A Perfect Contradiction is Mysterious for the Clever and for Fools Alike’: Did Hegel Contradict Aristotle? | M Inwood | Hegel Bulletin

Aristotle argued that there are no true statements of the form . In his lectures on history of philosophy Hegel does not challenge this view and in his Science of Logic expresses admiration for Aristotle’s rebuttal of Zeno of Elea’s attempt to find such contradictions in his paradoxes of motion. Yet more than once in his logics Hegel insists that everything is contradictory. I approach this problem from two directions. First, Widerspruch often means, and is understood by Hegel to mean, ‘opposition’ rather than ‘contradiction’ in the strict logical sense. Thus Catullus’s simultaneous love and hatred of Clodia is a contradiction, but not an Aristotelian, or formal logical, contradiction. I defuse Hegel’s occasional suggestions of Aristotelian contradictions in motion and time. Second, I exploit Hegel’s tacit rejection of Aristotle’s official bivalence account of truth and falsity, in favour of the view that truth is approached by successive improvements in our inevitably imperfect attempts to attain it. In this respect Hegel’s procedure is similar to that of Aristotle himself, who characteristically constructs his own view of metaphysics, physics, ethics, etc., from the imperfect, but not flatly false, opinions of his predecessors. ‘The truth is the whole’, that is, the whole sequence of our attempts to reach it.

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