Friedrich Hegel mit Studenten Lithographie F Kugler e1609963321349 The Dialectical Scheme of the Hegelian Discourse as such hypothesis thesis antithesis para thesis and synthesis
הגל, פילוסופיה, קוז׳יב

The Dialectical Scheme of the Hegelian Discourse as such: hypothesis, thesis, antithesis, para-thesis and synthesis

תוכן עניינים


We will discuss a priori, or providing the discourse as a whole unfolding in time and what is more, pedagogically so, agree on the axiom or the postulate, even on the hypothesis (- sup-position) which says that Philosophy is possible as a discourse endowed with meaning or that at least one of the influential philosophies has (by definition) a definite or definable meaning.

But let’s not define this meaning ourselves, leaving it in an arbitrary state for us. We will then strive to see, always in common, what we can say (without contradicting each other, nor each one himself) about Philosophy by developing (discursively) our common hypothesis. And having fully developed it, we will speak of it to say all that we will then have to say regarding both the denial of the sceptical of the very possibility of all Philosophy and the dogmatic affirmation of the meaning of Philosophy as such.

As long as we admit, by (common) hypothesis, that philosophical discourse (which we are about to speak) can have any meaning, we have no way of saying how this supposedly philosophical discourse differs from those which do not have the same meaning. Therefore, we cannot [yet] distinguish between philosophical and non-philosophical discourses at the point where we are. By having the intention to speak of philosophical discourse (in any sense whatsoever), we will therefore speak, in fact, of any discourse (which has a meaning only insofar as it has any meaning whatever it is; meaning that we postulate, moreover, or in which we “believe” as in an axiom). Now, since we are talking about the Philosophy in which we have faith, we should talk about what we are actually talking about.

Therefore, we will say to each other (each saying it or re-saying it also to ourselves) that we will be talking about the discourse as having meaning and any meaning. We can also say that we will talk about the Discourse as such. And we’ll say this then.

To be able to speak any speech [having any meaning] or, what is the same thing, a Speech (Logos) as such, we must begin by presenting a speech [endowed with any meaning] whatever it is. Because to pose it ourselves is so easy that there would be no sense to wait for it to be given to us, for example, by falling from the sky or elsewhere.

But we will only actually pose it ourselves if we intend (consciously and willingly) to do so. This is to say that before posing it, we must suppose it (as a discourse endowed with any meaning, not yet effectively posed, but as in front of and being able to be so and posed by us, later). In other words, we must begin by noting in ourselves the intention to speak (as well as the “will”, which is optional or “free”, actually to do so). Or, to put it another way, let us say that at the beginning (arch) the Discourse (Logos) is [for all those for whom discourse has a meaning] not a position (thesis), but a sup-position or, to say it in Greek, a


In a Hypo-thesis, being the intention to speak to say anything that has any meaning, it suffices for us to act per this intention by saying anything (which we can, of course, abstain from) indefinitely- on the condition that we do not account for it in and through discourse, such as proof or another way of continuing our break with our voluntary silence- (which we took with the purpose) to posit the Discourse as just any discourse, that is, effectively. Now, if we do so, the discourse thus posed by us will not suppose, for us, anything other or more than the Hypothesis, which was precisely the intention to pose the discourse in question.

In other words, this discourse can be posed without having been preceded by another effective discourse. However, it can only be posed in the present by supposing in the past the intention (conscious and voluntary) of doing it. Thus, we can also say that the first speech actually emitted arises, for us, in the present, while supposing in the past a “virtual” discourse (of which it actualises “the” power”), which presupposes it- this hypothesis as to be posed “in action” in the future.

This being so, we can say that the first (effective) discourse which is posited, without supposing (in and by its presence in the present) any (effective) discourse emitted in the past, which would itself presuppose it, and without presupposing (in the same present of its presence) another discourse (actual or virtual) which would be emitted in the future by supposing it, – we can say that this first discourse is a pure and simple position (of the Speech as such) or, to continue speaking Greek, that this first “speech” is, However! a


If, after having occupied this first discursive position and having rested there as much as we like, we re-pose the thetic discourse in question, to say anything about it, we will find that by understanding its meaning, whatever it is, we necessarily understand by this very meaning the meaning of a virtual discourse, which we can call its “opposite” or its “negation. And by speaking of this observation as much as necessary, we will end up saying that if, by impossible, the “negative” or “contrary” discourse had no meaning, the “positive” or thetic course would not have any either and would not, therefore, be posited effectively as a Speech (by definition endowed with meaning), despite the hypothesis, which was, however, the intention to do so and even an intention that we did ! had the impression of having realized. In other words, if the thetic discourse posited in the first place does indeed have any meaning whatsoever.

We must therefore say that the positive discourse, posited as a thesis, in fact, presupposed, at the very moment of its position, the “negative” discourse that we could call “contrary thesis”;- by presupposing this discourse if not as effective, at least as virtual or as being able to be actualized after the “first” actualized thesis, and in any case as supposing the actuality of this one in a present which will have become past at the moment when its future will be present in the act of the “second” or “opposite” thesis.

If we say all this now, we must add that the Thesis itself did not say so at the time it was actualising. But if supposing the past topicality of this Thesis, we actualise in the present its discursive negation, which is the “contrary thesis”, we can and must say that this one supposes the “first” Thesis as already actualised in the past and as presupposing (in fact, if not for itself) if only as virtual, the “contrary thesis”, actualised in a present which was yet to come when the “First” Thesis was the only discourse present as actualised. Or again, to put it in a perhaps more straightforward way: if one can issue a Thesis (by definition “positive”) without speaking of the contrary Thesis, which is its negation, it is rigorously impossible to deny a Thesis discursively without talking about it explicitly.

Because if it is effortless to occupy any position that nobody occupies and to lose interest in other occupied or unoccupied positions, one can only occupy a position by dislodging someone by knowing in advance where this position is or, at least, by noting it at the very moment of its occupation. When you don’t take a stand against anyone, you can easily imagine yourself being alone in the world. But who (even if his name is Don Quixote) wants to take any position against someone he says (believing it) does not even exist? Be that as it may, we will say that any posited discourse causes (sooner or later) an opposed discourse, which means that any discursive position is opposed (in an act or implicitly).


The Antithesis, which is opposed to the Thesis, supposes the latter as posited as its pre-supposition. If taken and understood in itself or in its isolation (that is to say in its only connection with the Hypo-thesis), the Thesis itself, which does not pose and does not even presuppose the Antithesis, nevertheless presupposes it insofar as it is itself supposed by the latter. Since the Thesis is actualised before the Antithesis, the latter supposes the Thesis as already actualised or posited. The Antithesis can only be actualised (in the present) by actualizing the Thesis, as sup-posed by it, and presupposing it.

In other words, the Antithesis re-poses the Thesis, which, by re-posting itself thus, pre-supposes the Antithesis which supposes it. Therefore, the “first” or “isolated” Thesis, which is only posed but not yet re-posed, is assumed by the Antithesis as if from the past. But the same “thesis”, insofar as it is re-posed in and by the Antithesis as its pre-supposition, is assumed by the latter as a present, that is to say, as actual in the present the actuality of the Antithesis itself. In other words, if the Antithesis can only be posted by opposing the Thesis, it actualizes, by posing in the present, not only itself but also the “thesis” that it poses by countering it. Thus, if the Thesis’s presence can be “isolated”, that presence of the Antithesis is somewhat necessary, that is to say everywhere and always, constituting a co-presence with the “thesis” to which it is opposed by re-posing it.

Now, “co-presence” means coexistence [in Space] in the same Present.

As soon as there is an Antithesis, there is therefore not a single discourse (endowed with meaning), but two: the Antithesis itself, and the “Thesis” that it must be up to opposing and therefore re-posting to be able to oppose it in the act. But, for us, these two speeches are one. Indeed, suppose the Antithesis and the Thesis can isolate themselves from the Hypo-thesis (by “forgetting it”). In that case, we must consider them both as “in conformity” with the latter, even as “resulting from it” (discursively, that is to say, by way of “deduction” or “inference”).

The Anti-thesis can (and even must) deny the Thesis as a discourse proper. As a discourse endowed with a meaning that is by definition “coherent”, It can argue that the “thesis” it re-poses to oppose it is a “contradiction in terms” and that it is thus equivalent to a silence, devoid as such of any meaning, which can only be discursive, any actual meaning being, moreover, only “common” (or even “compatible”) with the meaning the “antithesis” discourse holds. And the re-posed Thesis can also say the same of the antithesis it presupposes to oppose in its turn.

But we cannot forget the Hypo-thesis without which neither Thesis nor Antithesis could be present anymore. Now, this Hypo-thesis is the intention to say anything that makes any sense. So we have no reason to prefer the Thesis to the Antithesis or vice versa, nor to eliminate one for the sake of the other. Moreover, if the Anti-thesis had, per impossible, a reason to say that the Thesis has no meaning (or, which is the same thing), it is a pseudo-discourse that contradicts and thus discursively annuls all that it says), it wouldn’t have either. For if S had no sense, the Non-S would have even less sense. But, conversely, the negation of S can only be absolutely meaningless if S itself had absolutely no meaning.

Consequently, without any hesitation, we must say that the thesis and the anti-thesis have the same reason to claim to represent the hypothetical. In other words, it is neither the one nor the other, understood and taken in isolation. Still, only the two taken and understood together, that completely actualize the intention to speak to say anything (of “sense”), that was the common “hypothesis”.

The only problem is that, having no reason (discursive) to prefer one of the two “contrary theses” to the other. Not being able to forget either of them completely for the exclusive benefit of the other, we must (unless we forget them both, thus renouncing, contrary to the hypothesis, our intention to speak and, consequently, to speak about them) reposition them both, to be able to speak about them (without contradicting ourselves), by the unique Hypo-thesis, or the one “common” to us all. We can thus speak about them validly only by re-posting them as a unique discourse whose sense can only be one. But this unique meaning will be “at once” or “at the same time” (i.e. in the present where the unique discourse that re-poses the Thesis and the Antithesis will be present) S and Non-S.

In other words, we won’t be able to assign to this pseudo discourse (yet synthetic or total, in the sense that it reunites all the “parts” of any discourse) any position in the “Universe of discourse”. Neither that of the Thesis nor that of the Antithesis; because one cannot place the Whole (by definition de-finite or finite) in one of these parts. Nor any other position, since the Whole cannot be situated elsewhere than in the whole of its parts.


Thus, the pseudo-discourse which has presented itself to us will not be placed in any of the possible discursive positions: it will be necessarily situated, that is to say everywhere and always, next to or outside all these positions. And we can say it in Greek (Stoic, by the way) by saying that this third discourse, also issued according to the only Discursive Hypothesis, is a para-thesis.

P A R A – Thesis

PARATHESIS is a contradiction in terms, yet the terms could be valid until the final contradiction, which is also the first, that is, the very appearance of the contradiction in terms. Now, the question goes to the very possibility of such a discourse, as yet a meaningful discourse, nonetheless. Thus, for example, the secret lies in times, such as Plato’s Parmenides or Parmenides, as speaking to silence.

By definition, the Parathesis is a meaningless [pseudo-] discourse, since it contradicts everything it says or what amounts to the same thing because it has at the same time two meanings (moreover both authentic, when one takes them and understands them each one for itself), one of which is the pure and simple negation and therefore the total elimination of the other, which is also the collapse of the whole so imagined as a third. The Parathesis is therefore equivalent to Silence. The saying the thing you negate. And it is by this Principle known as a contradiction in terms that we experience when saying that the given discourse of ours is saying what we are not saying anymore.

There is, therefore, no doubt, for us, that the Parathesis is a pseudo-discourse. The whole question is how can it still be a [pseudo-] discourse. In other words, how is it that it is located not only a little bit into but also next to it, that is to say, very close to the positions of thesis and antithesis?


If we had no time to say that this is it, and this is that before uttering what is to be considered as meaningless, once the meaning is contradictory or not, we would have given up this pseudo discourse quite immediately, I.e., completely, indeed. It would still have been less valuable if one could state any meaning or any misunderstanding outside of all time. But if the discursive development of any sense necessarily lasts, a contradictory discourse can very easily be said.

Let’s take an example. Saying that the Circle is a Non-circle is to say nothing at all, in the sense that what one said has no meaning, since by saying it, one contradicts (or cancels, by denying it) everything that one says. But we can only say: “The Circle is a Non-circle” by saying successively:


“[the circle”

“[the circle] is.”

“[The Circle is] a”

“[The Circle is a] Non-circle. “

However, if the complete speech (5) is equivalent to silence, the partial speeches (1) to (4) are very far from having no meaning at all. “The >> has the meaning that (in English) the article the has. The circle” has the meaning of a circle, of the notion circle (whose current English typographic morpheme resembles c I r c l e. The circle is… is a discourse which has a very debatable meaning; a meaning that however badly defined”, but which is all the same (and therefore even) a meaning. The meaning of the discourse: The Circle is a > specifies “this last meaning somewhat (while also being “debatable”) so that this (4th) speech is at least as meaningful >> as the previous one (3rd).

“The Circle is a Non-circle” has no meaning at all. Now “by hypothesis”, the Speech arises as to any speech. Therefore, it can be posed as a very long discourse and oppose as a (contrary) discourse that is even longer. The parathesis that unites these two discourses in one will be more than very long, and it will take a long time to elapse before it can be discursively cancelled.

Moreover, this time will be longer when each opposite direction “will be less precise or more ill-defined” or even more questionable. And (historical) experience shows that such a time can be measured in millennia.

But you and I have plenty of time. If we want to pose the Para-thesis near or next to the Thesis and the Anti-thesis that others have posed before us and that we re-pose to speak about it (for as long as it takes or we want), we will have to do it differently. If the experience has shown us that nothing can be S and Non-S at the same time or at the same time, at least if this time is to be as long as you want, it does not demonstrate that what is not quite S cannot also be what S is not or, which is the same thing, what Non-S is.

Generally speaking, putting any parathesis alongside or in addition to a thesis and its antithesis consists in saying that the meaning of what one says is a synthesis or, more exactly, a sum of the meanings of this thesis and this antithesis, that both of them are used only in part. By taking a part of the (thetic) sense S and a part (complementary) of the (antithetic) Non-S sense, we obtain a mixed sense (para thetic), part S and part Non-S, which can be just as one and integral one, as opposed to each of the S and Non-S senses taken separately in their entirety.

By proceeding to such a mixture of the senses, one can obtain a sense (mixed or mixed) only on the condition of avoiding their confusion. In other words, they must be mixed in a fixed or defined proportion. But the Hypo-thesis forbids to prefer one of the two senses that one mixes with the other. Consequently, we must “by hypothesis” admit all the possible and imaginable proportions of the two senses we would like to mix.

Now, what matters from the point of view of! ‘Hypothesis is that the Thesis and the antithesis have no advantage over each other. If therefore, we discursively update a first parathetic mixture, where the part of the Thesis is greater than that of the Antithesis, it will be necessary to update (sooner or later) a second parathesis, where this part will be smaller (by exactly as much). And of course, nothing will prevent the emission of a third parathesis, in the position of which the Thesis and the Antithesis will have equal parts and could therefore be said to be their “synthesis” (while remaining for us a parathesis).

Therefore, when the Parathesis is fully actualized, by way of developing itself completely in a given discourse, it will pose itself alongside the Thesis, and the Anti-thesis, not as each of them is posed, namely as simply one, but in a way which is its own proper: namely as essentially and necessarily a trine. And by mixing Greek with English, we can say, by making us easily understand, that the Para-thesis which supposes (at the same time) the Thesis and the Anti-thesis (which it re-poses, moreover, both as the presupposing), posits itself (successively) as if each of the three paratheses re-poses a thesis and an antithesis which presupposes itself, the Thesis and the Anti-thesis that it supposes as positing themselves before being re-posed by it or in it did not presuppose it at all.

On the contrary, each of the contrary theses excluded (explicitly, although before the letter, that is to say before it was weighed) the Parathesis as such. Because if the Thesis affirmed that any meaning, whatever it is, is S (or “Derivative” of S), the Antithesis totally denied it, asserting that there is no meaning other than Non-S (or its derivative). Now, the Para-thesis denies at the same time “what both affirmed” since it itself affirms that even any meaning whatever could be nothing total, as being able, such is its implicit argument, to be only partially a something.

Thus, while intending to consolidate “at the same time” the Thesis and} ‘Antithesis in an “as well as” (sowohl-als auch) and to “synthesize” them, by deleting their common “be- either-or” (entweder-oder), the Para-thesis denies them both “at the same time”, by cancelling them in and by “an either-or neither-nor” (weder noch).

In any case, the three Para-theses can only become one by uniting. Now, suppose we want to unite them all in a single discourse and talk about them by saying what they have in common. In that case, we will find (sooner or very later, but we are supposed to have to do so all the time) that the pieces of the S and the Non-S distributed among the various partial paratheses, cancel each other out two by two in the total Parathesis, just as completely as the whole S and the Non-S of the Thesis and the Anti-thesis were totally cancelled out as soon as of these two contrary simultaneous discourses one wanted to make only one contemporary to them.

For us, therefore, the Parathesis as such completely cancels out as meaningful discourse at the very moment when it completely completes its discursive development. From this critical moment”, we thus find ourselves in the presence of only two discourses, which are validly posited (in the present) by supposing (in the past) the hypothesis which presupposes them (in the future), and which (until now) have proved to us to be irreducible to a single discourse. However, we have no reason to say that one of the two is more discursive (or more sensible) than the other.

And as they cannot be both at the same time, since they cannot be reunited in a single discourse, we, therefore, seem to have to resign ourselves to the parathetic silence; this silence will not even allow us to say that neither of the two so-called “speeches” in question is one of those actual speeches (arbitrary, but sensible) which should have been posited “by hypothesis “. On the contrary, it is only by being silent that we can manifest the vanity of the said hypothesis, which affirmed (without actually saying so) that we could speak one day, saying something (and anyway anything) that makes sense or has (any) common sense (at least as meaning whatsoever).


On the one hand, the Synthesis says all which we can tell because it re-says what the Thesis said at the beginning and what the Anti-thesis said afterwards by countering this one. On the out, on hand, by denying everything that the Thesis affirms (explicitly or implicitly), the Antithesis affirms everything that this Thesis denies: not explicitly, it is true, since it denies nothing indeed, but implicitly or in power. Thus, insofar as the Thesis says something (by affirming it explicitly), the Antithesis says (explicitly, by demonstrating it) everything that the latter does not say (by thus implicitly denying it).

Consequently, the Syn-thesis that repeats what the Thesis and the Antithesis say says all that can be said. And this goes under the “Principle of the excluded third party”, which says that if we want to say anything, we must say either S (this S being any meaning) or Non-S. It follows that one cannot say anything else about it, so that by having said both of them, one could no longer say anything at all, which would be true, oddly enough, even if one were ready to be able to say something else, to say what is not being said. On the contrary, it is only because of this truly “universal” “Principle” that we can contradict ourselves (when we say something), even when we do not want to know it.

On the other hand, if by re-saying what the Thesis and the Anti-thesis say, the Syn-thesis says all that one can say, it can say it (by re-saying the two “contrary theses”) in the strong sense, that is to say without finally cancelling his speech by contradicting at the end everything that was said there at the beginning. On the other hand, if by re-saying what the Thesis and the Anti-thesis say, the Syn-thesis says all that one can say, it can say it (by re-saying the two “contrary theses”) in the strong sense, that is to say without finally cancelling his speech by contradicting at the end everything that was said there at the beginning.

But this is only possible because Speech develops over time…

The development of the Discursive Dialectic, which begins with the intention-to-speak (which all the discourses actuating themselves successively as Thesis, Anti-thesis, Para-thesis and Syn-thesis, which are all pre-supposed by the Hypo-thesis as actualizing in their whole the same virtual Discourse, which is none other than the Hypo-thesis itself) and which ends with the Syn-thesis (towards which this development tends << from its origin “ or “by hypothesis”, i.e. as Intention-of-speaking), is carried out, in fact, and for us, in the duration-extent of the Universe, i.e. of the Cosmos where we live by speaking.

This discursive development thus lasts in time. And although the temporal duration of this development is undetermined, in the sense that we cannot determine its character “a priori” or before its effective completion (by measuring it, for example), so that during all the time that the discursive process lasts, we must say [if we don’t want to contradict ourselves and thus reduce ourselves to silence, by cancelling everything we have said] that it can last more or less for a long time, with no way to say exactly how long, this duration is nevertheless “finite ” (and not “infinite “, or “indefinite “) in the sense that we can and must say that the meaning of the discourse that will end after having lasted, will be; i.e., finite ” or “defined ” [by this discourse itself].

By definition, what is true for the Discourse, whatever it is, is also true for the scientific discourses in general “, and ” in particular for the psychological, sociological and historical discourses. Therefore, if these last three discourses are authentic, i.e. if they have a proper meaning, the durations of their developments will be indeterminate as long as these discourses are not finished: they will nevertheless be neither in-definite nor in-finite; they will be finite because they will be de-finite as being able to be finished and therefore as being effectively finished “sooner or later “.

Now, the discourses that speak of Spatio-temporal processes in general and in particular of psychic, social or historical processes can only be completed (as discourses properly so-called or endowed with definite meanings) if the duration-extent of the processes they speak of is itself finite or definite while being in-determined as long as these processes are not yet undermined.


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