Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lecture 26: Preface 59-60 Published

We're now just about rounding the last corner in the first lap of the Phenomenology -- the Preface.  Here, Hegel continues contrasting the dialectical approach he champions against the "argumentative" or "ratiocinative" approach in Philosophy.

In these sections he spells out the differences by looking at how some of the traditional classifications or functions of grammar, logic, and enquiry work with both approaches -- focusing on Subject, Predicate, and Accident.  How do we get from any of these to Substance. . .  and Notion or Concept (Begriff)?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lecture 25: Preface 56-58 Published

This is an interesting set of passages -- not that they aren't all, in the Phenomenology! 

I need to point out that there's a small error at the start of this video -- the very first slide has the previous lecture's (54-55) numbers rather than the present one.  But rest assured, this is indeed paragraphs 56, 57, and 58

One of the key things to look out for here is a new target of Hegel's critique of other, prevalent, but deficient modes of philosophical thinking -- what he calls Räsonieren, translated in Miller by "argumentation", "argumentative thinking", or "ratiocination".  This is the sort of approach that he will later discuss in terms of "skepticism" -- a use of human freedom towards whatever content is being developed or discussed to simply say "no" to it, by means of use of the understanding, though critique, analysis, argument. .  . .

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The View Count For the Series So Far

We're now in the seventh month of producing the Half-Hour Hegel video series -- with 24 videos released so far -- and we're getting near to the end of the very first portion of the lectures, that is, finishing up with Hegel's Preface to the Phenomenology.  There's about another 6-8 more yet to come, and then we'll move into the considerably shorter (paragraphs 73-89) Introduction.

YouTube allows one to create groups of videos, so that one can get the "analytics," or rather measurements, for just certain types, or in my case series, of videos, and today I decided to check what those numbers were for the Half-Hour Hegel lectures.

It's quite gratifying -- and a bit surprising -- to see them.  Since February 27 to today, the videos have been viewed about 28,000 times.  The very first one has garnered over 8,000 views, and as one can expect, the numbers scale downwards for the later ones -- they've not been out as long, so they've been viewed less. 

I also look at the "average view duration," which is around 10-15 minutes per video.  What this reflects is that there's some people who watch a video in its entirety, there's some who watch just a part of it, and there's many others who click on for a moment, and then leave (which includes me, when I'm posting the videos in social media!).  Given this average view duration, I think that it makes sense to interpret that raw 28,000 views number as really signifying something more like around 8,000-9,000 views that do indeed watch the whole lecture through.  One might conservatively estimate that perhaps 200-250 people have watched the entire sequence so far, with others dropping out along the way, or just popping in for a video here and there.

The sheer number of time people have spent either watching or listening is pretty staggering to think about -- over 300,000 minutes, roughly 208 full days!  That's a lot of time for people to be engaging the work of a difficult German thinker from two centuries past.  I'm not really sure at this point what to make of this information, I have to admit. . . .

Lecture 24: Preface 54-55 Published

We're now completely back on track with planning, shooting, and editing these Hegel course videos -- I managed to get three of them done last week, and am shooting footage for several more this coming week.  Releasing them at the pace of 1-2 installments each week is now back to being a viable plan.

In these sections, Hegel starts bringing some of the earlier discussed themes -- the characteristics of the dialectical philosophy he will be developing in the rest of the work -- to a crux:  the "identity of Being and Thought". 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Lecture 23: Preface 52-53 Published

We got back from Saas-Fee about a week-and-a-half ago, and I'm now back on schedule producing more Hegel content.  At this point, we're still deep in the Preface.

Here, Hegel refocuses his criticism on philosophical approaches that take the Understanding (Verstand -- also translatable as "intellect") and its approaches to phenomena as paradigmatic, in the process never really entering into the life of the phenomena they purport to study and order.