Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Schelling-Zizek: Mental State + Eternal Character -> Action

Adam Says: September 23rd, 2007 at 9:37 pm Meister Eckhart didn’t take as long as I thought! (The Defense against Heresy is apparently mostly retreads of other stuff.)
Daniel: I suppose it’s possible I’ve been confused about objective spirit. I hope I’m not too thoroughly confused about it, because I just had an essay come out that is based on Bonhoeffer’s use of the concept. In any case, I don’t have the Encyclopedia onhand and so can’t really carry this end of the conversation further.
John: I didn’t read your comment in its entirety before putting it off, and now I see that it’s mostly you bitching about how unfair I am to you in light of the shortness of your article. I would note that being personally annoyed by the amount of Lacan in Zizek is not the same as saying that Lacan is unimportant to understanding Zizek. (I also don’t buy Daniel’s “Lacan == Hegel, ergo….” Zizek is doing a Lacanian read of Hegel, which differs from the traditional reception. And in any case, John has never defended himself in that way, only expressed an understandable preference for dealing with the Hegel stuff.)
By “inwardness” I meant essentially that by means of which the subject stands in absolute relation to the absolute. (It may not be the exact terminology SK uses in Fear and Trembling, and if it’s not, I apologize.) Something incommunicable — “he cannot speak,” as I keep pointing out. In Zizek’s read of Lacan, there are two modalities of the subject — the “feminine,” which is the pure self-relating void, and the “masculine,” which is basically one’s “identity” as normally conceived (one’s social being). In Indivisible Remainder and some other places, Zizek claims that the “feminine” mode of subjectivity is ultimately identical to objet petit a — the traumatic kernel isn’t some solid “thing,” but is the subject’s “insane” eternal choice of character. In extreme situations — such as Abraham’s, I would argue — one is reduced to this incommunicable zero-level of subjectivity.
He works out the feminine/masculine things in terms of Descartes: the feminine is the abyss of radical doubt that even doubts whether he exists, and the masculine is the cogito ergo sum that allows him to dig himself out and found some kind of intelligible system. I don’t know for sure what page it’s on, but in Parallax he draws a comparison between Descartes and Kierkegaard in this regard.
I’m sure that’s still too compressed, but it’s something.
jholbo Says: September 23rd, 2007 at 11:08 pm “Being personally annoyed by the amount of Lacan in Zizek is not the same as saying that Lacan is unimportant to understanding Zizek.”
I never said - nor hinted - that Lacan was unimportant to Zizek, or to understanding Zizek. That would be a nutty thing to think. So I don’t see the fact that you don’t have this nutty opinion, and I don’t have this nutty opinion, as marking a clear line of distinction between our respective positions. I just said I tend to approve more, or disapprove less, of the bits that strike me as more Hegelian. (OK, I’m sorry to get exasperated. But just cut it out with saying the things that exasperate me.)
I am entirely happy with Daniel’s exposition of Hegel on objective spirit and would be content for Adam to address that. If Adam can address Daniel, my questions will be largely answered. “If what Zizek really wants to talk about is world-historical suspension of sittlichkeit, then Zizek and Kierkegaard aren’t concerned with the same topics.” This is my suspicion. The main criterion that separates Kierk. from Hegel, in this regard, is the idea of retroactively making sense of what you have been doing. Hegel is big on this, to put it mildly. Kierkegaard is insistent that this isn’t faith. Faith isn’t having it make sense, looking back, after it’s done. This is important.
Two minor points: I don’t insist that Hegel = Lacan. It is true that Zizek thinks that Hegelized Lacan and Lacanized Hegel makes for mutually reinforcing structures. So there is a certain heuristic value to Hegel = Lacan. Eh.
Daniel writes: “I think that Kierkegaard really may want to oppose this entire system; this is certainly how Holbo reads him. I’m not sure that Kierkegaard’s criticisms of “The System” are aimed at Hegel himself, but I think he does hold to some ideas which are opposed to Hegel’s.”
One thing that makes reading Kierkegaard against Hegel hard is that he is clearly addicted to the rhetoric of standing Hegel exactly on his head. This makes for wonderful jokes, which are spoiled by any attempt to come at Hegel at other than right angles. There isn’t any negotiation of ‘well, I sort of agree with Hegel about Ethics, but not about Faith.’ By way of exactly disagreeing about faith, K. has to pose as if he agrees perfectly about ethics, so as to throw the disagreement about faith into absolutely stark relief. So I just say ‘Ethics’ and let it float, not committing to the snap-to-grid 90 degree angles of the rhetorical frame. But it’s important that it isn’t going to float off that point that Daniel makes, above. Which is the main point.
Adam, I’ll have to think about the ‘inwardness’ point. I still don’t really get it. Following up on a comment at the Weblog, I think “The Indivisible Remainder” should have been entitled “The Invisible Reminder” That makes more sense.
Adam Says: September 24th, 2007 at 8:03 am You just seemed to be placing undue emphasis on my remark.
All I can say is that Zizek doesn’t understand Hegel to be saying that objective spirit really is this universal all-encompassing thing — just that in order to work, it has to be regarded as such. Every historical era is “the end of history” from its own perspective and can’t help but view itself that way. Your reading of objective spirit is “Althusserian” — subjects are brought into existence by and for ideology. In Zizek’s Lacanian reading, the subject can always “opt out” in psychosis or in the self-directed negative act that Zizek calls the “properly ethical” — the social subject is the product of the primordial subject’s unconscious choice to submit to ideology (which includes basically all the things that Hegel classes under objective spirit).
Daniel appears to have read The Indivisible Remainder — isn’t the account of the rise of the big Other “Hegelian” or dialectical in its approach? The big Other arises out of the mutual deadlock among subjects, but in order for it to function, it has to be posited as “eternal,” always-already there. I understand this to be compatible with what I have read of Hegel, though obviously not with the traditional reading of Hegel, and I unfortunately remain unable to engage you at the level of detail that you have given me — and I’m sorry about that. All I can say is that Zizek’s reading of Hegel on this point seems plausible to me.
Daniel Says: September 24th, 2007 at 10:36 am The Encyclopedia is actually online:
It’s lacking the Zusatze, but Miller didn’t translate those for anything after about halfway through “Psychology” anyway; his thinking was that if you wanted detail on “Objective Spirit” you could check the “Philosophy of Right”, and if you wanted more on “Absolute Spirit” Hegel’s lectures on Art/Religion/History of Philosophy had been translated already.
The tail-end of Holbo’s “Short Article is Short” rant actually did have some substance. He asked a question at the very end. Skipping the rest was probably an OK thing to do; Holbo seemed to be losing his temper, so it seems charitable to just let him get it out of his system and then go on.
I have not read The Indivisible Remainder in its entirety. I had an evening to kill at a bookstore; catching up on Yotsuba&! volumes hadn’t taken as long as I thought it would. Barnes & Noble had a copy of “The Indivisible Remainder” for some reason (as its only Zizek book, even), so I figured I’d check it out, since you keep speaking so highly of it. I read several pages into the first part, hit an argument that struck me as bad in a particularly toxic way, and skipped to the second part, which I read most of, but don’t recall very well at this point. So, a half-step above skimming. Sorry to disappoint, but I don’t recall the origin of the “Big Other” given in that work; the summary you give sounds vaguely like something Hegel might say, but it also sounds like something Fichte might say, or even “social contract” theorists. One should not put too much weight on “sounds dialectical.”
I do recall the argument which struck me so badly: It was attributed to Schelling. Zizek notes that a subject has a variety of beliefs, desires, and other mental states of various sorts at any given moment. But these are not sufficient to motivate action: Given all that I believe etc., I could still do either p or ~p. Thus Schelling claims that we must also appeal to “eternal Character” to explain action: So-and-so is the sort of person to do this in this case. What struck me was that Schelling-Zizek simply rushed to say that (for instance) “I should like a drink of water” is not sufficient motivation for my getting a drink of water (since I could opt not to satisfy my thirst). But this is not the case in all cases — when I do get a drink of water, I often do it because I wanted a drink of water. My belief that I should like a drink of water caused my action, the getting of a drink of water. (Or if you prefer, my desire for a drink of water caused me to get a drink; there is no reason we cannot say both.) My mental states can be sufficient to cause me to act. A given mental state does not necessitate any given action, is what Zizek-Schelling notice; they conclude that there must be some additional element in action. But this is to fail to canvass all possibilities. In effect, Schelling-Zizek notice that there are no natural laws which go from mental states to actions, and conclude that there must be additional elements which can be added to mental states to produce the needed laws: Mental State + Eternal Character -> Action.
But there is another possibility: The anomalism of the mental. There are no laws of nature governing thought, because to use “law of nature” talk we must also use talk of mental states, and so mind-talk cannot be reduced to nature-talk, or replaced with it. And there is no reason for this to preclude the causal efficacy of mental states. Not all causal relations need to be instantiations of covering laws; the belief that they do is what McDowell calls (in “Functionalism and Anomalous Monism”) the “fourth dogma of empiricism”: “The Nomological Character of Causality.”
Or, if you want to hang onto your fourth dogma (Davidson did, for reasons I haven’t been able to puzzle out), there is Davidson’s “anomalous monism.” Each mental event is token-token identical to a physical event, and there are covering laws governing all physical causal relations. Thus mental events are involved in causal relations, since the same event can be characterized in both physical-talk and in mental-talk. But mental events cannot be talked about in nomological terms; law-talk is not suited for the task demanded of it. We need talk of propositional attitudes as support for any talk of the objective world at all, and thus also for talk of natural laws. Thus an absence of strict psychological laws, yet the causal efficacy of the mental is retained. (The locus classicus for this doctrine is Davidson’s “Mental Events”; in “Three Varieties of Knowledge” he does a much better job in arguing for the anomalism of the mental. ME is in “Essays on Actions and Events” and also “The Essential Davidson”; “Three Varieties of Knowledge” is in “Objective, Subjective, Intersubjective”. McDowell’s “Functionalism and Anomalous Monism” is in his “Mind, Value, and Reality”.)
I could go on about this longer, but you get the general idea. If you don’t, then this is probably a good thing to discuss.
I regard the anomalism of the mental as something very important to take note of; missing it can cause one to produce a great deal of bad metaphysical speculation. It appears to me from what you’ve written above that this has likely happened in Zizek’s case (if not in Lacan’s): a second “subject” is posited to explain why there don’t appear to be any mental laws, just as with Schelling’s “Eternal Character”. But a proper understanding of the propositional attitudes, of the relations which hold between belief, action, reasons, causes, the world etc., leaves one without the compulsion to posit the additional entity. The ordinary subject doesn’t need to “withdraw” anywhere to be free from nomological constraints, because there is no point at which it is not already free of such imaginary shackles. Hegel speaks of the relation between will and freedom as being like the relation between a body and weight — an unfree will would be no will at all.
Kotsko: “All I can say is that Zizek doesn’t understand Hegel to be saying that objective spirit really is this universal all-encompassing thing — just that in order to work, it has to be regarded as such. Every historical era is “the end of history” from its own perspective and can’t help but view itself that way.”– it occurs to me that any interpretation which leads to ascribing an “error view” of some sort to Hegel should be suspect. Hegel is not one to maintain a strong demarcation between what appears to us to be so and what simply is.
More substantively, Hegel does not think that all ages regard themselves as the “end of history”. Philosophical world-history is a novel development in the development of historicizing; indeed, Hegel says it is so far only practiced in Germany during his own time. It is the distinctive mark of this “highest” form of historical reflection that it knows historical development as self-directed, as guided by an internal telos. Hegel argues that the only telos which can do the required work in guiding our understanding of history is freedom, as other notions would simply be external purposes; Hegel is a critic of all external teleology, following Kant. And freedom reaches its fullest development in the modern state. Hegel repeatedly says that the Greeks did not know freedom; this was the failure of Aristotle, simply that he was born in Ancient Greece rather than Lutheran Germany. The idea of freedom only comes into play with Christianity; even the Stoics still had a flawed notion of it, since for the Stoic man as such was not free, but only man insofar as he was a sage. After the rise of modern civil society and the spread of Protestantism in religion etc. there is no longer any in-principle reason for man to be alienated from nature or society, to not know himself as freedom. Any further “historical” development will be the working-out of the modern political ideal which is already known: Man is and ought to be free. Thus history, as the self-development of freedom, has ended with modern society.
“Your reading of objective spirit is “Althusserian” — subjects are brought into existence by and for ideology.” — Here I think the assimilation of Hegel to a later figure has again caused a misunderstanding. As I understand the term, “Ideology” seems too rigid to do the work of Hegel’s “Objective Spirit.” Ideology is something basically static, given; I am born into an ideology, which governs me, moulds me, makes me who I am. But this again makes it seem as if it is something basically over and against me; whereas I am a novel moment of Objective Spirit, always with my own particular will, my own personal idiosyncrasies, my own novel familial and social relations etc. “Objective Spirit” is the actuality of the Idea, and the Idea is ever-active, ever unfolding itself out of itself; “The chalice of this realm of spirits/ flows forth to God his own infinity”, to quote the closing verse of the Phenomenology.
As I understand it, “ideology” is something more or less constant: Thus ideology always attempts to continue itself, but sometimes fails to produce the subjects it intended, and in this way do ideologies rise and fall. Objective Spirit does not try to maintain its previous shape, but fail; it tries and succeeds to develop itself as concrete freedom. I may be misunderstanding you on “ideology”; I tend not to use the term, and so may be missing some subtleties to it.
“In Zizek’s Lacanian reading, the subject can always “opt out” in psychosis or in the self-directed negative act that Zizek calls the “properly ethical” — the social subject is the product of the primordial subject’s unconscious choice to submit to ideology (which includes basically all the things that Hegel classes under objective spirit).” Here Zizek seems to be thinking of Hegel’s “infinite power of the negative”; the power of Spirit to abstract itself from all content that is given to it. (I don’t have my books on-hand at the moment, so I can’t place this more precisely.) But for Hegel this is not a way of escaping from Objective Spirit; it is a moment of it. The recoil from the “given” is part of the development of freedom, and Objective Spirit is the actuality of the Idea in its freedom. And of course I’ve already made another criticism above, that Zizek wouldn’t feel the need to talk this way if he took notice of the anomalous nature of the mental.
Adam Says: September 24th, 2007 at 10:51 am Daniel, I’m not sure how different this “anomalous nature of the mental” is from what Zizek is doing. He’s not positing the primordial subject as some kind of homunculus — it’s the power of the negative. What is added between mental states and acts is just a gap, not a separate entity.
We’re getting to the point of having such long comments that I’m tempted to just point you toward Zizek’s most detailed reading of Hegel, in For they know not, and ask you to get back to me once you’ve gotten a chance to read it. (If that doesn’t seem assholish.) And I’ll go do a more intensive reading of Hegel (in and for himself) while you’re getting around to that, and we can talk again. I’ve read a good chunk of Hegel and a few commentators other than Zizek, but I’m not yet at the point where I feel comfortable throwing around Hegel at the level of specificity you’re using.
Daniel Says: September 24th, 2007 at 3:08 pm The point of the anomalism of the mental is that there needn’t be any such gap to accommodate freedom, Hegel’s “infinite power of the negative”. The mental as such is already the space of freedom. There is no need for an addition, even the addition of a “gap.”
Recommending we “hit the books” and get back to this stuff later doesn’t seem assholish at all at this point, though I have no idea when I’ll get around to reading any given thing; my backlog is legion.
As for reading Hegel intensively: I’d recommend focusing more on the Encyclopedia Logic and the Philosophy of Spirit. Hegel wrote the Encyclopedia volumes for use as textbooks for his lectures, so they’re quite a bit more readable than the Science of Logic or the Phenomenology. The Encyclopedia Logic also has the advantage of having a fairly-recent Hackett translation, which means plenty of handy footnotes, annotations, etc.; I’ve never been able to understand why Miller was so stingy with footnotes. Hegel’s text benefits from having constant reminders about what terms were used in the German.
(The translators’ introductions to the Encyclopedia Logic are great, too. Just reading their arguments over how to translate various terms does a lot to spell out how Hegel’s using them. It also explains how in the hell “ob-ject” was deemed fit for print.)
Also, to be assholish, Davidson is seriously fantastic and you should read him if you haven’t already. “On The Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme” is one of the best essays ever written. “A Nice Derangement of Epitaphs” is also terrific, and by the time I was through with it I was pretty much sold on all things Davidsonian. And I really do think it’s relevant to the sort of things you’re interested in.
Adam Says: September 24th, 2007 at 3:20 pm I’ve been eying the new edition of the Encyclopedia Logic for a while now. But I’ve heard that the other translations out of the Encyclopedia are pretty shitty — any idea whether this is the case? I don’t want to be a light-weight, after all: if I’m to read the Encyclopedia, I’m going to read the damn Philosophy of Nature, too.
If you’re going to take a long time, though, maybe I will have the chance to “bone up” on German and just read it straight.
abb1 Says: September 24th, 2007 at 3:34 pm BTW, Russian revolution of 1917: to Lenin it wasn’t a Russian revolution, it was merely the beginning of a world revolution. Russia was the weakest link in the imperialist chain; break it and the whole thing falls apart. I’m not sure this is in contradiction with the original marxism. “Socialism in One Country” sure is, but that was Stalin’s thesis.
Daniel Says: September 24th, 2007 at 3:50 pm The Miller Philosophy of Spirit is readable, which is always a plus. And it’s the only one on the market; apparently someone translated the section on Subjective Spirit back in the ’80s, but it’s a rare book and runs about $150, last I checked. I remember Kenneth Westphal complained about the Miller translation in one of his articles, but all of his criticisms were fairly minor: basically, the Zusatze need updating.
There are some really terrible older translations of the Encyclopedia Logic, at least; some of them are mentioned in the translators’ introduction to the Hackett. One of them translated most of Hegel’s technical vocabulary literally: Daseyn was “There-Being”. Given the sheer amount of technical vocabulary Hegel accumulates, you can guess how well this worked out.
I have no idea if the translation of the Philosophy of Nature is any good, nor do I care. Nor does anyone. All of the the secondary stuff I’ve read on the PoN has fallen into one of two categories: 1) Utterly worthless dreck whose authors should be ashamed of themselves; 2) an article by Terry Pinkard about why the PoN is justly neglected, and what its irrelevance tells us about the relation between Nature and Spirit. Pinkard pointed out that Hegel’s attempts to unify mechanism, chemism, and organism went on a few years before the accidental distillation of urea, which rather revolutionized ideas about the relationship between “organic” and “inorganic” matters. This is just as well, since there are a few places in the PoN where Hegel just says “We still have a lot to learn about this subject” and moves on to the next heading. This is not a sign that Hegel’s strategy was going as planned.
Good luck on learning German, though. I’ve done a piss-poor job at maintaining my Greek and Latin, so I’ve more or less resigned myself to reading works in translation. Luckily the German Idealists are pretty well-represented, here; the only Kantian works which still need translating are some lecture notes on random subjects and parts of his Reflexionen. The Cambridge edition of the Opus Postumum is actually said to be superior to any German edition, just because the Cambridge folk did better critical work on the manuscripts.
Adam Says: September 24th, 2007 at 4:04 pm I already “know” German — the problem is getting it up to speed so that I can read comfortably. I’ve already achieved that level in French, so I know it’s possible in principle.
My readings in patristics have made me fond of outdated scientific schemes, but maybe an early modern one wouldn’t be different enough to be interesting. (Sometimes I’ve pondered becoming a crank who defends Plato’s Timaeus instead of creationism, just for the sake of generating controversy on blogs.)
Anthony Paul Smith Says: September 24th, 2007 at 4:08 pm I only have a, at best, passing interest in Hegel, but doesn’t Stephen Houlgate’s work make some hoopla about the philosophy of nature as an important neglected aspect? Isn’t he good?
I could be way off since looking at his faculty page this information I thought I was remembering is not there. Still… is he one of the cranks?
Daniel Says: September 24th, 2007 at 5:07 pm Can’t say; haven’t read Houlgate. He does appear to be who you were thinking of:
I’m not sure why this book isn’t on his faculty page. Must just be a “selected works” list rather than a CV. (Why do people do this? Is it that hard to throw up a CV if you’re going to throw up anything?)
I suppose the PoN is bound to be better than it’s generally taken to be; it can’t possibly be worse. Though the Amazon description for Houlgate’s book does not fill me with hope; trying to develop Kant’s “Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science” in a positive way can’t end well. The “Metaphysical Foundations” is a trainwreck. (See Kenneth Westphal, “Kant’s Transcendental Proof of Realism” for an excellent analysis of just how badly Kant’s project goes here; Gordon Brittain tried to defend Kant’s book in “Kant’s Theory of Science”, but mainly succeeded in writing a fine book discussing a lot of Kantian themes in light of Quine. Brittain did not actually do much to dispel worries that Kant’s project in “Metaphysical Foundations” was a bad one from the get-go. Though again: “Kant’s Theory of Science” was a good book. The same can’t be said for the “Metaphysical Foundations.”)
Anthony Paul Smith Says: September 24th, 2007 at 5:39 pm Seeing as how I fancy myself a philosopher of nature I should probably read some of this old German stuff, but I just can’t and your descriptions really aren’t fostering any desire to do so either.
I’ll just stick with my assumption that the real philosophy of nature starts in 1907.
Scene points go to those who can figure out my reference.
sputnik Says: September 24th, 2007 at 9:22 pm Holbo: But then it will just be like Scotty fixing the warp drive, even though the manual says it can’t possibly work. That is, it is just good old never-say-die, can-do spirit. If it is not like that, then why is it good?
there is a big difference between ‘never say die, can-do spirit’ and ’spirit overcoming despair through the possibility of eternity-in-time.’ The latter is a very different sense of ‘never say die’. Kierkegaard is the latter, Lenin is the former. So that’s the objection.
Much more than Lacan’s nuance, the point is that if we assume the unconscious/real we can’t know the difference between ‘can-do spirit’ (?) and ‘spirit overcoming despair through the possibility of eternity-in-time.’ It means this even if the difference makes a BIG difference, which is Holbo’s claim. Even Kant thought that our ‘inner and outer experience’ were divided such that we can never know for sure the “purity” of the maxims of our own action, let alone the actions of anyone else. Holbo’s position assumes it is accurately/reliably possible to tell the difference (as he does between Stalin and Lenin), if not practically, at least in theory. In general, the main antagonism between Adamb and Holbo’s positions is that Holbo’s doesn’t take into account the concept of the unconscious, while Adam’s does (as does Zizek, of course) It is in this sense that Adam’s point about the big Other is valid, and why Holbo doesn’t respond. Simply put, Adam is considering Kierkegaard in light of the “Freudian Experience” and Holbo is not.
Holbo: “I don’t get why inwardness should equal objet petit a in this way”
Because he does take account of the unconscious. Psychoanalysis is very interesting. It is its own leap of faith in a way.


  1. What a startlingly cool blog.

    Okay, so why aren't you using Petry's translations of Natur and Geist? They're fine -- as are Miller's, btw. If your German is weak, read between the lines in both. Ken W is just being Ken. Look, sometimes it's okay to translate Erscheinungen as Appearances... so long as you know what Hegel was trying to say in the German. He's right about some of the translation difficulties but then translating Hegel is always a menace.

    Petry's exhaustive and exhausting cataloging of the zusaetze is wonderful and his end notes are enough to cause any achaelogist of philosophical texts to order another round of drinks for the house. He made some editorial decisions to restructure the texts as presented, in places, more in line with Hegel's 1827 edition, than the 1830 -- which I think was a huge mistake -- but then, scholarship is funny.

    And speaking as one of about 10 people in the last 100 years to actually have read the Philosophy of Nature, you're right: it has a more interesting and important role within the system than it's usually given credit for. Houlgate's compendium from the Washington HSA meetings is pretty good, generally, although Bill Maker and Ed Halper's articles still make me wonder about how many hours Bill's spent riding without a helmet. I went to school with Ed and he's really an Aristotelian. :^)

    My sense of the PN is that it's the safety valve of contingency within the overall system.... most of the authors who haven't dipped into the Encyclopedia or (who haven't read beyond Reason in the Phenomenology), seem to miss the role of contingency in Hegel's thinking.

    If you're really interested, I have a couple of articles in the Owl on the structure of dialectic in nature. Those might help. Larry Stepelevich's discussion of Space (can't remember where he published that just now) was great as are Petry's discussions... oh, as is Michelet's forward to the PN published in the Petry edition.

    Nice to meet you.


  2. First: I would never have seen this comment if it weren't for a random Googling; the Sri Auribendio guy just copy/pastes things he likes from other blogs. I'm rather flattered that I was worth copy/pasting, but it still strikes me as kinda creepy. (This is to say: I will probably not see anything you post here. If by chance you see this and want to respond, it would probably be better to just drag up the old thread at An Und Fur Sich. Or something on my own blog, SOH-Dan.)

    I don't read the Petry translations because I can't afford them. Miller has (relatively) cheap paperbacks. Petry has multi-volume sets that run in the hundreds of dollars. Simple as that.

    I would be happy to end up with a friendlier view of the PoN. I'm not sure why the PoN would be a particularly natural place to find a "safety valve" of contingency, but I agree that Hegel's handling of necessity & contingency is often misunderstood by commentators.