Our plucky hero gives a Johnsonian refutation of subjective idealism:
Not even the animals are so stupid as these metaphysicians, for they fall on the things, take hold of them, seize them, and consume them.
— Hegel, Encylopedia §246
For a slightly more developed account, see Terry Pinkard’s ‘Inside, Outside and Forms of Life: Hegel and Wittgenstein’, which is where I came across the quote.
3 thoughts on “Hegelian Glee-Watch: Dumber than Dumbo Edition”
Strikingly, if ironically, Schopenhauer armed with his Philosophy of Will, and thus an admirer of the Will in animals, exacts a similar criticism of Hegel himself, and Idealism in general. He too felt that Hegel did not throw himself enough upon things:
“What was senseless and without meaning at once took refuge in obscure exposition and language. Fichte was the first to grasp and make use of this privilege; Schelling at best equalled him in this, and a host of hungry scribblers without intellect or honesty soon surpassed them both. But the greatest effrontery in serving up sheer nonsense, in scrabbling together senseless and maddening webs of words, such as had previously been heard only in madhouses, finally appeared in Hegel…”
This gives me an opportunity to mention my favourite flute-based ad hominem:
Hilarious. Nietzsche was a bit of a flute player himself…