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Spirit, Qi, and the MultitudeA Comparative Theology for the Democracy of Creation$
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Hyo-Dong Lee

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823255016

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823255016.001.0001

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From the Divine Idea to the Concrete Unity of the Spirit

From the Divine Idea to the Concrete Unity of the Spirit

Hegel’s Shapes of Freedom and the Domination of Nature

(p.122) 5 From the Divine Idea to the Concrete Unity of the Spirit
Spirit, Qi, and the Multitude

Hyo-Dong Lee

Fordham University Press

This chapter compares Toegye’s dynamic Great Ultimate with Hegel’s ontological ultimate, the logical Idea. Hegel’s Idea is an “idealistic” analogue to Toegye’s Great Ultimate in the sense that it marries a recognition of the ontological ultimacy of multiplicity with a devalued understanding of nature’s multiply concrete agencies. Hegel’s Idea consists in an unceasing dialectical movement of the universal One positing the other of itself, namely, the particular Many, and reuniting itself with the other to produce the singular or individual as internally differentiated unities of multiplicity. Even with this recognition of the ontological ultimacy of multiplicity, however, because Hegel defines Nature as the other of the logical Idea, that is, as the principle of mutually indifferent particularity and dispersion into chaotic nothingness, he exhibits a tendency to devalue the embodied self-creativity of the multitude of finite spirits emerging from and inhabiting nature— a tendency shared by Toegye.

Keywords:   Hegel, logical Idea, spirit, nature, Toegye, li, pattern, qi, psychophysical energy, Great Ultimate

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