In the process of Logic’s and Metaphysics’ education, the fundamental principle that has to be grasped as an implacable prerequisite, is the principle of identity. The principle has two fundamental instantiations: the formal one and the non-formal one. The choice for one or the other has implications regarding the very propaedeutic of the educable since he cannot devise any ultimate meaning of this principle, especially in Metaphysics, if the educable does not begin to thematize the very transformation of his/her own thought by the mutations that the rethinking of this principle supposes. Therefore, Hegel is our choice in this matter since he is the thinker who, by definition has conceived this matter as a question of subject and object coincidence, thus, any change that the object incurs, is already inscribed in the inner economy of the subject’s thought too. As a consequence, our discussion will take into consideration only the speculative variant of the non-formal actualizations of the identity principle, and we shall not discuss G. Priest’s dialetheism that we reject. Hegelian methodology is, thusly, substantiated by the very endeavor of thinking the issue of the concepts that are taken into consideration — there is no difference, for Hegel, between the method of arriving at the object of research and the object; the method is the object, and the object is the method because they are the very paths that reveal the inner power of reflection and the substance of the conceiving subject: in Metaphysics the subject conceives himself, and this activity is the very object and the very method that are scrutinized.
The coincidence between subject, object and method are to be discussed from a propaedeutic point of view in another paper. In the present paper we shall only discuss the principle of identity which is here to be taken into consideration in its first fundamental occurrence, that of metaphysical Ontology as it is engaged by Hegel in the Science of Logic. We shall hereby discuss the problem of the originary thinking by Hegel of Being, Nothing and Becoming. In the economy of Hegelian thought these instantiations and their speculative dialectics are engaged by the implicit supposition of a non-formal principle of identity. Though the proper instantiation of the principle of identity is discussed by Hegel in his second part of the Science of Logic (the chapter of Essence), this occurrence is decisively settled with the beginning of the first chapter of the Science of Logic (Being) where Hegel initiates the beginning of philosophy as beginning of thinking; and the beginning of thinking is discussed as absolute ontological beginning. Therefore, in a swift analysis we are hereby clearing a few aspects concerning the Hegelian ontology and its suppositions towards the identity principle. Is Being correctly assumed as purely abstract and void of determinations? Is Being coincidentally postulated as identical with Nothing? Is there a superior unity between Being and Nothing? Is Being’s and Nothing’s difference an ontological irreducible difference? What is Becoming? The conclusions to these questions should be illuminating not only for the philosopher, but for every human being that has the conscience of his/her own existential issues under the pressure of the unknown.
Hegel, principle of identity, Ontology, Metaphysics, Propaedeutic, Science of Logic