Sunday, August 5, 2012

Hegel: Quality and Quantity Dialectic

The following quotes are taken from Hegel's Science of Logic and The Shorter Logic.
"Determinate Being is Being with a character or mode — which simply is; and such unmediated character is Quality." - Shorter Logic
"Quality may be described as the determinate mode immediate and identical with Being...A something is what it is in virtue of its quality, and losing its quality it ceases to be what it is." - Shorter Logic
"A thing is what it is, only in and by reason of its limit. We cannot therefore regard the limit as only external to being which is then and there. It rather goes through and through the whole of such existence." - Shorter Logic
"The view of limit, as merely an external characteristic of being-there-and-then, arises from a confusion of quantitative with qualitative limit. Here we are speaking primarily of the qualitative limit. If, for example, we observe a piece of ground, three acres large, that circumstance is its quantitative limit. But, in addition, the ground is, it may be, a meadow, not a wood or a pond. This is its qualitative limit." - Shorter Logic
"In something, its limit as quality is essentially its determinateness. If, however, by limit we mean quantitative limit, then when, for example, a field alters its limit it still remains what it was before, a field. If on the other hand its qualitative limit is altered, then since this is the determinateness which makes it a field, it becomes a meadow, wood, and so on. A red, whether brighter or paler, is still red; but if it altered its quality it would cease to be red, would become blue or some other colour." - The Science of Logic
"If we take a closer look at what a limit implies, we see it involving a contradiction in itself, and thus evincing its dialectical nature. On the one side limit makes the reality of a thing; on the other it is its negation." - Shorter Logic
"The transition from Quality to not found in our ordinary way of thinking, which deems each of these categories to exist independently beside the other. We are in the habit of saying that things are not merely qualitatively, but also quantitatively defined; but whence these categories originate, and how they are related to each other, are questions not further examined." - Shorter Logic
"If we proceed to consider their quantity, we get the conception of an indifferent and external character or mode, of such a kind that a thing remains what it is, though its quantity is altered, and the thing becomes greater or less." - Shorter Logic
"On the one hand, the quantitative features of existence may be altered, without affecting its quality. On the other hand, this increase and diminution, immaterial though it be, has its limit, by exceeding which the quality suffers change. Thus the temperature of water is, in the first place, a point of no consequence in respect of its liquidity: still with the increase of diminution of the temperature of the liquid water, there comes a point where this state of cohesion suffers a qualitative change, and the water is converted into steam or ice." - Shorter Logic
"the alterations of being in general are not only the transition of one magnitude into another, but a transition from quality into quantity and vice versa, a becoming-other which is an interruption of gradualness and the production of something qualitatively different from the reality which preceded it. Water, in cooling, does not gradually harden as if it thickened like porridge, gradually solidifying until it reached the consistency of ice; it suddenly solidifies, all at once. It can remain quite fluid even at freezing point if it is standing undisturbed, and then a slight shock will bring it into the solid state." - The Science of Logic

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