I’d like to make clear what I hoped I’d strongly implied in the essay (but perhaps not):

If Hegel is right (or at least has something to tell us on the matter), then a) dialectic is a kind of inductive reasoning, drawing general conclusions from particular instances; b) dialectic is the logical structure underlying narrative, ie., stories; c) narrative is a necessary and inevitable means for the mind to make sense of certain experiences; d) comparison of variant narratives of similar experiences will reveal common themes leading to the same general conclusion.

Now, we’ve learned since that differing stories do not necessarily hold together, and that some narratives do not even ‘make sense’ within themselves. Nonetheless, we can certainly learn from Hegel something about the use of narrative in making sense of the world, and of ourselves, and of history per se.

The Electric Agora

E. John Winner

The knowledge, which is at the start or immediately our object, can be nothing else than just that which is immediate knowledge, knowledge of the immediate, of what is. We have, in dealing with it, to proceed, too, in an immediate way, to accept what is given, not altering anything in it as it is presented before us, and keeping mere apprehension free from conceptual comprehension. (…) This bare fact of certainty, however, is really and admittedly the abstractest and the poorest kind of truth. It merely says regarding what it knows: it is; and its truth contains solely the being of the fact it knows. (…) In the same way the certainty qua relation, the certainty “of” something, is an immediate pure relation; consciousness is I – nothing more, a pure this; the individual consciousness knows a pure this, or knows what is individual. [1]

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