The wounds of the spirit

The wounds of the spirit: the sense of evil throughout history in Hegel (1807) and Schelling (1809)

It is untrue that, as Hegel said in 1807 in the Phänomenologie, «the wounds of the spirit heal and leave no scar behind; what is done is not indelible, but is reassumed by the spirit» (GW 9, 360) since reality, that reality which, as indicated by Kant, seems to be submerged in evil (Ak. VI), refuses to be tamed by concepts. Disappearance without remnant, that dissolution (verschwinden) mentioned by Hegel would suppose that there is no remnant of evil, that its effects in history –such as the Jacobin terror with its macabre liturgy of severed heads referred to in the above passage of the Phänomenologie- are nothing more than moments to be overcome (aufheben), part of a necessary process. There is no remnant to be explained. All is revealed: Offenbarung der Tiefe. The relationship between Hegel and Schelling has in this topic, the problem of evil and its meaning in history (Geschichte), one of its key points: in Schelling one can see a hollow which constitutes a pathway to the problem of finitude and evil, studied in depth in the Freiheitsschrift of 1809, partly as a response to the criticism expressed by Hegel in the Phänomenologie. While Hegel reduced evil to a moment to be overcome (aufgehoben) in anticipation of the supreme Good, in Schelling evil would remain a permanent possibility that can never be dissolved (verschwinden) or overcome (aufgehoben) in and by good.

Laufzeit: 30.07.2008 - 5.08.2008
Ort: Seoul National University (in: The XXII World Congress of Philosophy 2008)