Individuals and Individuality by Brian Martine

By Brian Martine

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4 One finds a highly sophisticated discussion of the problem of negation in Plato's Sophist, and since Hegel himself took this account to be a precursor of his own, it may be useful to examine it briefly. 15 After characterizing the sophist as a maker of images, the Eleatic Stranger attempts to give an account of the relation between images and originals. Since an image is always an image of an original, and nevertheless must stand apart as something discrete, it becomes necessary to claim that the image both is and is not the original.

The logical account found in the Sophist points importantly to the fact that negation, if it is to become reflectivel accessible, must be taken up in terms of relations. Absolute negation is without meaning precisely because it stands apart from any relational context. But, once having recognized this, it is not necessary to assume, as do both the Stranger and Hegel, that the only relational contexts available are triadic ones. ] 39 Page 39 both seem to ignore the kind of negation which arises out of dyadic relations.

Here is a tree, or, Now is noon, and proclaims the opposite; Here is not a tree, but a house; and similarly, it immediately again supersedes the assertion which set aside the first so far as it is also just such as assertion of a sensuous This. ] 27 Page 27 from experience in all sense-certainty is, in truth, only what we have seen: viz. the This as a universal.... 12 The "experience" by which we discover this character of the "This" does not arise out of the original relationship between subject and object, but rather refers to a particular way of reflectively taking account of an antecedent experience.

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