The Idea and the Loss of the Absolute in Hegel’s Logic
At the beginning of his discussion of the Idea Hegel says that it is ‘truth in itself and for itself – the absolute unity of the concept and objectivity’. Further: ‘In the Idea we have nothing to do with the individual, nor with figurative conceptions, nor with external things. And yet, again, everything actual, in so far as it is true, is the Idea, and has its truth by and in virtue of the Idea alone.’1 Hegel here states two conclusions that I will argue cannot be harmonized:
(i) That the Idea is the truth as an absolute unity of concept and object, and (ii) That the Idea has nothing to do with individual things and external reality.