Kierkegaard on the Hegelian Triumph over the Principle of Non-Contradiction

Ok, last one I promise:

As is well-known, Hegelian philosophy has canceled the principle of contradiction, and Hegel himself has more than once emphatically held judgment day on the kind of thinkers who remained in the sphere of understanding and reflection and who have therefore insisted that there is an either/or. Since that time, it has become a popular game, so that as soon as someone hints at an aut/aut [either/or] a Hegelian comes riding trip-trap-trap on a horse … and wins a victory and rides home again.

Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, ed. and trans. Hong and Hong (1972), 304-5.

Just sharing because I guffawed aloud in my office when reading this. It reminded me of the pride I myself sometimes take in shooting down someone’s arguments over the Internet with reference to some authority, which I have often done in a patronising way. That is to say, I’ve got some work to do there.

As far as I know, Hegel could oppose the law of non-contradiction, e.g., “the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive,” because such the law overlooks the dialectical nature of propositions in which both a thesis (statement) and antithesis (negation of that statement) are ultimately included in a synthesis (higher unity of thesis and antithesis in which the truths of both are affirmed). Correct me if I’m wrong!


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