Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 7, No 1 (2011)

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Aufhebung and Negativity: A Hegelianism without Transcendence

Ryan Krahn


This article defends Hegelian dialectics against the critique of Derrida and Bataille. This defense revolves around the fate of abstract negation in dialectical sublation. Focusing on the Lordship-Bondage section of the Phenomenology of Spirit, it is proposed that in the sublated figure of the slave there remains an absolute detachment irreducible to any capitalistic, ‘restricted’ economy of preservation. The consequence of such a reading of sublation is that no move outside or beyond dialectics, no transcendent escape from the Aufhebung, is called upon in order to account for notions of alterity, detachment, or transformation.

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