Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The owl of minerva

"Philosophy never was the owl of Minerva that takes flight after history has been realized in order to celebrate its happy ending. Hegel was quite clear on the point in the Philosophy of Right:

"Only one word more concerning the desire to teach the world what it ought to be. For such a purpose philosophy at least always comes too late. Philosophy, as the thought of the world, does not appear until reality has completed its formative process, and made itself ready. History thus corroborates the teaching of the conception that only in the maturity of reality does the ideal appear as counterpart to the real, apprehends the real world in its substance, and shapes it into an intellectual kingdom. When philosophy paints its grey in grey, one form of life has become old, and by means of grey it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known. The owl of Minerva, takes its flight only when the shades of night are gathering."

The ideal is within the real in a mature form of life. Philosophy reflects on a form of life grown old and it does so as a mode of historical knowing.

The shades of night are falling on modernity and philosophy reflects on the movement of the ideal and the real in this form to understand the world forming.That new world is what Hardt and Negri call Empire."

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