A Hermeneutics of Martin Buber and “True Infinity”
Walker Kaufmann tells us in his Prologue to I and Thou by Martin Buber that Buber taught Kaufmann ‘how to read.’¹ This is because Buber taught Kaufmann to treat writers like a You and not an It, which is to make space for the voice and presence of the other (as “sacred” even). Buber will be addressed in The Absolute Choice as a way to consider the movement from Self-Consciousness (I-I, I-It, A/A) to Reason (I-You, A/B), but here I want to focus on Kaufmann’s point that Buber is hermeneutical:
‘We must learn to feel addressed by a book, by the human being behind it, as if a person spoke directly to us. A good book or essay or poem is not primarily an object to be put to use, or an object of experience: it is the voice of You speaking to me, requiring a response.’²
We cannot hear someone we are constantly interrupting or trying to humiliate; likewise, we cannot read a book as a You if we are trying to deconstruct the text or look for faults. We must “assume the best,” to use language from O.G. Rose, or otherwise we might “experience” a book but we won’t “relate” to the author. Buber makes a critical distinction between “experience” and “relation,” writing that ‘experience belongs to the basic word I-It [while] I-You establishes the word of relation.’³ In his Prologue, Kaufmann suggests we don’t read a book that we only “experience’ (I-It); to read, we must “relate” to a text, a point which brings me to a critical question:
How do we relate to Hegel as a You?
I don’t want to “experience” Hegel (I-It, A/A) in a manner that simply feeds Self-Consciousness; rather, I want to “relate” to Hegel (I-You, A/B) in a manner that helps me in ‘becoming-other’ in Reason.⁴ Kaufmann himself, a great Hegel scholar, noted that ‘[t]o link Buber with Hegel may seem strange,’ but I myself see a lot of overlap between Buber and Hegel in “The Absolute Choice,” and we could say that my hope is to read Hegel as Buber, which is to say I would like to read Hegel from Hegel’s state of Reason versus from Hegel’s Self-Consciousness.⁵ But how do we go about doing this? How do we treat Hegel like a You?
Of all philosophers, perhaps there is no greater number of interpretations and variations than on Hegel, but problematically many of the interpretations contradict logically and seem like they couldn’t possibly have anything to do with the same thinker. And yet they claim authority from the same Hegel — strange, yes? Doesn’t this mean someone is failing to treat Hegel as a You, mainly the one who is using Hegel for their own purposes versus the one who tries to understand Hegel’s own project? But is it always so easy to tell if we’re “using Hegel for our own purposes” versus genuinely believe that we are rightly interpreting Hegel? How might we ever “overcome” the hermeneutical circle for You?
Nobody can know with certainty if they accurately represent Hegel, even if they do, a situation which describes all of us regarding everyone else. We never access other minds, and yet it’s also false to say that we cannot access some minds better than others. Generally, the best way to overcome the space between minds is through a genuine relationship, a daily commitment to be open to “the other.” In a relationship, we don’t treat a person as someone whom we consume and then leave behind; we dwell and live with them. Heidegger’s “house of being” comes to mind, a phrase which for him refers to languages, and perhaps we can say that a book we have a relationship with versus just read is a book in which we dwell as “a house of being.” People we deeply relate to change us and become people who shape who we “are” in a profoundly deep sense. Perhaps the difference between a relationship and an interaction is the degree the exchange changes who we are in other interactions? Perhaps, for good and for bad, relationships leave traces?
Relationships are frightening because they change us, while consumption fuels who we are, without threat of transformation, suggesting why we might be incentivized to consume more than relate. But we cannot treat Hegel as a You if we read him and move on, as we don’t treat a person as a You if we kiss them and then move to the next person to kiss. Taking this seriously, how we read books will change, though there is something to be said about being young and having to cast our net wide to determine the kind of thinker for whom we are searching. But as we age, we begin to focus on those whom we decide we should concrete. To treat Hegel as a You, I think he must be one of the thinkers whom we dwell with and live, which is to say treating Hegel as a You means we are “open” to Hegel versus eager to decide if Hegel is “right or wrong,” interpreted correctly or not, and so on. A You is a horizon that changes our horizon, not a trophy we can display to prove our intellectual caliber. Humility treats Hegel as beyond us.
A You is always a mystery, meaning the more we encounter the more we find there is more to encounter. A You always has something to say, and we treat someone as a You as long as we keep listening. Treating Hegel as a You means we treat Hegel as someone with whom we are never finished, like a loved one, which is to say we treat him as someone who can always change us. Considering this, I think we honor Hegel best as a You when we debate our readings of Hegel from a place where we all acknowledge that Hegel will always be beyond us. No one has the authority to end the conversation (as no one but a couple has authority to end their relationship), though there is plenty of space to argue that some readings of Hegel are better than others, and we ultimately treat Hegel like a You by still discussing Hegel. A You is infinite, a “white hole” out of which worlds can be hurled, and as long as we treat Hegel as someone from whom something new can always arise, we will continue to treat Hegel as a You instead of an It. He is always worth relating to, and he is always worth taking seriously. He can always change how we think, which can change how we think about him, which can change how we think yet again.
With dilemmas similar to that of reading, Walter Kaufmann points out how translation also requires I-You if the author is to be translated versus “spoken for.” This is very difficult, for the translator faces many challenges and questions:
‘When adjectives are piled up in profusion and some strike [the translator] as decidedly unnecessary, should he substitute a single forceful word for a two-line enumeration? Make long and obscure sentences short and clear? Resolve all ambiguities in favor of the meaning he likes best? Gloss over or leave out…?’⁶
Should we simplify Hegel’s language at the expense of his style? Should we emphasize the ideas which might be most relevant for Metamodernism? What reading would treat Hegel as You, or is that an effort to ‘translate the untranslatable?’⁷ I perhaps open The Absolute Choice with a question I cannot answer, though if so perhaps there is no better way to start an exploration into Hegel. Perhaps there is no possibility of rightly translating or reading Hegel, only stepping into Hegel and letting him place us in a trance or vision? Hard to say.
The translator must be careful to “speak for” a writer, so too we must be careful in interpreting to “speak over” Hegel, but how can we be sure we avoid this mistake when are stuck in a “hermeneutical circle” and can never fully access “the true reading” of a book? At least the translator has a clearer standard of what he or she is trying to align with in having the text in the original language, but we cannot as interpreters glance over at some Platonic document telling us “the true meaning” and then glance back at our book — is not the translator better off? Yes, there is a difference here, captured mainly in Heidegger’s “hermeneutical circle” that Hans Gadamer brilliantly elucidates, and indeed that circle would suggest it is impossible for us to ever fully access “the true reading” of a book, a reality that seems to at the same time declare it impossible for us to read an author or thinker as a You. But actually I would argue that it is precisely because we cannot know Hegel beyond “the hermeneutical circle” that we are presented an opportunity to treat Hegel as a You: this limitation is a feature of a structure that makes possible “true infinity” as meaningfully distinct from “spurious infinity.”
Uncertainty is the precondition necessary for us to face a choice to either disregard the uncertainty or honor it as evidence that there is something about Hegel we must always accept that we will never fully access. As a person can feel “objectified” when we make a person feel like just a body, which we can do by making a person feel like we can “fully know them” by scanning all their brain states, mapping all their genes, and the like, so we can treat Hegel like “just a body of work” if we act as if “Hegel is fully knowable” if only we learned to read all his books right, find all his secret notebooks, and so on. But even if we could read every line of text by Hegel, memorize all his correspondence, and more, there would still be a person of Hegel who would always be beyond us. Even a perfect reading of Hegel would never ask that, and for me treating Hegel as a You is to always keep in mind that there is something about Hegel we can never fully know. We don’t know how he may have rewritten his Science of Logic if he knew about quantum mechanics, how he might have revised his work if he had access to a word processor on a laptop, and if he might have considered additions to Philosophy of Right after Sept 11th. All of this is unknown, and any conclusions we draw about what Hegel “would have done” will be unfalsifiable. Similarly, we can never invite Hegel to an academic conference and ask him which commentary on his work most enthused him, and yet this impossibility is precisely why we live in a world where it’s possible to treat Hegel as someone with whom we are never finished. Thanks to “the hermeneutical circle,” books can be “houses of being.”
“The hermeneutical circle” is not what keeps us from You, but what makes the distinction between You and It meaningful and real. If everything could be accessed and we were not stuck in interpretation, then everyone would practically be an It (even if still a You in some theoretical sense). At the same time, if it was not possible for interpretation to be accurate or aligned with actuality, we would also lose heart, because it would prove practically impossible for us to know one another at all beyond what felt like random information. In this way, “the hermeneutical circle” is not something to be overcome but integrated with, exactly as we are to come to relate to “lack,” “incompleteness,” the noumena, and other subjects discussed extensively in The Absolute Choice: the circle is precisely the dilemma that keeps us forever open. By “negating” from ourselves completion (a hermeneutical “Absolute Choice”), we “sublate” ourselves into a state of always having something to do, and thus always having something which we can “become.” It is the condition of finitude which generates the infinite; if we could achieve “true readings,” books would be merely consumed. Our limitation is why a book can be a You, a source of story versus only data.
Hegel explores the connection between the finite and infinite notably in the section on “Determinate Being” in Book I of Science of Logic, and I think touching on it here might help us grasp what might be called the “Hegelian Hermeneutics” presented in this prologue (or perhaps “Hegelian/Buberian Hermeneutics”), for what is suggested is an effort to treat books as “true infinities,” as is necessary for them to be “houses of being” (we naturally treat languages like “true infinities,” do note, revisiting them and reusing the same terms anew, inexhaustible). Hegel represents the difference between “spurious infinity” and “true infinity” with the following:
‘The image of the [spurious] process to infinity is the straight line […] [While] the image of true infinity, bent back into itself, becomes the circle, the line which has reached itself, which is closed and wholly present, without beginning and end.’⁸
It is helpful to consider all of Hegel’s work as an effort not to draw a line but to realize a circle, and in many respects the movements from A/A to A/B is a movement from a line trailing off into eternity to a circle which forever relates back on itself. This is a pretty wild effort though, for how do we determine what something “is” without determining it’s cause, and how do we determine the cause of something which is also its destination? What would it mean to think things which cannot be from “beginning to end” but as a “beginning/end?” Well, it would be to think an entirely new logic, and since logic applies to everything, this shift would be for everything to change. This is a daunting realization, but it is also a change in conditioning that would help us encounter You instead of an It. To treat someone as a You is to treat someone as an entire world, with its own beginning and end, while to treat someone like an It is to treat someone like he or she is expendable, which is to say as spurious. And indeed, if everything really “is” a “true infinity” (A/B), then it is “fitting” to treat life as You (“truth organizes values”).
Hegel makes an important clarification:
‘[H]ow does the infinite become finite? […] there is not an infinite which is first of all infinite and only subsequently has need to become finite, to go forth into finitude; on the contrary, it is on its own account just as much finite as infinite […] this separation is incomprehensible.’⁹
We do not live in a world where things become infinite; rather, things are always already “finite/infinite” (and/or “(in)finite), though not in a manner which suggests finitude and infinitude are characteristically reducible to one another: they relate not as a synthesis but as a dialectic (a critical distinction which we will elaborate on). For Hegel, ‘the infinite no more is than pure being is,’ as the same applies to “the finite” — we are always in the finite of “the (in)finite” (something dialectical, transubstantiational, incarnational — many terms could be employed).¹⁰
‘[Things] are the finite and the infinite, which are themselves in the process of becoming,’ Hegel tells us, and we can imagine “becoming” in terms of a circle that is always “coming back around” on itself, changing and becoming new with every round.¹¹ This describes a You relationship versus an It relationship, and please note something interesting about “true infinity”: the circle does in fact reach infinity in participating in it. Hegel writes:
‘the spurious infinite […] is even supposed to be not there, is supposed to be unattainable. However, to be thus unattainable is not its grandeur but its defect […] It is what is untrue that is unattainable, and such an infinite must be seen as a falsity.’¹²
It feels natural for us to associate infinity as meaningful precisely because it is out of reach, which makes sense because an infinity which can be translated into finitude wouldn’t be infinite, but Hegel wants to open us up to a different structure of infinity. Instead of thinking of the infinite as inexhaustible because it cannot be obtained, what if the infinite is inexhaustible because it always relates to itself anew? What if the infinite is something that the more we learn of it, the more we find there is more to know, precisely because the relation transforms it and us (“The Absolute” versus “The Truth,” as we’ll discuss later in the book). This is “the infinity of the circle” versus “the infinity of the line,” and Hegel suggests that we popularly don’t even have a mental category of “infinity as circle.” Without this category, I doubt we can be ready for his new logic of A/B, which is to say a world of You instead of It will be hard for us to dwell in.
“True infinity” is obtained just not completed, whereas “spurious infinity” for Hegel isn’t obtained and either isn’t completed or is imagined alongside a capital-C-Completion (Platonic). “Spurious infinity” can describe our relation to a Transcendent Realm we can only approach but never reach, and/or it can describe a list that never ends (x + 1). For Hegel, the key feature of “true infinity” is that it is reachable and obtainable, even if it is not completable, exhaustible, or the like. In this way, a key feature of defining “true infinity” as itself is dwelling in it. “True infinity” suggests a lifetime of participation, and that is I-You. In a universe where the finite becomes infinite or the infinite becomes finite, I think it is easier to treat everything as a means to an end and thus as an It. But if everything is always already “(in)finite,” then the emphasis is far less on “getting to” something and instead “learning to dwell” with what “is.” The You is “(in)finite.”
To treat Hegel as a You is to view “the hermeneutical circle” as a blessing that makes possible “interpretation as true infinity,” though it is our responsibility in that interpretation to try to honor Hegel, however imperfectly or poorly our efforts might ultimately prove. Only we can know if we genuinely tried to reach Hegel and treat him as “a house of being,” while those who disagree with our conclusions will likely claim we haven’t “genuinely tried to reach Hegel” at all. This social dynamic itself is another reason why “treating Hegel as a You” is so hard, because we have to defend our relationship before the gaze and judgment of others. As a major cause of strife and conflict in marriage and relationships tend to be “outside parties,” so I think it tends to go with our interpretations of great books. It is other people, looking in with their notions, concerns, worries, judgments, and the like who can destabilize us and even cause us to enter into conflicts and arguments with our partners; likewise, it is others who can make us look at our “house of being” in Hegel and see it as a mistake. For this reason, treating Hegel as a You will also require us to believe in our choices, thoughts, and interpretations, but “believing” runs the risk of being “closedminded” and indeed risks us ascribing to an erroneous interpretation of Hegel — why should it be done? Risk is unavoidable, as it is in relationship, but if we know this, then I think this will incentivize us to read Hegel all the closer and to dwell in him all the deeper. Furthermore, if are “closed-minded” versus “confident in openness,” this alone would suggest that we do not really believe in the way in which we dwell in Hegel, that we lack confidence. There is no You without courage.
In closing and to look ahead, I believe readers who treat Hegel as a You and “dwell in him” will find in Hegel a skill, a “tense reconciliation” to make music from the tension of a string that is our mind. What do I mean? Well, I mean that if everything for Hegel is dialectical, then everything is tense, and our job is to learn to live with that tension in a manner that generates further “speculative reason” and “music,” per se. To help understand Hegel’s dialectic, which is not merely an epistemological method but deeply ontological, consider what he wrote on the finite and the infinite:
‘the infinite progress, the developed infinite of the understanding, is so constituted as to be the alteration of the two determinations, of the unity and the separation of both moments and also be aware that this unity and this separation are themselves inseparable.’¹³
“(In)finity” is an oscillation, a wave-structure incredibly described by Alex Ebert in his paper “The Sublation of Mathematics.” Things change moment to moment, and we have to constantly be aware and diligent to catch the changes, like a surfer hoping to ride a wave. This will require a radical cultivation of habits and skills, which is why those topics will define a significant portion of The Absolute Choice. I-You is not a matter of intention or hope, but a matter of habit, training, and dexterity, which ultimately means it will require love, for “we are what we love” (as Dr. James K.A. Smith put it).
The wave can be seen as the instrument of a surfer, but waves are dangerous and not directly controlled by the surfer. Similarly, the tension of a guitar string is why music can be made, and I would say it is the tension of our brain, inherently paradoxical and dialectical, which can generate music. Hegel is the art of realizing this metaphor is relatively accurate and the skill of playing the instrument of life. We are to learn a skill. We are to learn to play the tense string of ourselves to make music. We are the string. If it is not tense, the string cannot make music. If it is tense, it can break. But if the string is rightly tightened and struck, and we have the right skill, then we can make music of ourselves. But we must be rightly tensed, and we must be rightly played. What this means, how to realize this, and how to play, is the business of Hegel, and it is because he operates on all these levels at once that he can prove so confusing. But as a piece of wood can look extremely abstract when looked at very closely (described in Thoughts by O.G. Rose), so we look very abstract and strange when looked at as closely as Hegel looks at us. His abstraction is a production of his radical concretion, almost too radical, but this is the angle we must take if we are to make music out of ourselves. And so we should prepare to learn we are an instrument, to learn how we must tighten ourselves for the right tension, and then how we are to be skillfully played. We are such a string because certainty is impossible, because we are stuck in “the hermeneutical circle,” which is to say because we cannot answer “The Meta-Question” (as we’ll explore). If we cannot learn to make music of ourselves, we will not prove able to treat others as a You. I-You is music; I-It is noise.
Hegel is in the business of freedom, which is to say that in Hegel we might find a way to leave Plato’s Cave without being dragged out by paying close attention to how thought unfolds itself. Hegel determined how we might exercise our freedom by following the movement of “pure thought” (the Notion) in its own operations, an “unfolding” which suggests how the world itself (Nature) might be to itself, suggesting freedom. Mainly, Hegel argues that we see in thought itself a necessity of entailing “otherness” so that it might be itself, which is to say that all efforts to establish “A = A” (A/A) will eventually destabilize and suggest the unavoidability of “contradiction” (as discussed by Dr. Todd McGowan) or “A = B” (A/B). Stable and consistent identity are impossible outside of abstract thought to itself, which is to say that the moment we try to define a thing in terms of A/A, we find A/A is inadequate unless we ignore what it leaves out — causing reductionism and effacement. This being the case, if “the hermeneutical circle” forces us to acknowledge that we can never make Hegel fit within A/A, then a limitation on us defends Hegel from reductionism. Emergence is always possible. You might always be found.
Thanks to Hegel, we learn that things always entail “becoming-other,” and if we choose to identify with that “becoming-other,” I believe we have made “The Absolute Choice” (as I’ll elaborate on in the book). Since it is theoretically possible for us to make this choice in Plato’s Cave, it is theoretically possible for us to leave the Cave on our own — not that this would be easy, by any stretch. We are not fated to fail. We can be free, but only if we learn to interpret our limitation from A/A as a blessing which makes possible A/B. Hegel finds the possibility of freedom in the emergences of “something from nothing,” which occurs because “being” and “nothing” are indivisible (as he famously opens Science of Logic). If everything contains nothingness, then everything entails incompleteness, and that means there is possibility of change and transformation. Likewise, if we are always bound to “hermeneutical circles,” all books entail degrees of incompleteness, and that means books never have to be finished. They can always become something else, which begs the question: Who might Hegel become to us today?
To be surrounded by nothing means nothing stops us, and that means we can be free. If everything entails nothingness, everything entails potential for our freedom, if only we learned how to approach everything rightly, as a “true infinity” and You. A sign that we are indeed engaging in this practice can be suggested by something Andrew Luber noted on a way to identify a good interpretation from a bad interpretation, which is to say if we find ourselves always relating to a book differently. This is the test of rereading and suggests the necessity of rereading, for it is only then if we see a book has changed with us, which is to say if we treat the book like a person, a You. Similarly, if the world around us repeatedly transforms, then we are learning the art of finding freedom in that very nothing which changes. If we can live in the same home and always be struck by newness, then we have learned to treat our home as “a true infinity.” We have learned the art of finding inexhaustibility in what we reach.
I think it was Walker Percy who suggested a novel was the expression of an extensive emotion which could be articulated no other way; similarly, I hope this book is an extended effort to show Hegel as You. No, in the end, we cannot prove Hegel like one can prove a mathematical formula, but I believe we can indeed affirm Hegel in terms of a proof like Austin Farrer described “the proofs of theology,” which are more similar to checking a land title (as I attempted to describe in “Austin Farrer and the Problem of Verifiable Education”). For Farrer, we “check” abstract ideas like someone walking his or her property to see that it matches up with title; we confirm that map is accurate by following it and finding out that the territory is needed like what we find on the map. No, we don’t know that the rest of the map will be accurate, and indeed we can’t be sure that we’ll always read the map correctly, but this is indeed a way to “check” a map. For Farrer, there was no other way to check the truths of theology, and so I believe the same logic applies when it comes to “checking and testing” philosophy. We must follow the map and then check to see if it describes the territory, or we must walk the territory and then check the territory against the map to see if there is “reason to think” the map might be right and thus worth following in other ways. For me, the emergence of Metamodernism, the Phenomenology of the Artist, and my own personal work on the topic of “A = A,” come together to give me “good reason to think” that Hegel is more right than wrong.
I hope you feel that I honor Hegel in these pages, and what you find in this text helps the world seem more like itself. Admittedly, I was tempted not to write this book in not wanting to misread Hegel, which no doubt I have done, and yet I also cannot deny the ways which Hegel has inspired me. The fear of misreading might be the quickest way to kill the philosophical spirit, but we also don’t want to engage in “careless reading,” which is why perhaps what counts is a genuine commitment to the work itself. Misreading and misunderstanding are inevitable, but there is a difference between a “cheap misreading” and a “costly misreading” (to allude to Bonhoeffer), and if we do our best and keep doing our best, we can earn our misreading. Don’t we learn from Harold Bloom that much insight and creativity can be gained from “strong misreadings?” Indeed, but even if this so, we must be careful, for a “careless reading” is not so generative — how do we strike the balance? Javier Rivera’s reflection on “The Hegelian Spirit of Looking On” might help.
Hegel did not write for us to study Hegel, but to help us study what Hegel studied. This point is stressed in “Austin Farrer and Verifiable Education” (with alludes to Schopenhauer’s ladder, a favorite parable of mine), but Aquinas did not write for us to write dissertations about Aquinas, but for us to ascend toward God. Yes, dissertations and “close readings” have an important role in our thinking, but all of these must be in service of inspiration for us to live and change how we live for the better. What we fear is what comes unto us, and if we fear that we misunderstand philosophers and as a result will miss out on philosophy, then we will miss out on philosophy. Philosophy requires risk, and ultimately we must keep in mind that the subject of philosophy is life itself — that is what we should be most concerned about misunderstanding. As Javier is right to draw attention to, Hegel tells us that ‘what consciousness examines is its own self, [and so] all that is left for us to do is simply look on.’¹⁴ If we are studying Hegel instead of studying life, we are failing to be Hegelian, and yet Hegel strikes me as able to help us better study life, a reality that suggests a marriage between Nature and Notion which concerns Hegel throughout his life — that profound possibility that we are wrong to ‘presuppose that the Absolute stands on one side and cognition on the other […]’¹⁵
‘The True is the whole,’ which we can never entirely know, but at the same time ‘the whole is nothing other than the essence consummating itself through its development.’¹⁶ What does that mean? It means the whole is constituted by our effort to really live, and we would fail to be Hegelian if we allowed Hegel’s books to keep us from life. This mistake might occur because we are afraid of misreading Hegel, but would Hegel himself want us to be afraid of misreading him? ‘Should we not be concerned as to whether this fear of error is not just the error itself?’¹⁷ Furthermore, if Nature and Notion are profoundly linked, would not fear influence how our lives unfolded? ‘The one who fears is not […]¹⁸
Prepared for error and for the sake of living, I am convinced more than ever of the need to return to Hegel and to treat him as a contemporary. The work of the brilliant Greg Dember describes how Metamodernism is an oscillation between Modernity and Postmodernity, which means a oscillation between irony/sincerity, tragedy/comedy, and the like, all for the sake of defending an “interior space.” For me, this “oscillation” is the cultural version of the philosophical “dialectic” we find in Hegel, and the very fact that Metamodernity has come to define itself as such, independent of philosophical consideration, all on its own, is evidence that Hegel’s philosophy is likely to be more true than not. The same logic applies to me regarding “The Phenomenology of the Artist,” and as I will describe in this book, the very fact that art is “so much like” Pure Thought in its operation, as Hegel describes, further suggests to me the probable correctness of Hegel. More could be said, but critically this “return to Hegel” will only prove fruitful if we treat Hegel as a You and not an It, and for this to happen we might require Hegel’s very teaching on “true infinity,” which could suggest a problem: we need Hegel to read Hegel. And that suggests a problem I did not address earlier: Why would we in Plato’s Cave ever think that we need to think A/B? How can we read Hegel to read Hegel?
Well, that’s a mystery, isn’t? If you are reading this book, then you have perhaps realized the thought that thinking contains itself a revelation that we are in a Cave (A/A) and should leave (to become-other, A/B). Could the thought of this be realized without encountering Hegel? I don’t know, but in this we might see the mystery of something like Providence in a Christian sense. If that is so, then my hope is that this book inspired by Hegel proves to be a source of Grace. Regardless though, I turn to you, readers: Why have you come to Hegel? What has made you care? The most profound questions can perhaps only find answers through us all.
¹Buber, Martin. I and Thou. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York, NY: First Touchstone Edition, 1996: 38.
²Buber, Martin. I and Thou. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York, NY: First Touchstone Edition, 1996: 39.
³Buber, Martin. I and Thou. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York, NY: First Touchstone Edition, 1996: 56.
⁴Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller. Oxford University Press, 1977: 11.
⁵Buber, Martin. I and Thou. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York, NY: First Touchstone Edition, 1996: 47.
⁶Buber, Martin. I and Thou. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York, NY: First Touchstone Edition, 1996: 43.
⁷Buber, Martin. I and Thou. Translated by Walter Kaufmann. New York, NY: First Touchstone Edition, 1996: 44.
⁸Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 149.
⁹Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 154.
¹⁰Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 154.
¹¹Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 148.
¹²Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 149.
¹³Hegel. G.W.F. Science of Logic. Translated by A.V. Miller. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press International, 1990: 151.
¹⁴Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller. Oxford University Press, 1977: 54.
¹⁵Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller. Oxford University Press, 1977: 47.
¹⁶Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller. Oxford University Press, 1977: 11.
¹⁷Hegel, G.W.F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by A.V. Miller. Oxford University Press, 1977: 47.
¹⁸Allusion to 1 John 4:18.