The Dash-the Other Side Of Absolute Knowing: The Other Side of Absolute Knowing by Rebecca ComayThe Dash-the Other Side Of Absolute Knowing: The Other Side of Absolute Knowing by Rebecca Comay

The Dash-the Other Side Of Absolute Knowing: The Other Side of Absolute Knowing

byRebecca Comay, Frank Ruda

Paperback | May 4, 2018

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An argument that what is usually dismissed as the "mystical shell" of Hegel's thought-the concept of absolute knowledge-is actually its most "rational kernel."

This book sets out from a counterintuitive premise: the "mystical shell" of Hegel's system proves to be its most "rational kernel." Hegel's radicalism is located precisely at the point where his thought seems to regress most. Most current readings try to update Hegel's thought by pruning back his grandiose claims to "absolute knowing." Comay and Ruda invert this deflationary gesture by inflating what seems to be most trivial: the absolute is grasped only in the minutiae of its most mundane appearances. Reading Hegel without presupposition, without eliminating anything in advance or making any decision about what is essential and what is inessential, what is living and what is dead, they explore his presentation of the absolute to the letter.

The Dash is organized around a pair of seemingly innocuous details. Hegel punctuates strangely. He ends the Phenomenology of Spirit with a dash, and he begins the Science of Logic with a dash. This distinctive punctuation reveals an ambiguity at the heart of absolute knowing. The dash combines hesitation and acceleration. Its orientation is simultaneously retrospective and prospective. It both holds back and propels. It severs and connects. It demurs and insists. It interrupts and prolongs. It generates nonsequiturs and produces explanations. It leads in all directions: continuation, deviation, meaningless termination. This challenges every cliché about the Hegelian dialectic as a machine of uninterrupted teleological progress. The dialectical movement is, rather, structured by intermittency, interruption, hesitation, blockage, abruption, and random, unpredictable change-a rhythm that displays all the vicissitudes of the Freudian drive.

Title:The Dash-the Other Side Of Absolute Knowing: The Other Side of Absolute KnowingFormat:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.5 inPublished:May 4, 2018Publisher:The MIT PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0262535351

ISBN - 13:9780262535359

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Editorial Reviews

Using the method that Althusser once described as 'thinking at the extremities,' two renowned Hegel scholars, one who had investigated revolutionary terror (Comay), one who had investigated the rabble of society (Ruda), gather to elucidate . what? a dash, that punctuates/punctures, joins/disjoins the two major works: Phenomenology and Logic. They split the dialectics and uncover its impossible function: to identify the speculative and the empirical, thus leaving us no place for security, neither subjective self-certainty nor objective substantiality. Only the inconsistency of the absolute, or the necessity of contingency that is our material condition. Readers, fasten your seatbelts! But also enjoy wit and intellectual dramaturgy on every page.-Etienne Balibar, Department of French & Institute for Comparative Literature and Society, Columbia University