Рус Eng During last 365 days Approved articles: 1917,   Articles in work: 329 Declined articles: 646 

Back to contents

SENTENTIA. European Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

Philosophy of transgression: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche
Faritov Vyacheslav Tavisovich

Doctor of Philosophy

professor of the Department of Philosophy at Ulyanovsk State Technical University

432027, Russia, Ul'yanovskaya oblast', g. Ul'yanovsk, ul. Severnyi Venets, 32
Другие публикации этого автора




Review date:


Publish date:



The subject of this research is the conception of the philosophy of transgression in the teachings of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and Friedrich Nietzsche. The author examines the fine concepts of Hegel’s philosophy such as spirit, otherness, sublation, and negation, and carries out the explication of transgression as the ontological content of these phenomena. The article presents a comparative analysis of the works of Hegel and teachings of Nietzsche in the area of establishment of the philosophical paradigm of transgression. A special attention is given to the issues of death of God in the philosophy of Hegel and Nietzsche. The research employs the methodological principles of deconstruction, comparative philosophy, as well as methods of ontology and history of philosophy. The scientific novelty of this work consists in the explication of transgression as the key aspect in the Hegel’s and Nietzsche’s teachings. Author’s special contribution consists in conducting a comparative analysis of transgression in Hegel’s philosophy with the main sections of Nietzsche’s teaching (such as Dionysian origin, overman (Übermensch), and death of God).

Keywords: superman, Death of God, withdrawal, spirit, Nietzsche, Hegel, transgression, dialectics, otherness, self

Transgression is a concept of neoclassical philosophy, which enters the space of the philosophical discourse with the works of Georges Bataille [1] and the representatives of post-structuralism (Maurice Blanchot, Pierre Klossowski, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida) [2]. This concept has gained popularity in philosophy [3] and literary science [4] in the XX-XXI centuries. Transgression means not only crossing the lines, but also violation and erasing of boundaries, which is its principal difference from transcendence [5]. And in this sense it resembles the Hegel’s “sublation” (Aufhebung) pointed out by Georges Bataille [1]. The closeness in this case does not mean oneness: as demonstrated by Jacques Derrida, the relation between Hegel’s and Bataille’s concepts carries a formal character, while in content the sublation and transgression significantly differ from one another [6, p. 171]. On this basis we cannot equate the Hegel’s Aufhebung and transgression. But despite the substantial differences it can be claimed that the phenomenon of transgression comprises one of the most significant aspects of Hegel’s teaching: in the construct of his system transgression represents one of the load-bearing walls. Hegel not only completed the classical paradigm in philosophy, but also discovered the paths to neoclassical philosophical thought. The dialogue between the representatives of “neoclassicism” and the German classicist was opened by the French neo-Hegelians (Alexandre Kojève, Jean Hyppolite, and Jean Wahl). Alexandre Kojève exerted a direct influence upon Georges Bataille [1], while Michel Foucault was taught by Jean Hyppolite [7]. Without Kojève and Hyppolite there would be no Bataille and Foucault, and there would be no Kojève and Hyppolite without Hegel. Thus, through neo-Hegelianism Hegel enters the post-structuralism, or more precisely, post-structuralism is formed on the basis of the dialogue and demarcation with Hegel’s teachings [8].

Later we will examine what place the transgression has in Hegel’s core oeuvre “Phenomenology of Spirit”, as well as in other works of the German thinker.

1. Transgression as a spirit

As in all his subsequent works, in the “Phenomenology of Spirit” Hegel remains faithful to the content of the metaphysics: his philosophy is the philosophy of the Absolute, the Absolute idea, and the Absolute spirit. Namely these “transcendental designations” will become the object of merciless criticism and radical rejection in the neoclassical philosophical thought from Nietzsche and Deleuze. But by Hegel, the Spirit, Idea, and the Absolute seize to be transcendental, eternal, and unchanging substances. The spirit (we will concentrate on this as the main subject of the “Phenomenology of Spirit”; Idea will be analyzed in the “Science of Logic”, but what we will express on the spirit will also pertain to the Idea) does not represent Spinoza’s substance – it is not a spirit, rather a moment of spirit. Hegel’s spirit represents movement, establishment, negation, and negativity. This is a different aspect of Hegel’s teaching, which takes him outside the classical metaphysics and unites him with Nietzsche and post-structuralists. As noted by Jean Hyppolite: “Hegel’s philosophy is a philosophy of negation and negativity. The Absolute is only by determining itself, that is, by limiting itself, by negating itself” [9, p. 170]. The significance of negativity in Hegel’s philosophy is also mentioned by Martin Heidegger [10]. According to Hegel, the “spirit is not merely this abstract and simple being; it is a system of movements, in which in distinguishes itself within moments, but in this very distinction remains free” [11, p. 175].

Thus the spirit is what negates itself, and what is negative with regards to itself. It should not be understood as an initial certain stable essence, which retrospectively begins to negate itself and cross its own boundaries, and then return to itself. The spirit is this movement of negation and negativity; it exists only as the transgression over these boundaries and in no other way. Moreover, these boundaries the spirit creates for itself. It structures certainties, demarcates its boundaries, and removes them itself. And it does not exist outside of this transgressive process: the spirit is something else, as transgressive movement. In the same way as according to Nietzsche, there is no lightning outside the flash; the lightning itself is the action, the event of the flash, and some substratum that retroactively begins to flash: “But there is no such substratum; there is no “being” behind the deed, its effect and what becomes of it; “the doer” is invented as an afterthought – the doing is everything. Basically, the common people double a deed; when they see lightning, they make a doing-a-deed out of it: they posit the same event, first as cause and then as its effect” [12, p. 261]. In this case Nietzsche thinks in a very Hegelian way: he demarcates the non-philosophical consciousness (“people” and the grammatically expressed folk metaphysics), for which there is a substratum of the action (“being”) and the action itself, from philosophical consciousness, for which there is only process, while being is only an isolated moment out of the process.

The perceptible being of the spirit, as is its being in itself are only moments of this transgressional movement, rather than something independent and primordial. In other words, the spirit does not exist primordially as neither, the transcendent nor immanent phenomenon. The very demarcation of the transcendent and immanent is originated by the movement of the spirit, or more precisely, the movement as the spirit. The transcendent and immanent are only moments of this movement, and the spirit is not attributable to one or the other. And at the same time, the spirit is not an exclusively pure outflow of itself or pure transgression. The process of transgressional movement suggests not only negation of the set boundaries, but also setting of these boundaries, their temporary establishment and fixation. In one type of formations of consciousness and history the spirit exists as a being in itself, as a transcendent substance; in other – as a perceptible being; in yet another – as a unity, a fusion of both. On one hand there are stable, fixed certainties. On the other, their truth lies in “being the vanishing moments of movement” [11, p. 134]. The truth of the stable and fixed is transgression – such ontology resembles not Parmenides and Plato, but Heraclitus and Nietzsche. Self-consciousness, as a constructive moment of the spirit, is what comprises this truth of transgression, which takes any moments out of the realm of their stable and isolated certainty: “But this pure universal movement, the absolute melting-away of everything stable, is the simple, essential nature of self-consciousness, absolute negativity…” [11, p. 105].

Transgression is the wisdom of Dionysus (Bacchus), Dionysian origin that is going to be discussed by Nietzsche. This wisdom was known to the author of the Phenomenology of Spirit : “In this respect we can tell those who assert the truth and certainty of the reality of sense-objects that they would go back to the most elementary school of wisdom, viz. the ancient Eleusinian mysteries of Ceres and Bacchus; …For one who is initiated into these mysteries not only comes to doubt the being of things of sense, but gets into a state of despair about it altogether, and in dealing with them he partly himself brings about the nothingness of those things, partly he sees these bring about their own nothingness” [11, p. 57-58]. Here we should point out the substantial difference between Hegel and Nietzsche. The latter defines his teaching predominantly and Dionysian; in other words, the transgression in Nietzsche’s philosophy holds a dominant position. Hegel though is oriented towards the synthesis of Dionysian and Apollonian: “The [Bacchic] stupor of consciousness and its wild stammering utterance in the former case must be taken up into the clear existence of the latter, and the non-spiritual clarity of the latter into the inwardness of the former” [11, p. 387]. Nevertheless, Hegel repeatedly underlines the relation of his philosophy to the Dionysian wisdom: “The Truth is thus the Bacchanalian revel in which no member is not drunk…” [11, p. 25].

Since for Hegel nature consists in the otherness of the spirit, while spirit in essence is the transgressional movement, transgression therefore represents the essential moment in the nature as well. The difference lies in the fact that in nature the transgressional movement is presented as something external and foreign, and thus strictly negative and destructive. In nature, the transgression is death of the singular. With regards to singular natural being, transgression is the essence only in itself, but not to itself. On the contrary, in the spirit the crossing its own lines is being elaborated as the action of the spirit itself, and thus carries a constructive character: “Whatever is confined within the limits of a natural life cannot by its own efforts go beyond its immediate existence; but is driven beyond it by something else, and this uprooting [Hinausgerissenwerden] entails its death. Consciousness, however, is explicitly the Notion itself. Hence it is immediately something that goes beyond limits, and since these limits are its own, it is something that goes beyond itself…” [11, p. 45-46]. Going beyond limits [Hinausgehen über das Beschränkte] and going beyond itself [Hinausgehen über sich selbst] can no longer be attributed to transcendence, since in this case the movement is not directed towards the other, existent in itself substance (although Hegel allows even this version, but only as a single moment that is subject to sublation). Hegel finds the significance in the actual going outside the limits, which can be directed to both, the immanent and the transcendent (again, considering that the transcendent is recognized by Hegel only as a sublatable moment). This is the most important part: transcendence in the “Phenomenology of Spirit” becomes only a private instance of transgression. The action of moving passed the boundaries suggests not the dissolution in the indifferent substance, but setting new boundaries, a new, richer certainty, which is also subject to sublation.

Such are the two main aspects of transgression in the “Phenomenology of Spirit”: “uprooting” [Hinausgerissenwerden] in nature, and going [Hinausgehen] beyond itself in the spirit. This aim outwards [hinaus], beyond the set boundaries, reveals its relation with the Nietzschean concept of will to power, which should also be viewed as a variant of transgression: “All beings so far have created something beyond themselves” [13, p. 13] (“Alle Wesen bisher schufen etwas über sich hinaus”) [14, p. 7]. Nietzsche talks about the fear of this transgressional movement, a fear that produces the “last man” [13, p. 17] – carrier of “slave mentality” [15]. And Hegel points to this existential fear of consciousness before might and violence of the transgression as a negative essence: “At the feeling of this violence, anxiety for the truth may well withdraw, and struggle to preserve for itself that which is in danger of being lost” [11, p. 46]. Such position is the slave mentality, last men, for whom the highest value lies in self-preservation, rather than self-overcoming. But the fear-induced desire to go into one’s shell, withdraw and avoid transgression does not help achieving the set goal. Running from transgression in itself becomes a form of transgressive movement outside one’s self: Hegel’s stoicism, skepticism, and “unhappy consciousness”, and Nietzsche’s movement through the various stages of nihilism [16]. “Unhappy consciousness” in its essence suggests a certain otherworld, which is only negative, the Nothingness of “this” world (this point was thoroughly researched by Jean Wahl [17] and Alexandre Kojève [18]). Nihilism in essence is the same will to Nothingness, caused by the negation of “this” world. Thus, escaping transgression leads to transgression – a transgression as a radical negation to exit into Nothingness.

At the same time, “unhappy consciousness” and nihilism are not a manifestation of the weakness of the spirit. On the contrary, it is the maximal self-alienation of the spirit, which it submits to itself in the course of the further movement. Hegel underlines that: “spirit is all the greater the greater the opposition out of which it returns into itself; and such an opposition spirit brings about for itself, by doing away with its immediate unity, and laying aside its self−existence…” [11, p. 183]. But this same point is also later made by Nietzsche in his Dionysian philosophy, the philosophy of will to power: “I assess the power of a will by how much resistance, pain, torture it endures and knows how to turn to its advantage; I do not account the evil and painful character of existence a reproach to it, but hope rather that it will one day be more evil and painful than hereto...” [19, p. 471]. Transgression is inevitably linked to the gaps, negation, opposition, resistance, pain, and suffering. But all of these things are the necessary conditions for growth, a transition to a “higher level of reason” and existence (on this point Hegel and Nietzsche are unanimous). The significant difference between the two German thinkers becomes evident in their assessment of the ontological status of transgression. For Hegel, the spirit represents a wholeness, which is constituted through the bidirectional transgression: movement of separate moments towards totality, and movement from totality towards the affirmation of moments. In the first case, spirit is the transgression of one, in the second – transgression of the whole. Only through this dual transgression the spirit seizes to be either an abstract singular or abstract universal, but becomes that what it is: the unity and interpenetration of the singular and the universal or specific-universal. This point of Hegel’s teaching has been thoroughly researched in the works of Ivan Ilyin [20, p. 377-378]. This is also true with regards to internal and external, finite and infinite. The spirit is the transgression of isolated moments, their interpenetration and unity; but it is also the difference and dismemberment of itself into these moments. The spirit is “the depth that is certain of itself, which does not allow the individual principle to become isolated and to make itself a whole within itself; rather, gathering and holding together all these moment within itself, it advances within this total wealth of its actual spirit, and all its particular moments take and receive in common into themselves the same determinateness of the whole” [11, p. 366]. Thus, Hegel asserts the unity of the multifaceted and variable: the spirit “…falls apart into many lines, which, gathered up into a single bundle, combine at the same time symmetrically so that the similar differences in which each took shape in its own sphere meet together” [11, p. 366]. Anticipation of this approach can be found in the teachings of Gottfried Leibniz on the pre-established harmony [21]. In music, such unity of multiple and various is presented in the fugues of Johann Sebastian Bach [22].

Nietzsche’s unity of the multifaceted represents a creative task: “I wander among people as among fragments of the future: the future that I see. This is my every writing and every wish that I write and unite every riddle, everything that is fragmentary and at the terrible whims of chance” [13, p. 145-146]. But this task would not be carried out by the spirit. In Nietzsche’s notes of 1888 he writes a unique condemnation of the philosophy of the New era: “The enormous blunders: 1) The absurd overestimation of consciousness out of it made a unity, a being made, “the spirit”, “the soul”, something that feels, thinks, wants

2) The mind is a cause, namely to appear wherever expediency, system, coordination

3) Consciousness as the highest attainable form, as a kind of supreme being, as “God”” [23, p. 303].

In doing so, Nietzsche goes beyond the boundaries of the philosophy of the New era, while Hegel overall remains true to the era, the conclusion and highest self-consciousness of which is his teaching. Hegel’s transgression is locked in the totality of spirit as unity of consciousness, self-consciousness, and reason. When reason commits a transgression with regards to itself, it still remains with itself: “When reason thus speaks of some other than itself is, it in fact speaks merely of itself; it does not therein go beyond itself” [11, p. 294]. So it seems that there is no transgression, exit outside of itself, violation of set boundaries in the absolute sense within Hegel’s teaching. In this regard we should recognize the rightness of Jacques Derrida’s position, who as Bataille notes the similarity of Hegel’s sublation of transgression, but at the same time pointed out the significant differences between the two concepts [6, p. 171]. In Hegel’s teachings, transgression is only a game of the spirit with itself (interpretation of the movement of the Absolute in time as a game with itself is presented by Rudolf Haym [24, p. 353]). But the game is also a transgression, even though not absolute, but limited: transgression that violates the boundaries within the framework of demarcated boundaries. With Nietzsche, transgression as the will to power is the movement of not the spirit, but life.

At this point, we are approaching the issue of connection between transgression and otherness.

2. Transgression as otherness

There is no unambiguous answer to the question of whether Hegel in his teachings reached the true otherness or remains locked in the framework of his pan-logistic system. There is a position according to which Hegel in thought connects with that, which is absolutely other with regards to thought. Thus Jean Wahl notes that Hegel’s philosophy is “an attempt to rationalize the depths, which remain beyond the reach of reason” [17, p. 172]. Hyppolite states that the task of reason in Hegel’s teaching consists in the need to “think the non-thought”, “think sense in its relation to nonsense, to the opaque being of nature” [9, p. 166]. Both representatives of the French neo-Hegelianism point out that Hegel approaches the other, the non-thought, and nonsense exclusively from the position of thought and meaning.

Existence of the spirit is not the absolute peace: the spirit is in a constant struggle with itself and with its other. Allowing the being to unravel in its dismemberment, the spirit faces the threat that this dismemberment will go too far – to a complete loss of unity and affirmation of absolute independence and isolation of the moments. Such result would lead to the destruction of spirit. Work of the spirit in history and state consists in counteraction of this excessive self-assertion of the moments and draw them back into the process of establishment of the spiritual totality: “In order not to let them get rooted and settled in this isolation and thus break up the whole into fragments and let the common spirit evaporate, government has from time to time to shake them to the very center by War. By this means it confounds the order that has been established and arranged, and violates their right to independence, while the individuals (who, being absorbed therein, get adrift from the whole, striving after inviolable self−existence and personal security), are made, by the task thus imposed on them by government, to feel the power of their lord and master, death” [11, p. 241-242].

In this aspect the spirit is being presented not only as transgression (exit beyond itself – Hinausgehen über sich selbst), but also a struggle against the absolute transgression, which leads to a complete loss of determinateness and unity. But the very fact of such struggle demonstrates that the threat of the absolute transgression is real, and that the spirit is constantly faced with the possibility of its own destruction and transition into the absolute other, out of which there is no return into oneness with itself in the otherness. The spirit as the unity of itself and other is not a certain actual given, not a preset harmony, but represents a constantly renewing process – the process of struggle against the increase of the entropy of sense, with transition into endless chaos and total disruption of existence. This means that the spirit in its nature is the will to power – a will to organize chaos. To be more precise, the spirit is a certain type of will to power, specifically the one that Nietzsche will later criticize as Socratic origin – the origin that establishes the total dominance of consciousness and reason. This moment should be constantly accounted for in order to avoid the improper coupling of Hegel’s and Nietzsche’s positions. Noting the points of intersection of the views of the two German philosophers, it is necessary to keep in mind their drastic differences.

As was demonstrated above, return of the spirit into itself out of dismemberment and dissemination comprises a single direction of transgression. A different direction is the transition into otherness. The otherness does not represent something that is completely deprived of spirit (or concept and idea), but represents the degree of oppositeness that the spirit can handle and get the upper hand. The spirit is present even in the maximal degree of self-alienation, but this presence is not evident to it. That is the rise of reality deprived of essence (wesenlose Wirklichkeit, geistlose Wirklichkeit). Essentially, this reality is the obstacle that the spirit creates for itself in order to establish its dominance and its greatness [11, p. 183].

Transgression as otherness comprises the crucial moment of the spirit’s being. It is that “grain of chaos”, that dose of senselessness, which can be assimilated by reason. The spirit submerges into this external transgression in order to “return from its confusion back into itself, thus gaining a still higher consciousness” [11, p. 282]. But presence in this chaos carries a rather painful character.

Hegel thoroughly and precisely describes this type of transgressional existence of the spirit within otherness. In the “Phenomenology of Spirit” he talks about the disruption, absolute inessentiality of the essential, the state of disagreement and discord, hate and animosity: “Owing to this determinateness and negativity, the dispersion of spirit into the multiplicity of the passive plant−forms becomes a hostile process, in which the hatred stirred up by their independent self−existence rages and consumes. The actual self−consciousness at work in this dispersed and disintegrated spirit, takes the form of a multitude of individualized mutually−antipathetic folk− spirits, who fight and hate each other to the death, and consciously accept certain specific forms of animals as their essential being and nature: for they are nothing else than spirits of animals, or animal lives separate and cut off from one another, and with no universality consciously present in them” [11, p. 371]. The “dissociated multiplicity” [11, p. 373], transition into chaos [11, p. 133] comprise the necessary point of bifurcation of spirit, which allows transitioning into a new, higher formation.

In his other works Hegel gives various examples of this transgressional existence that eludes the spirit, concept and idea. Firstly, there is a disadvantageous reality, which reveals only a partial concordance with its concept. Thus, there is a bad plant, bad species of animals, a despicable human being, acephalous creatures, despotic states, and tyrannous governments [25, p. 732]. In all of these examples there is still a concept; otherwise it would be impossible to talk about a plant, animal, human, or state. But realization of a concept in this case carries a disadvantageous character. Secondly, there are various types of mixed and transitional forms in which there is a correlation of diverse certainties. Thus, there are hybrid types of animals, “which build the transition from one specific form to another, and intermix their shapes”, for instance the duckbill [26, p. 196]. There are intermediary, branching epos, such as romance and ballads that combine the epic and lyrical, or novels that combine the poetic and prosaic [26, p. 409-412]. Thirdly, there are borderline forms, which are not included into the movement of the spirit and thus comprise the external transgression with regards to spirit. Therefore, there is a limit to world history; entire continents, countries, and nations that do not take part in the historical movement of the spirit [27, p. 142-143].

The aforementioned multifarious forms of external transgression point to the limit of estrangement (Entfremdung) and alienation (Entäusserung) that can be reached by the spirit. It is the outer limits of otherness into which the spirit transitions. There are even farther boundaries that are on the other side of the spirit, concept and idea. It is life as abundance of establishment and games of powers mentioned by Nietzsche. It is the nomadic singularities, eluding the unity and universality of the concept spoken of by Gilles Deleuze [29]. For Hegel, the significance lies only in the segregation and separation that is the otherness of the spirit, concept and idea. As demonstrated earlier, the latter can be viewed as a certain form of will to power, comprising the internal intention of philosophy of the New era. The spirit again brings isolated and fixed certainties to a transgressional action, revealing their limit through the correlation with other certainties and in doing so points to the “necessity of their transition and passing away (Übergehens und Vergehens)” [25, p. 559]. That is how the kingdom of absolute spirit and absolute idea is established – through transgressive movement towards the ever richer and concrete determinateness: “…at each stage of further determination, the universal elevates the whole mass of its preceding content, not only not losing anything through its dialectical advance, or leaving it behind, but, on the contrary, carrying with itself all that it has gained, inwardly enriched and compressed” [25, p. 768-769].

This mechanism of self-establishment of the spirit and idea can be clarified with the help of the concept of enantiodromia.

3. Transgression as Untergang and enantiodromia

The transgression comprises the internal (in other cases – external) necessity of isolated moments. For the fixed determinateness, transgressional transition is the ultimate possibility: “The ripest maturity, the highest stage, that anything can attain is the one at which its fall begins (sein Untergang)” [25, p. 560]. With Nietzsche, transgression is portrayed as the highest capability of a man: “What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal: what can be loved in man is that he is a an over-going and down-going ” (dass er ein Übergang und ein Untergang)” [13, p.15].

“Untergang” means not only destruction or downfall, but also sunset. The latter definition is the original (including in the etymological sense). In “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” this word can be seen right at the beginning of the prologue: “Ich muß, gleich dir, untergehen , wie die Menschen es nennen, zu denen ich hab will” [14, p.4]. “Like you I have to go down, as men say, to whom I shall descend” [13, p. 11]. “Also began Zarathustra’s Untergang” [14, p.4]. The sunset does not mean destruction in the sense of total vanishing. It is a transition to a different stage, which alongside the destruction also contains a new beginning, a new dawn. The sunset is a transition into the opposite. Filled with superhuman wisdom, highest light of consciousness, Zarathustra wants to come down to people, to become a human himself («Zarathustra will wieder Mensch werden») [14, p.4]. The first transgression was the move to the mountains, going beyond the boundaries of all human. But now, this path has been walked and came the time of the second transgression: the transgression of superhuman towards human. The human must be transformed by the superhuman; from blinding light Zarathustra descends into darkness to transform it by the light. Thus, the transgression in this case is presented as sunset and destruction, as Untergang. The reached stage must be overcome, surpassed; it is necessary to sacrifice the established determinateness for the possibility of even greater and fuller determinateness. The parallel with Christ here is rather evident. The difference consists in the direction of the transgressive action: through destruction (Untergang), Christ ascends from human to divine and transforms the human by the divine origin. Zarathustra descends from the higher to the lower. His task is not to elevate the immanent to transcendent; that has already been done. His task is to erase the border between the immanent and the transcendent and give humanity the wisdom of Dionysus, the wisdom of transgression.

In his seminars on Nietzsche, Carl Jung interprets that place from “Zarathustra” as a transition from consciousness to a collective senseless for the purpose of conception of the enantiodromia movement: “He is going to produce the enantiodromia, he is going to supply mankind with what is lacking, with that which they hate or fear or despise, with that which the wise ones have lost, their folly, and the poor their riches. In other words he is going to supply the compensation” [30]. Thus unfolds the new aspect of transgression – enantiodromia.

Destruction (Untergang) of the established determinateness is preceded by a struggle of isolated moments for the strengthening and preservation of its separate existence. Substantiation of one moment leads to the situation where another moment will act as the opposite to the first. Such situation can be characterized as enantiodromia – Heraclitus’ term, which was used by Carl Jung in XX century to define instances of psychological opposites (when one-sided set of consciousness produces the opposite set within the unconsciousness) [31, p. 583-584].

In Hegel’s teachings enantiodromia is associated with positioning separate sides of the whole as the substance. Since a separate side does not represent the whole, rather comprises only a moment of the establishment of the whole, the enantiodromia emerges [11, p 221]. Hegel denotes this game of opposing individualities as Verstellung (rearrangement): “The way in which consciousness proceeds in this development, is to establish one moment and to pass directly from it to another, setting aside the first; but now, as soon as it has set up this second moment, it also sets it aside again, and really makes the opposite moment the essential one” [11, p. 330-331].

On the example of ethical world and ethical action, Hegel demonstrates the result of this movement of the opposites. Since neither of the side represent the substance of the whole in greater than the other, the only outcome of this struggle is destruction (Untergang) of both sides: “The opposition of the ethical powers to one another, and the process of the individualities setting up these powers in life and action, have reached their true end only in so far as both sides undergo the same destruction. For neither of the powers has any advantage over the other that it should be a more essential moment of the substance common to both. The fact of their being equally and to the same degree essential, and subsisting independently beside each other, means their having no separate self; in the act they have a self−nature, but a different self, which contradicts the unity of the self and cancels their claim to independent right, and thus brings about their necessary destruction” [11, p. 252].

Thus, enantiodromia produces the self-structuring of the spirit as the totality of self-consciousness. Confirmation as the substance of separate moments and their struggle leads to destruction, transgression of separate moments, and confirmation as the substance of the whole of these moments – spirit and self-consciousness. With regards to the moments, the whole (spirit) is the negative substance, since it deprives the moments of their independence. The spirit, which has returned to itself from being scattered into separate and contradicting each other moments, having absorbed these moments into itself, is the selfness (Selbst). Selfness is the transgressional unity of isolated moments contending for the status of substance.

Selfness (Selbst) represents the nodal concept in Nietzsche’s teachings, as well as Jung’s psychology. By Nietzsche, selfness is also constituted through transgression of the scattered parts: “What returns, what finally comes home to me, is my own self and what of myself has long been in strange lands and scattered among all things and accidents” [32, p. 108]. For Nietzsche, Selbst is not “I”; not in the sense of Cartesian tradition of the philosophy of the New era, nor in the sense of individuality. But for Nietzsche selfness is not the spirit either, since spirit in his teaching is only one of the parts of selfness by unlawfully contending for the status of substance, by wanting to be everything, while in reality being merely a moment. Thus Nietzsche goes beyond Hegel’s understanding of selfness as the spirit, and reveals new prospects of philosophizing. The spirit seizes to be the limit of transgressional movement and dissolves in the all-encompassing selfness. In this regard Jung’s understanding of selfness is closer to the teachings of Nietzsche, rather than Hegel. Jung’s selfness is the unity of “I” as a person and the unconscious, a unity that emerges as the result of enantiodromia [31, p. 553].

At the same time, despite the substantial differences, for Hegel, Nietzsche, and Jung the selfness represents not pre-set given, but a result of transgressional movement, establishment: “The true is the whole; the whole however is only the entity completing itself through its development. It should be said of the absolute that it is essentially result, that it is only in the end what it is in truth; and precisely in this consists its nature: to be actual, subject, or that which becomes itself” [11, p. 10]. A priori selfness is present only as opportunity and a task, or as that which is yet to be, but can emerge. With Hegel such selfness is the spirit, already realized into the New era, or pore precisely at the end of this era, at the moment of emergence of Hegel’s philosophy. In his “Phenomenology of Spirit” he describes an already completed process, retrospectively follows the history of establishment of the spirit as selfness. On the contrary, Nietzsche talks about what is yet to come: he means the selfness of a higher order, which will absorb the spirit as one of its own moments.

Jung calls the process of emergence of selfness – individuation. The starting point of this process of self-establishing is the absence of wholeness, disruption, and one-sidedness: “The single individual is incomplete Spirit, a concrete shape in existence one determinateness predominates, the others being present only in the blurred outline” [11, p.14]. “I wander among men as among the fragments and limbs of men. This is what is terrible for my eyes, that I find a man in ruins and scattered as over a battlefield or a butcher-field” [13, p. 145]. Emergence of the opposites, the enantiodromia, is completed by the formation of selfness as a unity of opposite sides, transgressive negation of isolated and scattered moments of selfness. A man, who holds only one certainty and embodies only one side of the capabilities of selfness as his substance, rises to the necessity to “become everything” [33] – become God, or overman, both of which suggest death of God as a condition.

4. Transgression as death of God

Towards the end of the “Phenomenology of Spirit”, Hegel raises the issue of death of God. He again turns to the examination of the “unhappy consciousness” as a condition necessary for establishment of selfness of a higher order. This “unhappy consciousness” is the “consciousness of the loss of all essence in this certainty of itself, and of the loss even of this knowledge of certainty of self – the loss of substance as well as of self; it is the bitter pain which finds expression in the hard words, God is dead (daß Gott gestorben ist )” [11, p. 400]. As Hegel utters those same words that later become sort of a business card of Nietzsche, the herald of the death of God: «Dieser alte Heilige hat in seinem Wald noch nicht davon gehört, daß Gotttodist» [14, p. 7].

By Hegel, death of God represents the expression of bidirectional transgression which we mentioned earlier. Death of God is firstly the “death of abstract divine essence (den Tod der Abstraktion des göttlichen Wesens )” [11, p. 419]: “substance becomes subject, by which its abstraction and lifelessness have expired” [11, p. 419]. The abstract divine origin transforms into material being: “divine being is reconciled with its determinate existence through an event, the event of the self-diremption of the divine being (Entäußerung des göttlichen Wesens) through its historical incarnation (Menschwerdung) and its death” [11, p. 418]. Thus, what takes place is a transgression of the divine towards human. The abstract God dies, becoming a specific individual man.

But this first transgression of the divine being, its death as externalization (Entäußerung) and incarnation (Menschwerdung) does not serve as the final point. God must die yet again, as a divine man, in order for the individual to transform into the whole. But this will not be an abstract universal, but a specific universal – a community, which became a real and universal self-consciousness, a spirit that knows itself: “The death of the divine man qua death is abstract negativity, the immediate result of the process that comes to an end only in the universality of nature. In spiritual self-consciousness, death loses its natural signification: it passes into the conception that has just been mentioned. Death is transfigured from what it immediately signifies, the nonbeing of this individual, into the universality of the spirit, which lives in its community, dies there daily and daily rises again” [11, p. 418]. Thus takes place the second transgression, second death of God: transgression of externalized and humanized divine substance towards the self-knowing spirit. God is not an abstract substance, and a separate man is not God; but a spiritual community, humanity, is God. Therefore, this dual transgression leads to the unity of divine and human nature: “divine nature is the same as the human (die göttliche Natur ist dasselbe, was die menschliche ist)” [11, p. 405].

Such is the result of mutual transgression of the divine and human in Hegel’s teachings. The unity of God and man by Hegel has been meticulously analyzed in the works of Ivan Ilyin [20]. This moment is also pointed out by Teodor Oizerman [34, p. 354-355]. This point will become the source of multitude of transformations of Hegel’s philosophy in the teachings of Young Hegelians, who continue to develop the idea of death of God in various forms [35]. Finally, in Nietzsche’s teachings this idea will obtain its most radical embodiment, becoming a repeat point in human history, a moment of its highest self-consciousness, and the horizon of emergence of a new man.

This is the conclusion of our research. Hegel’s dialectics does not represent the absolute equivalent of transgression. His teachings present merely one of the possible versions of structuring philosophy on the basis of the prospect of transgression, rather than transcendence, as was the case in the majority of the metaphysical systems. There are other possible paths of organizing philosophy on the basis of transgression, which we have attempted to demonstrate here, making an accent not only on the similarities, but also the drastic differences between Hegel’s and Nietzsche’s teachings.

Batai Zh. «Proklyataya chast'»: Sakral'naya sotsiologiya / Zh. Batai. – M.: Ladomir, 2006. – 742 s.
Tanatografiya Erosa: Zhorzh Batai i frantsuzskaya mysl' serediny KhKh veka. – SPb.: Mifril, 1994. – 346 s.
Zhizhek, S. Vnutrennyaya transgressiya. // Kabinet: Kartiny mira E. – SPb.: Skifiya, 2001. – S. 183-200.
Zenkin, S. Poetika transgressii / Novoe literaturnoe obozrenie – 2006 – № 78. – S 392-400.
Faritov V.T. Transtsendentsiya i transgressiya kak perspektivy diskursa // Fundamental'nye issledovaniya. – 2014. – № 11 (2). – S. 465-469.
Derrida Zh. Nevozderzhannoe gegel'yanstvo // Tanatografiya Erosa: Zhorzh Batai i frantsuzskaya mysl' serediny KhKh veka. – SPb.: Mifril, 1994. – S. 133-175.
Fuko M. Poryadok diskursa // Volya k istine: po tu storonu znaniya, vlasti i seksual'nosti. Raboty raznykh let / M. Fuko. – M.: Kastal', 1996. – S. 47-97.
Faritov V.T. Gegel' i poststrukturalizm: ot transtsendentsii k transgressii // Fundamental'nye issledovaniya. – 2014. – № 12 (7). – S. 1592-1596.
Ippolit Zh. Logika i sushchestvovanie. Ocherk logiki Gegelya / Zh. Ipollit. – SPb.: Vladimir Dal', 2006. – 320 s.
Khaidegger M. Gegel' / M. Khaidegger. – SPb.: Vladimir Dal', 2015. – 320 s.
Gegel' G.V.F. Fenomenologiya dukha G.V.F. Gegel'. – SPb.: Nauka, 2006. – 444 s.
Nitsshe F. K genealogii morali. Polemicheskoe sochinenie // Nitsshe F. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: V 13 tomakh. T. 5: Po tu storonu dobra i zla. K genealogii morali. Sluchai «Vagner» / F. Nitsshe. – M.: Kul'turnaya revolyutsiya, 2012. – S. 229-383.
Nitsshe F. Tak govoril Zaratustra. Kniga dlya vsekh i ni dlya kogo // Nitsshe F. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: V 13 tomakh. T. 4: Tak govoril Zaratustra. Kniga dlya vsekh i ni dlya kogo / F. Nitsshe. – M.: Kul'turnaya revolyutsiya, 2007. – 432 s.
Nietzsche, F. Also sprach Zarathustra / F. Niezsche. – SPb.: KORONA print, KARO, 2004. – 448 s.
Nitsshe F. Po tu storonu dobra i zla. Prelyudiya k filosofii budushchego // Nitsshe F. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: V 13 tomakh. T. 5: Po tu storonu dobra i zla. K genealogii morali. Sluchai «Vagner» / F. Nitsshe. – M.: Kul'turnaya revolyutsiya, 2012. – S. 7-229.
Delez Zh. Nitsshe i filosofiya / Zh. Delez. – M.: Ad Marginem, 2003. – 392 s.
Val' Zh. Neschastnoe soznanie v filosofii Gegelya / Zh. Val'. – SPb.: Vladimir Dal', 2006. – 334 s.
Kozhev A. Vvedenie v chtenie Gegelya. Lektsii po Fenomenologii dukha, chitavshiesya s 1933 po 1939 g. v Vysshei prakticheskoi shkole / A. Kozhev. SPb: Nauka, 2003 – 792 s.
Nitsshe F. Chernoviki i nabroski 1885-1887 gg. // Nitsshe F. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: V 13 tomakh. T. 12 / F. Nitsshe. – M.: Kul'turnaya revolyutsiya, 2005. – 560 s.
Il'in I.A. Filosofiya Gegelya kak uchenie o konkretnosti Boga i chelovek / I.A. Il'in. – SPb.: Nauka, 1994. – 544 s.
Delez, Zh. Skladka. Leibnits i barokko / Zh. Delez. – M.: Logos, 1997. – 264 s.
Faritov V.T. Transgressiya i transtsendentsiya v muzyke. Ontologicheskii analiz // Vestnik Tomskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. – 2013. – № 370. – S. 52-56.
Nitsshe F. Chernoviki i nabroski 1887-1889 gg. // Nitsshe F. Polnoe sobranie sochinenii: V 13 tomakh. T. 13 / F. Nitsshe. – M.: Kul'turnaya revolyutsiya, 2006. – 656 s.
Gaim R. Gegel' i ego vremya / R. Gaim. – SPb.: Nauka, 2006. – 394 s.
Gegel', G.V.F. Nauka logiki / G.F.V. Gegel'. – SPb.: Nauka, 2005. – 800 s.
Gegel', G.V.F. Estetika: V 2 t. T. I / G.F.V. Gegel'. – SPb.: Nauka, 2007. – 623 s.
Gegel', G.V.F. Estetika: V 2 t. T. II / G.F.V. Gegel'. – SPb.: Nauka, 2007. – 604 s.
Gegel', G.V.F. Lektsii po filosofii istorii / G.F.V. Gegel'. – SPb.: Nauka, 1993. – 480 s.
Delez, Zh. Logika smysla / Delez Zh. – M.: Akademicheskii proekt, 2011. – 472 s.
Yung K.G. Seminary o Nitsshe. Vesennii seminar 1934. Lektsiya 1. 2 maya 1934. [Elektronnyi resurs] // Castalia. Yungianstvo, okkul'tizm, transgressiya. URL: (data obrashcheniya: 15.05.2015).
Yung K.G. Psikhologicheskie tipy / K.G. Yung. – M.: Olimp; AST, 1998. – 720 s.
Nitsshe F. Tak govoril Zaratustra // Sochineniya. V dvukh tomakh: T. 2. / F. Nitsshe. – M.: RIPOL KLASSIK, 1998. – 846 s.
Batai Zh. Vnutrennii opyt / Zh. Batai. – SPb.: 1997. – 336 s.
Oizerman T.I. Kant i Gegel' (opyt sravnitel'nogo issledovaniya) / T.I. Oizerman. – M.: Kanon+ ROOI «Reabilitatsiya», 2008. – 520 s.
Levit, K. Ot Gegelya k Nitsshe. Revolyutsionnyi perelom v myshlenii devyatnadtsatogo veka. Marks i K'erkigor / K. Levit. – SPb.: Vladimir Dal', 2002. – 672 s.
Faritov V.T. Filosofskii i psikhologicheskii diskurs o dukhe (G.V.F. Gegel' i K.G. Yung: sravnitel'noe issledovanie) // Filosofiya i kul'tura. - 2015. - 2. - C. 251 - 259. DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2015.2.10635.
Faritov V.T. Transgressiya v filosofii Gegelya: ot Gegelya k Nitsshe // Filosofiya i kul'tura. - 2015. - 6. - C. 818 - 829. DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2015.6.15303.
Faritov V.T. Perspektivizm Nitsshe, filosofskaya teoriya diskursa i transgressiya // Filosofiya i kul'tura. - 2015. - 7. - C. 962 - 968. DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2015.7.14895.
Tsendrovskii O.Yu. Sistema filosofii Nitsshe // Filosofiya i kul'tura. - 2015. - 7. - C. 997 - 1007. DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2015.7.12000.
P.S. Gurevich Chto takoe negativnaya antropologiya? // Filosofiya i kul'tura. - 2013. - 3. - C. 275 - 278. DOI: 10.7256/1999-2793.2013.03.1.