Sunday, May 23, 2010

Aimless Reading: The H's, Part 12.1 (G.W.F. Hegel)

Hegel, G.W.F.
The Philosophy of History


Purchased at Talking Leaves...Books. This books formed the backbone of one my oral exam lists in graduate school, which was, in a stirring display of originality, titled, Philosophy of History.

You'll note that in today's photo I came out from behind the book and revealed my entire face. Please do not attach any special significance to this – it was a purely practical response to a lighting issue. You will have noted over the past few weeks that each of the photos has a slightly hazy quality and that, as with today's picture, there is a bright light pouring in through the window over my left shoulder. Today, that light was so bright that it was actually reflecting off the computer screen and onto the book cover, which in turn reflected the light back onto the screen and so on into oblivion. The level of distortion this caused forced me to make a choice between a very bad photo and self-revelation. Thus, I chose the latter. I hope not to make this a habit.

In case you have ever wondered about the rules for the photographs in this project, they are as follows:

1. Photos must be taken at the desk, using the iSight camera on my laptop.
2. Photos must use available light. I do allow this to include the desk lamp, which I offsets the flash the screen makes. I have a lot of glare problems, so most decisions I make have to do with minimizing the glare enough that you can read the book cover.
3. Photos are all of me holding the book.
4. Title and author of book need to be visible and legible in each photo.

That's more or less it. I generally now take photos on the days on which I am writing about each book. In the past, however, I have taken a different approach, sometimes shooting four or five in a sitting -- I did this more often at the beginning of the project, when I sometimes wrote several entries per day. I do this much less frequently now.

from The Philosophy of History

The thought which may first occur to us in the history of Philosophy, is that the subject itself contains an inner contradiction. For Philosophy aims at understanding what is unchangeable, eternal, in and for itself: its end is Truth. But history tells us of that which has at one time existed, at another time has vanished, having been expelled by something else. Truth is eternal; it does not fall within the sphere of the transient, and has no history. But if it has a history, and as this history is only the representation of a succession of past forms of knowledge, the truth is not to be found in it, for the truth cannot be what has passed away.

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