The Owl of Minerva from Dusk till Dawn, or, Two Shades of Gray
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The paper takes as its starting point the figure of the owl as the emblem of philosophy, it looks at its history and takes up its most significant philosophical use, the notoriouspassage where Hegel uses the owl as the indication of philosophy's necessary belatedness. This is the passage which is usually taken as the point of indictment of Hegel’s position and the role he ascribed to philosophy. Hegel’s adage ‘What is rational is actual, and what is actual is rational’ is scrutinized in its various aspects, particularly in view of its other version, ‘what is rational must happen’. The tension between the ‘is’ and the ‘ought’ is perhaps the clue to understanding this adage, where Hegel doesn’t opt for the one or the other, but aims at the paradoxical intersection of the two. Hegel’s adage is put in contrast with Marxs Thesis Eleven. The paper considers the concepts of the rational, the actual, the belatedness/retroaction, the grayness and finally the owl (and the part that bestiary play...s in philosophy), thus trying to circumscribe the task that should be assigned to philosophy.
Keywords:Hegel / the owl of Minerva / reason / actuality / retroaction
Source:Filozofija i društvo, 2015, 875-890
- Beograd : Institut za filozofiju i društvenu teoriju