knocked the Cards off last night, dropping the Braves' magic number to 2?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say: none at all. But I still like Hegel's largest message, as reported by the authors of our Co-Phi text. "We're all in this together." I wonder if they came to that after a hit of nitrous? Or after reading "On Some Hegelisms"...

"The interest of history is detached from individuals." Squashed Hegel

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