Mr Borna Radnik

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Research project: Hegel and the Double Movement of Necessity and Freedom (Working Title)

Abstract

This dissertation explores the relation between the concepts of freedom and necessity in Hegel's philosophy. I argue that Hegel's concept of temporality is crucial to better understand his overall idea of freedom as being-with-oneself-in-one's-other. By stressing the temporal dimensions of Hegel's conceptions of self-determining freedom and causal necessity, I argue for an interpretation of Hegel's political theory that is neither simply prescriptive nor descriptive, but a combination of both. By interpreting Hegel's absolute idea as being-with-oneself-in-one's-other, I argue that this constitutes the ontological and temporal structure of Hegel's idea of freedom. My approach to this thesis is to emphasise the self-reflexive role of temporality in Hegel's understanding of the unity of self-determining freedom and causal necessity. I argue that Hegel's concept of temporality is crucial to better understand the absolute idea as being-with-oneself-in-one's-other. By interpreting Hegel's absolute idea as being-with-oneself-in-one's-other, I argue that this constitutes the ontological and temporal structure of Hegel's idea of freedom. The universal, self-determining concept, for Hegel, is, like all concepts, both temporal and non-temporal, historical and ahistorical.

The thesis begins with an examination of the development of Hegel's understanding of freedom and necessity in his Jena writings from 1801 to 1807. By formulating the identity and difference between the logical becoming of the concept, and the temporal becoming of finite beings, I show that this is constitutive to Hegel's conception of the idea of self-determining freedom and causal necessity. I argue that logical concept is irreducible to historical time. I argue that there is a self-reflexive historicity at work in Hegel's project, one that is irreducible and immanent to his conception of philosophy as a system of ‘Science.'   I understand this development as the irreducible self-reflexive historicity immanent to Hegel's account of the presentation of philosophy-as-science. the methodological shift from a non-temporal unity of self-positing freedom and causal necessity in the Difference essay, to a conception of necessity and freedom as co-constitutive moments in the Jena Logic and the Jena Lectures, expresses the self-reflexive temporal dimension of Hegel's philosophy that is simultaneously logical and temporal without being reducible to either. This self-reflexive irreducibility constitutes the content and form of the temporal dimension of his idea of freedom. I strengthen the irreducible self-reflexive historicity of Hegel's philosophy by offering a reading of how the idea of self-determining freedom and causal necessity informs the absolute idea as temporal and ontological structure in the Science of Logic and the Encyclopaedia Logic. From this, I give an interpretation of Hegel's Philosophy of Religion where I argue that Hegel's interpretation of the death of God in Christianity expresses being-with-oneself-in-one's-other in historical time by actualizing the individual and collective free will of human subjectivity. Finally, I turn to Hegel's political philosophy and his philosophy of history. I argue that if we interpret the conception of free will, political right, the constitution of the state and ethical life in Philosophy of Right through the onto-temporal structure of being-with-oneself-in-one's-other. This will provide an interpretation of Hegel's political philosophy that is neither normative nor descriptive, but both. I then offer an interpretation of Hegel's Lectures on World History through the temporal-ontological structure of being-with-oneself-in-one's-other. I argue that Hegel's concept of absolute spirit signifies philosophy's retroactive comprehension of the inner necessity of the self-determining idea of freedom as it actualises itself in historical time. This is the transition from spirit understood as the empty time-form, to spirit comprehended as time itself.

Biography

I completed my BA(Hons) in Theatre Studies and Philosophy at York University, and finished my MA. in Philosophy at McMaster University. I also lectured on Hume's An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding for the Philosophy Departmental Lecture at Kingston University, London in March 2016. I also taught a three-hour masterclass on Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit at University of Oxford in December 2016. I have published reviews in Radical Philosophy, and have published peer-reviewed articles with Continental Thought and Theory (2016), Crisis and Critique (2017), I have a chapter in the collected volume What is Post-Modern Conservatism? Essays on Postmodern Conservativism, edited by Matthew McManus (Zero Books, 2020). I have a chapter in the volume Subject Lessons: Hegel, Lacan, and the Future of Materialism edited by Russell Sbrigilia and Slavoj Zizek (Northwestern University Press, 2020). Finally, I have a co-authored chapter entitled "Misinterpellated Monsters," with Corey McCall for Creolizing Frankenstein edited Michael Paradiso-Michau (Rowman and Littlefield International, forthcoming).

Areas of research interest

  • Hegel
  • German Idealism
  • Radical philosophy
  • Marxism
  • Political Philosophy
  • Critical Theory
  • Alain Badiou
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Gilles Deleuze
  • Metaphysics

Qualifications

  • BA(Hons) in Theatre Studies and Philosophy, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
  • MA in Philosophy, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON, Canada

Publications

Radnik, Borna. (forthcoming in 2018) Subjectivity in Times of (New) Materialisms. Subject Lessons: Hegel, Lacan, and the Future of Materialism, ed. Russell Sbrigilia and Slavoj Žižek.

Radnik, Borna. (2017) The Absolute Plasticity of Hegel's Absolutes? Crisis and Critique (Vol. 4. Issue 1.), ISSN (online) 2311-5475.

Radnik, Borna. (2016) First We Take Europe. Book Review of: Against the Double Blackmail: Refugees, Terror and Other Troubles with the Neighbours by Slavoj Žižek. Radical Philosophy (200), pp. 63-65. ISSN (print) 0300 211X.

Radnik, Borna. (2016) More amour proper. Book Review of: Stress and Freedom by Peter Sloterdijk. Radical Philosophy (198), pp. 60-62. ISSN (print) 0300 211X.

Radnik, Borna. (2016) Hegel on the Double Movement of Aufhebung. Continental Thought & Theory (Vol. 1. Issue 1.), pp. 194-206. ISSN (online) 2463-333X.

Radnik, Borna. (2015) Making Hegel post-Hegel? Book Review of: After Hegel: German Philosophy 1840-1900 by Frederick C. Beiser. Radical Philosophy (193), pp. 64-65. ISSN (print) 0300 211X.

Jump to: Article
Number of items: 4.

Article

Radnik, Borna (2017) The absolute plasticity of Hegel's absolutes. Crisis and critique, 4(1), pp. 352-375. ISSN (print) 2311-8172

Radnik, Borna (2016) First we take Europe. Book Review of: 'Against the double blackmail : refugees, terror and other trouble with the neighbours' by Slavoj Zizek. Radical Philosophy, 200, pp. 63-65. ISSN (print) 0300-211X

Radnik, Borna (2016) More amour propre. Book Review of: 'Stress and freedom' by Peter Sloterdijk. Radical Philosophy, 198, pp. 60-62. ISSN (print) 0300-211X

Radnik, Borna (2016) Hegel on the double movement of Aufhebung. Continental Thought & Theory, 1(1), pp. 194-206. ISSN (print) 2463-333X

This list was generated on Mon Jun 27 05:47:47 2022 BST.

Conference papers

Alienation and Being-towards-death: "Heideggerian Marxism" and the question of mortality in the activity of labour at Historical Materialism, York University, Toronto, ON, May 2014.