By William Desmond
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Additional resources for Art and the Absolute: A Study of Hegel’s Aesthetics
As with the Medieval nominalists, the universal becomes a mere flatus vocis, a linguistic fabrication of the knower, not an ontological constituent of the concrete. The upshot of such separability tends to be what is termed the Platonic transcendence, with its accompanying dualism: universal and particular become bifurcated into two essentially different realms, the sensible and the intelligible worlds. Concrete and concept become assigned to different worlds. Let us now look more closely at this intertwining of aesthetics and metaphysics in Hegel's rendition of the philosophical concept.
29 But what carries us to the final form is that the essential venturesomeness of thought remains and, despite the despair, will not be extinguished. Hegel's Logic presents itself as a dramatic unity. 30 It should not surprise us that some of the most forceful and influential of Hegel's views in aesthetics are developed in connection with drama, particularly tragedy. Philosophy and art alike share in this common struggle to make articulate, each in their respective ways, this initial, undifferentiated tangle of the concrete.
Philosophical questioning involves a regressive, returning movement in which empty formal abstraction must yield place to concrete comprehension. Just as the artist does not just stand at a merely spectatorial distance from his material but grapples with its initial amorphousness, so philosophical thinking involves movement towards the density of the concrete. The philosophical concept must articulate the process of emergence that defines intelligibility in the fuller sense. The main point to emphasize here is that this concept does not express a universal in the particular.
Art and the Absolute: A Study of Hegel’s Aesthetics by William Desmond