Hegel’s Science of Logic


Chapter 3: The Essential Relation

§ 1112

The truth of Appearance is the essential relation, the content of which has immediate self-subsistence; simply affirmative immediacy, and reflected immediacy or self-identical reflection. At the same time, it is in this self-subsistence a relative content, only and solely as reflection into its other, or as unity of the relation with its other. In this unity the self-subsistent content is a posited, sublated content; but it is just this unity which constitutes its essentiality and self-subsistence; this reflection into other is reflection into itself. The relation has sides because it is reflection into an other; thus it contains within itself its own difference, and the sides are a self-dependent subsistence, since in their mutually indifferent diversity they are disrupted within themselves, so that the subsistence of either side equally has its meaning only in relation to the other or in their negative unity.

§ 1113

The essential relation is therefore not as yet the true third to essence and Existence, though it already contains the determinate union of both. Essence is realised in it in such a manner that it has for its subsistence self-subsistent existents; and these have withdrawn from their indifference into their essential unity, so that they have this alone for their subsistence. The reflective determinations of positive and negative are likewise reflected into themselves only as reflected into their opposites; but they have no other determination but this their negative unity. The sides of the essential relation, on the other hand, are posited as self-subsistent totalities. It is the same opposition as that of positive and negative, but at the same time as an inverted world. The side of the essential relation is a totality which, however, as essentially an opposite, has a beyond of itself; it is only Appearance; its Existence is not its own, but rather that of its other. It is therefore disrupted within itself; but this its sublatedness consists in its being the unity of itself and its other, therefore a whole, and precisely for this reason it has self-subsistent Existence and is essential reflection-into-self.

§ 1114

This is the Notion of the relation. But at first the identity it contains is not yet complete; the totality which each related side is within itself is at first an inner; the side of the relation is in the first instance posited in one of the determinations of the negative unity; the self-subsistence belonging to each of the two sides is that which constitutes the form of the relation. Its identity is therefore only a relation, its self-subsistence falling outside it, namely in the sides; the reflected unity of this identity and the self-subsistent Existences, namely, substance, is not yet before us. Accordingly, although the Notion of the relation has shown itself to be the unity of reflected and immediate self-subsistence, this Notion is itself at first still immediate; its moments therefore are immediate in respect of each other, and their essential relation is unity, a unity which is only the true unity accordant with the Notion in so far as it realises itself, that is, has posited itself as this unity through its movement.

§ 1115

The essential relation is therefore immediately the relation of whole and parts — the relation of reflected and immediate self-subsistence, so that both sides only are as at the same time reciprocally conditioning and presupposing each other.

§ 1116

In this relation as yet neither of the sides is posited as moment of the other, and therefore their identity is itself one side; in other words, their identity is not their negative unity. Secondly, therefore, the relation passes over into the relationship in which one side is moment of the other and in it as in its ground, the veritable self-subsistent element of both: the relation of force and its expression.

§ 1117

Thirdly, the inequality still present in this relation now sublates itself and the final relation is that of inner and outer. In this difference, which has become wholly formal, the relation itself falls to the ground and there emerges substance or the actual as the absolute unity of immediate and reflected Existence.


§ 1118

The essential relation contains first, the self-subsistence of immediacy, reflected into itself; as such it is the simple form whose moments, though Existences, too, are at the same time posited, moments held in the unity. This self-subsistence which is reflected into itself is at the same time reflection into its opposite, namely, immediate self-subsistence; and its subsistence is essentially as much this identity with its opposite as it is its own self-subsistence. Secondly, with this identity the other side, too, is immediately posited: the immediate self-subsistence which, determined as the other, is within itself a manifold variety, but such that this manifoldness essentially also has within it the relation of the other side, the unity of the reflected self-subsistence. The first side, the whole, is the self-subsistence which constituted the world in and for itself; the second side, the parts, is the immediate Existence which was the world of Appearance. In the relationship of whole and parts the two sides are these self-subsistences but in such a manner that each has the other reflected in it and at the same time only is as this identity of both. Now because the essential relation is at first only the first, immediate relation, the negative unity and the positive self-subsistence are connected by 'also'; both sides are indeed posited as moments, but equally as existent self-subsistences. Accordingly the distribution of these two posited moments is as follows. First, the whole, the reflected self-subsistence, is an existent; and the other, the immediate self-subsistence, is in it as moment-here the whole, the unity of both sides, constitutes the substrata, and the immediate Existence is a positedness. Conversely, on the other side, namely the side of the parts, the immediate, internally manifold Existence, is the self-subsistent substrate; on the other hand the reflected unity, the whole, is only an external relation.

§ 1119

2. This relation thus contains the self-subsistence of the sides, and equally their sublatedness, and it contains both simply in one relation. The whole is the self-subsistent, the parts are only moments of this unity; but equally they, too, are the self-subsistent and their reflected unity only a moment; and each is, in its self-subsistence, simply the relative of an other. This relation is therefore in its own self immediate contradiction, and sublates itself.

§ 1120

Considered more closely, the whole is the reflected unity which has an independent subsistence of its own; but this its subsistence is equally repelled from it; the whole is, as negative unity, negative relation-to-self; it is thus alienated from itself; it has its subsistence in its opposite, in the manifold immediacy, the parts. The whole accordingly consists of parts, so that it is not anything without them. It is therefore the whole relation and the self-subsistent totality; but for this very reason it is only a relative, for that which makes it a totality is rather its other, the parts; and it has its subsistence not within itself but in its other.

§ 1121

Thus the parts likewise are the whole relation. They are immediate, as against reflected, self-subsistence and do not subsist in the whole but on their own account. Further, they have this whole as their moment within themselves; it constitutes their relation, for without a whole there are no parts. But because they are the self-subsistent, this relation is only an external moment towards which they are, in and for themselves, indifferent. But at the same time the parts, as a manifold Existence, collapse within themselves, for this Existence is reflectionless being; they have their self-subsistence only in the reflected unity which is both this unity and also the existent manifoldness; that is to say, they have self-subsistence only in the whole, but at the same time, the whole is a self-subsistent other to the parts.

§ 1122

The whole and the parts therefore condition each other; but the relation here considered is at the same time higher than the relation of conditioned and condition to each other as it had determined itself above. Here this relation is realised, that is, it is posited that condition is the essential self-subsistence of the conditioned in such a manner that it is presupposed by the latter. Condition as such is only the immediate and is only implicitly presupposed. But the whole, though it is the condition of the parts, also contains this, that it, too, only is in so far as it has the parts for presupposition. Since, then, both sides of the relation are posited as conditioning each other, each is an immediate self-subsistence within itself, but its self-subsistence is equally mediated or posited by the other. The whole relation is, through this reciprocity, the return of the conditioning into itself, the non-relative, the unconditioned.

§ 1123

Now since each side of the relation has its self-subsistence not in itself but in its other, what is present is only a single identity of both in which both are only moments; but since each is in its own self self-subsistent, there are two self-subsistent Existences which are indifferent to each other.

§ 1124

In accordance with the first respect, that of the essential identity of both sides, the whole is equal to the parts and the parts to the whole. There is nothing in the whole which is not in the parts, and nothing in the parts which is not in the whole. The whole is not abstract unity, but unity as of a diverse manifoldness; but this unity, as that in which the elements of the manifold are related to one another, is the determinateness of each element through which it is part. The relation has, therefore, an inseparable identity and one self-subsistence only.

§ 1125

But further, although the whole is equal to the parts it is not equal to them as parts; the whole is reflected unity, but the parts constitute the determinate moment or the otherness of the unity and are the diverse manifold. The whole is not equal to them as this self-subsistent diversity, but to them together. But this their 'together' is nothing else but their unity, the whole as such. The whole is, therefore, in the parts only equal to itself, and the equality of the whole and the parts expresses only the tautology that the whole as whole is equal not to the parts but to the whole.

§ 1126

Conversely, the parts are equal to the whole; but because they are in themselves the moment of otherness, they are not equal to it as the unity, but in such a manner that one of the manifold determinations of the whole attaches to the part, or that they are equal to the whole as a manifold; that is to say, they are equal to it as a divided whole, that is, to the parts. Here we have the same tautology, that the parts as parts are equal, not to the whole as such, but in it to themselves, the parts.

§ 1127

In this way, the whole and the parts fall indifferently apart; each of these sides relates itself only to itself. But as thus held apart they destroy themselves. The whole which is indifferent to the parts is the abstract identity which is not internally differentiated; this is a whole only as internally differentiated, and moreover in such a manner that these manifold determinations are reflected into themselves and have immediate self-subsistence. And the identity of reflection has shown through its movement that it has this reflection into its other for its truth. Similarly the parts, as indifferent to the unity of the whole, are only the unrelated manifold, that which is within itset other, which as such is the other of itself and only sublates itself. This self-relation of each of the two sides is their self-subsistence; but this their self-subsistence which each has for itself is rather their self-negation. Accordingly each side has its self-subsistence not within itself but in the other., this other, which constitutes the subsistence, is its presupposed immediate which is supposed to be the first, and its beginning; but this first of each side is itself not a first, but has its beginning only in the other.

§ 1128

The truth of the relation consists therefore in the mediation; its essence is the negative unity in which both the reflected and the simply affirmative [seiende] immediacy are sublated. The relation is the contradiction which withdraws into its ground, into the unity which, as returning, is reflected unity; but since this latter has equally posited itself as sublated it is negatively related to itself, sublates itself and makes itself into a simply affirmative [seiende] immediacy. But this its negative relation, in so far as it is a first and an immediate, is mediated only through its other and is equally posited. This other, the simply affirmative immediacy, is equally only as sublated; its self-subsistence is a first, but only in order to vanish, and it has an existence that is posited and mediated.

§ 1129

In this determination the relation is no longer that of whole and parts; the immediacy which belonged to its sides has passed over into positedness and mediation; each is posited, in so far as it is immediate, as self-sublating and passing over into the other, and in so far as it is itself negative relation, as at the same time being conditioned by the other as its positive; just as its immediate transition, too, is equally a mediated transition, being a sublating that is posited by the other. Thus the relation of whole and parts has passed over into the relation of force and its expression.

Remark: Infinite Divisibility

§ 1130

The antinomy of the infinite divisibility of matter was considered above under the Notion of quantity. Quantity is the unity of continuity and discreteness; it contains in the self-subsistent one its fusion with other ones, and in this uninterrupted continuing identity with itself it equally contains the negation of it. The immediate relation of these moments of quantity being expressed as the essential relation of whole and parts (the one of quantity being part, but its continuity, the whole, which is composed of parts), the antinomy then consists in the contradiction which presented itself in the relation of whole and parts and has been resolved. For whole and parts are just as essentially related to each other, constituting only one identity, as they are mutually indifferent and have independent self-subsistence. The relation therefore is this antinomy, that the one moment in freeing itself from the other immediately introduces the other.

§ 1131

The existent, then, being determined as a whole, has parts, and the parts constitute its subsistence; the unity of the whole is only a posited relation, an external composition which does not concern the self-subsistent existent. Now in so far as this is a part it is not a whole, not a composite, hence a simple. But the relation to a whole is external to it and therefore does not concern it; the self-subsistent is, therefore, not even in itself part; for it is part only through that relation. But now since it is not part it is a whole, for there is only this relation of whole and parts present and the self-subsistent is one of the two. But as a whole, it is again composite; it again consists of parts, and so on to infinity. This infinitude consists solely in the perennial alternation of the two determinations of the relation, in each of which the other immediately arises, so that the positedness of each is the vanishing of itself. Matter determined as whole consists of parts, and in these the whole becomes an unessential relation and vanishes. But the part taken in the same way by itself is also not part but the whole. The antinomy of this inference when closely examined is really this: because the whole is not the self-subsistent, therefore the part is self-subsistent; but because the part is self-subsistent only without the whole, it is self-subsistent not as part, but rather as whole. The infinitude of the progress which arises is the inability to bring together the two thoughts which the mediation contains, namely, that each of the two determinations through its self-subsistence and separation from the other passes over into non-self-subsistence and into the other.


§ 1132

Force is the negative unity into which the contradiction of whole and parts has resolved itself; the truth of that first relation. ®

The whole and parts is the thoughtless relation which ordinary thinking first happens to think of; or objectively it is a dead, mechanical aggregate having, it is true, form determinations through which the manifoldness of its self-subsistent matter is connected in a unity; but this unity is external to the matter. But the relation of force is the higher return-into-self in which the unity of the whole which constituted the relation of the self-subsistent otherness, ceases to be external and indifferent to this manifoldness.

§ 1133

In the essential relation as now determined, the immediate and the reflected self-subsistence are posited as sublated or as moments; in the preceding relation they were independent, self-subsistent sides or extremes. In this there is contained first, that the reflected unity and its immediate determinate being, in so far as both are first and immediate, sublate themselves within themselves and pass over into their other; the former, force, passes over into its expression, and what is expressed is a vanishing something which withdraws into force as into its ground; it is, only as borne and posited by force. Secondly, this transition is not only a becoming and vanishing, but is a negative relation-to-self; or, that which alters its determination is at the same time reflected into itself and preserves itself; the movement of force is not so much a transition [übergehen] as a movement in which it transposes itself [sich selbst über setzt] and in this alteration posited by itself remains what it is. Thirdly, this reflected, self-related unity is itself sublated and a moment; it is mediated by its other and has it for condition; its negative self-relation, which is a first and begins the movement of its transition out of itself, has equally a presupposition by which it is solicited, and an other from which it begins.

(a) The Conditionedness of Force

§ 1134

Considered in its closer determinations force contains first, the moment of affirmative [seienden] immediacy; it itself is determined over against this immediacy as negative unity. This, however, in the determination of immediate being, is an existent something. This something, because it is negative unity as an immediate, appears as the first; force, on the other hand, as reflected unity appears as positedness and thus as belonging to the existent thing or to a matter. But this does not imply that force is the form of this thing and that the thing is determined by force; on the contrary, the thing as an immediate is, indifferent to it. As thus determined, the thing contains no ground for having a force; force, on the other hand, as the side of positedness, essentially has the thing for its presupposition.When therefore it is asked how a thing or matter comes to have a force, then the force appears as externally connected with it and impressed on the thing by an alien power.

§ 1135

As this immediate subsistence, force is a quiescent determinateness of the thing in general; it does not express or manifest itself but is immediately an externality. Thus force is also designated as matter, and instead of magnetic, electrical, and other forces, magnetic, electrical, and other matters are assumed, or, instead of the famous attractive force, a subtle aether which holds everything together. These are the matters into which the inert, powerless, negative unity of the thing is resolved and which were considered above.

§ 1136

But force contains immediate Existence as moment, a moment which, though it is condition, passes over and sublates itself, not immediate Existence therefore as an existent thing. Further, it is not negation as determinateness but negative unity reflected into itself. Accordingly the thing in which the force was supposed to be no longer has any meaning here; rather is force itself a positing of externality which appears as Existence. Nor is it, therefore, merely a determinate matter; such self-subsistence has long since passed over into positedness and Appearance.

§ 1137

Secondly, force is the unity of reflected and immediate subsistence, or of the form-unity and external self-subsistence. It is both in one; it is the contact of sides of which one is in so far as the other is not, self-identical positive reflection and negated reflection. Force is thus the self-repelling contradiction; it is active, or it is the self-relating negative unity in which the reflected immediacy or essential inwardness [Insichsein] is posited as being only as sublated or as moment, and therefore, in so far as it distinguishes itself from immediate Existence, as passing over into this. Force, then, as the determination of the reflected unity of the whole, is posited as becoming existent external manifoldness from out of itself.

§ 1138

But thirdly, force is at first only an activity in principle [ansichseiende Tätigkeit], an immediate activity; it is the reflected unity and equally essentially the negation of it; as different from this negation, but only as the identity of itself and its negation, it is essentially related to this as to an immediacy external to it, and has it for presupposition and condition.

§ 1139

Now this presupposition is not a thing standing over against it; this indifferent self-subsistence is sublated in force; as condition of force it is a self-subsistent other to it. But because it is not a thing, the self-subsistent immediacy having here determined itself as at the same time self-relating negative unity, this other self-subsistent is itself force. The activity of force is conditioned by itself as by the other to itself, by a force.

§ 1140

In this manner force is a relation in which each side is the same as the other. There are forces which stand in relation, and indeed are essentially related to each other. Further, they are at first simply different without further qualification; the unity of their relation is in the first instance only inner unity, unity in itself. The conditionedness through another force is thus in itself the act of force itself, or force is in so far at first an act of presupposition, a merely negatively sey-relating act; this other force still lies beyond its positing activity, namely beyond the reflection which in its determining immediately returns into itself.

(b) The Solicitation of Force

§ 1141

Force is conditioned because it contains the moment of immediate Existence as something only posited — but because it is at the same time an immediate — as something presupposed, in which force negates itself. Accordingly, the externality which is present for force is its own presupposing activity, which at first is posited as another force.

§ 1142

Further, this presupposing is reciprocal. Each of the two forces contains the unity reflected into itself as sublated and is therefore a presupposing activity; it posits its own self as external; this moment of externality is its own; but since it is equally a unity reflected into itself it at the same time posits this its externality not within itself, but as another force.

§ 1143

But the external as such is self-sublating; further, this activity which reflects itself into itself is essentially related to this external as to its other, but equally as to that which in itsey is null and with which it is identical. Since the presupposing activity is equally reflection-into-self, it is the sublating of this its negation and it posits the latter as something external to itself, or as external to it. Thus force, as conditioning, is reciprocally an impulse [Anstoss] for the other force against which it is active. Its attitude is not the passive one of being determined, which would involve the entry into it of something alien; the impulse only solicits it. It is in its own self the negativity of itself; the repelling of itself from itself is its own positing. Its act, therefore, consists in sublating the externality of this impulse; it makes it into a mere impulse and posits it as its own repelling of itself from itself, as its own expression.

§ 1144

Force which expresses itself is thus the same as that which was at first only a presupposing activity, that is, it makes itself external; but force, as expressing itself, is at the same time the activity which negates externality, positing it as its own. Now in so far as in this consideration we start from force as negative unity of itself and therefore as presupposing reflection, this is the same as when, in the expression of force, we start from the soliciting impulse. Thus force, in its Notion, is at first determined as self-sublating identity, and in its reality one of the two forces is determined as soliciting and the other as being solicited. But the Notion of force is simply the identity of positing and presupposing reflection, or of reflected and immediate unity; and each of these determinations is simply a moment, in unity, and thus is mediated by the other. But equally there is nothing in the two reciprocally related forces to determine which is to be the soliciting and which the solicited force; or rather both form determinations belong in the same manner to each. But this identity is not merely an external identity of comparison but an essential unity of the two.

§ 1145

For in the first instance one force is determined as soliciting and the other as being solicited; these form determinations appear in this way as immediate differences, present in principle, of both forces. But they are essentially mediated. One of the forces is solicited; this impulse is a determination posited in it from outside. But force itself is the presupposing reflection; essentially it reflects itself into itself and sublates the fact that the impulse is external. Accordingly, the fact that it is solicited is its own act, or, it is through its own determining that the other force is simply other and is the soliciting force. The soliciting force is negatively related to its other and so sublates the latter's externality, and in doing so it has a positing action; but it has this only by virtue of the presupposition of having another over against it; that is, it is itself soliciting only in so far as it has in it an externality, hence in so far as it is solicited. Or it solicits only in so far as it is solicited to solicit. And so, conversely, the first force is solicited only in so far as it itself solicits the other to solicit it, namely, the first force. Each of the two therefore receives the impulse from the other; but the impulse which it gives as active force consists in its receiving an impulse from the other; the impulse which it receives was solicited by itself. Both the impulse given and that received, or the active expression and the passive externality, are consequently not an immediate but are mediated, and so each of the two forces is itself the determinateness which the other has over against it, is mediated by the other, and this mediating other is, again, its own determinative positing.

§ 1146

This process then in which an impulse is exerted upon one force by another force, the first force passively receiving the impulse but then again passing over from this passivity into activity, this is the return of force into itself. It expresses itself. The expression is reaction in the sense that it posits the externality as its own moment and thus sublates its having been solicited by another force. Both are therefore one: the expression of force through which it gives itself a determinate being-for-other by its negative activity directed onto itself, and the infinite return to itself in this externality, so that in it, it relates itself only to itself. The presupposing reflection, to which belong the conditionedness and the impulse, is therefore immediately also the reflection that returns into itself, and the activity is essentially reactive against itself. The positing of the impulse or of the externality is itself the sublating of it, and conversely, the sublating of the impulse is the positing of the externality.

(c) The Infinity of Force

§ 1147

Force is finite in so far as its moments still have the form of immediacy; its presupposing and its self-relating reflection are distinct in this determination: the former appears as an independently subsisting external force, and the other, in its relation to it, as passive. Force is thus conditioned in respect of form and likewise restricted with respect to content; for a for -determinateness also implies a restriction of content. But the activity of force consists in expressing itself, that is, as we have seen, in sublating externality and determining it as that in which it is identical with itself. Therefore what force in truth expresses is that its relation to other is relation to itself, that its passivity consists in its very activity. The impulse by which it is solicited into activity is its own soliciting; the externality which affects it is not an immediate but is mediated by force itself; just as its own essential identity-with-self is not immediate but is mediated by its negation. In other words, what force expresses is this, that its externality is identical with its inwardness.


§ 1148

1. The relation of whole and parts is the immediate relation; in it, therefore, the reflected and the affirmative immediacy each have a self-subsistence of their own; but since they stand in essential relation their self-subsistence is only their negative unity. Now this is posited in the expression of force; the reflected unity is essentially a becoming-other as translation of itself into externality; but the latter equally is immediately taken back into the former; the distinction between the self-subsistent forces is sublated; the expression of force is only a mediation of the reflected unity with itself. What is present is only an empty, transparent distinction, an illusory being, but this illusory being is the mediation which is the independent subsistence itself. Not only are they opposite determinations which sublate themselves within themselves, nor is their movement merely a transition; but partly the immediacy from which the beginning and the transition into otherness was made is itself only a posited immediacy, and partly, in consequence of this, each of the determinations is in its immediacy already the unity with its other, so that the transition is just as much the spontaneously posited return-into-self.

§ 1149

The inner is determined as the form of reflected immediacy or of essence over against the outer as the form of being, but the two are only one identity. This identity is first, the substantial unity of both as a substrate pregnant with content, or the absolute fact [Sache], in which the two determinations are indifferent, external moments. By virtue of this, it is a content and that totality which is the inner that equally becomes external, but in this externality is not the result of becoming or transition but is identical with itself. The outer, according to this determination, is not only identical with the inner in respect of content but both are only one fact. But this fact, as simple self-identity, is distinct from its form determinations, or, these are external to it; it is thus itself an inner that is distinct from its externality. But this externality consists in its being constituted by the two determinations themselves, namely, the inner and the outer. But the fact is itself nothing else but the unity of both. Hence both sides are again the same in respect of content. But in the fact they are present as an interpenetrating identity, as a substrate pregnant with content. But in externality they are, as forms of the fact, indifferent to this identity and thus to each other.

§ 1150

2. They are in this way the different form-determinations which have an identical substrate, not in themselves but in an other — determinations of reflection which are for themselves: the inner as the form of reflection-into-self, of essentiality, but the outer as the form of immediacy reflected into an other, or of unessentiality. But the nature of the relation has shown that these determinations constitute one identity and one alone. Force in its expression is this, that the determining which presupposes and the determining which returns into itself are one and the same. In so far then as inner and outer have been considered as form-determinations, they are first only the simple form itself, and secondly, because in this form they are at the same time determined as opposite, their unity is pure, abstract mediation in which the one is immediately the other, and is the other because it is itself. Thus the inner is immediately only the outer, and it is the determination of externality because it is the inner; conversely, the outer is only an inner because it is only an outer. That is to say, since this form unity contains its two determinations as opposites, their identity is only this transition, and therein only the other of both, not their identity pregnant with content. Or, this holding fast to form is in general the side of determinateness. What is posited in accordance with this is not the real totality of the whole, but the totality or the fact itself only in the determinateness of form; since this unity is the mere conjunction of opposite determinations, then, when one of them is taken first-and it does not matter which-we must say of the substrate or fact that it is for that reason equally essentially in the other determinateness, but also only in the other, just as we said before that it is only in the first.

§ 1151

Thus something which in the first instance is only an inner, is for that very reason only an outer. Or conversely, something which is only an outer is just for that reason only an inner. Or, if the inner is determined as essence but the outer as being, then a fact, in so far as it is only in its essence, is for that very reason only an immediate being; or a fact which only is is precisely for that reason as yet only in its essence. Outer and inner are determinateness posited in such wise that each of these two determinations not only presupposes the other and passes over into it as into its truth, but, in so far as it is this truth of the other, remains posited as determinateness and points to the totality of both. The inner is therefore the consummation of essence with respect to form. For essence, when it is determined as inner, implies that it is defective and is, only as relation to its other, the outer; but this, equally, is not merely being or even Existence, but relates itself to essence or the inner. But what is here present is not only the relation of the two to each other but the determinate relation of the absolute form in which each is immediately its opposite, and their common relation to their third or rather to their unity. But their mediation still lacks this identical substrate that contains them both; hence their relation is the immediate conversion of the one into the other, and this negative unity which links them together is the simple point devoid of any content.

Remark: Immediate Identity of Inner and Outer.

Transition to Actuality

§ 1154

3. The first of the identities of inner and outer we have considered is the substrate which is indifferent to the difference of these determinations as to a form external to it, or, the identity as content. The second is the unmediated identity of their difference, the immediate conversion of each into its opposite, or the identity as pure form. But these two identities are only the sides of one totality; or, the totality itself is only the conversion of one into the other. The totality as substrate and content is this immediacy, which is reflected into itself, only through the presupposing reflection of form which sublates their difference and posits itself as indifferent identity, as a reflected unity, over against it. Or, the content is the form itself in so far as this determines itself as difference, making itself into one of its sides as externality, but into the other as an immediacy that is reflected into itself, or into inner.

§ 1155

Conversely, it follows from this that each of the differences of form, the inner and outer, is posited within itself as the totality of itself and its other; the inner, as simple identity reflected into itself, is the immediate and accordingly is as much being and externality as essence; and the outer, as manifold, determinate being is only an outer, that is, is posited as unessential and as withdrawn into its ground, hence as an inner. This transition of each into the other is their immediate identity as substrate; but it is also their mediated identity; for it is precisely through its other that each is what it is in itself, the totality of the relation. Or, conversely, the determinateness of each side, because it is in itself the totality, is mediated with the other determinateness; thus the totality mediates itself with itself through the form or determinateness, and the determinateness is mediated with itself through its simple identity.

§ 1156

What something is, therefore, it is wholly in its externality; its externality is its totality and equally is its unity reflected into itself. Its Appearance is not only reflection-into-an-other but reflection-into-self, and its externality is, therefore, the expression or utterance of what it is in itself; and since its content and form are thus utterly identical, it is, in and for itself, nothing but this, to express or manifest itself. It is the manifesting of its essence in such a manner that this essence consists simply and solely in being that which manifests itself.

§ 1157

The essential relation, in this identity of Appearance with the inner or with essence, has determined itself into actuality.

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