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The Self-Emptying SubjectKenosis and Immanence, Medieval to Modern$
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Alex Dubilet

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279463

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279463.001.0001

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Hegel’s Annihilation of Finitude

Hegel’s Annihilation of Finitude

(p.123) Chapter 4 Hegel’s Annihilation of Finitude
The Self-Emptying Subject

Alex Dubilet

Fordham University Press

The fourth chapter returns to Hegel’s 1802 essay Faith and Knowledge in order to argue that for Hegel, as for Eckhart, finitude must never be affirmed as primary, but understood only as an abstraction that breaks apart the impersonal, immanent process that exceeds any given finite appropriation. As a consequence, the chapter suggests interpreting Hegel’s call for the annihilation of finitude, found in numerous guises throughout his writing, as a way to subvert the very correlation between finitude and ineffable transcendence, between the self and the other. Indeed, the annihilation of finitude forms part of a more general conceptual lexicon of operations, including self-emptying, that seek to withdraw the primacy of subjective finitude in thought and life. As such, it suggests that Hegel should be read as offering a proleptic critique of Levinas’s philosophy of alterity and transcendence. At the same time, insofar as Hegel’s speculative perspective is an attempt to present thought and life as infinite and immanent processes, the chapter suggests that we must reinsert Hegel into a genealogy of immanence that would include not only Eckhart, but also figures such as Spinoza and Deleuze.

Keywords:   annihilation, finitude, Hegel, immanence, metaphysics of subjectivity

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