Required steps/contents and hints:
Briefly present (no more than) major points of the Yin-Yang way of thinking, especially its distinct crucial features (emphases) in contrast to the distinct crucial features (emphases) of the Hegelian model (also briefly presented), as they are specified and explained in this class. [1 page]
Something about the Yin-Yang and Hegelian model:
Yin-Yang way of thinking:
According to the yin-yang way of thinking (or, in more theoretic terms, the yin-yang model of interaction and transformation), anything in the universe intrinsically contains two mutually-opposed but correlative and complementary forces, yin and yang. The yang is considered to be the positive, active, and strong aspect/mode/force in anything, while the yin the negative, passive, yielding one in the same thing. The constitution and interaction between yin and yang is considered as universal, fundamental, complementary, dynamic, and harmonious equilibrium in the following senses:
· Universal: They exist within everything in the universe.
· Fundamental: Their interaction within are considered to be the ultimate source or pushing force for everything’s becoming-process (forming, developing, altering, and changing).
· Complementary: They are interdependent, mutually supportive and supplementary to each other; they are holistic and united into one thing within rather than separate without.
· Dynamic: They are in changing process and transform into each other: they reveal themselves in the successive stages in the generation of things.
· Harmonious Equilibrium: They pursue cooperation and harmonious balance in their interaction.
It is noted that, among the above characteristic features, two are crucial: one is complementarity; the other is seeking harmonious balance.
Hegel introduces a dynamic and essentially historical perspective into what had hitherto been a supposedly static and timeless framework for understanding the nature and development of human knowledge (Mind).
Hegel conceives of the world in terms of a progressive movement of Mind or Spirit (Geist) towards full self-realization as self-conscious awareness. Hegel’s doctrine is thus called ‘absolute idealism,’ and his methodological approach ‘idealist dialectics.’
The process of Mind is not a simpler linear progression, but a perpetual dialectical struggle. By the term ‘dialectical’ Hegel refers to a ‘three-step’ movement from thesis to antithesis to synthesis: any given thesis intrinsically involves some internal contradictions which will generate an antithesis (the negation of the original thesis). But the interaction and confrontation between thesis and antithesis in turn leads to fresh tensions or contradictions, thus bringing about the synthesis of the two, which attempts to resolve the previous contradictions by sublation (Aufhebung): to preserve or incorporate what are reasonable and valuable in the contraries into a new and deeper perspective and discard what are not (negation of the negation). But the synthesis will itself then be subject to further dialectical tension: the process repeats itself in the struggle toward the truth which is the eventual and distant culmination of an arduous dialectical process undergone by Mind.
In the context of how to treat two seemingly opposite points of view or philosophies, Hegelian approach would perceive two views as coming into a conflict (thesis and anti-thesis); thereafter, a resolution is derived via the dialectical process of sublation. In the sublation, two views or two philosophies are at first perceived as antagonistic to each other or in a collision of opposites; in the dialectical collision, the resolution is first to jettison what is no longer valuable or reasonable within the two opposing approaches and then to salvage what is valuable or reasonable; the final stage is to synthesize what is remaining of the two so as to form a third viewpoint which contains something valuable of the two precious views but also transcends either of the previous views or philosophies.
In the above, the highlighted part (in bold) is the material you need to understand and capture, which constitute the central point of the Hegelian model:
“a ‘three-step’ movement from thesis to antithesis to synthesis: any given thesis intrinsically involves some internal contradictions which will generate an antithesis (the negation of the original thesis). But the interaction and confrontation between thesis and antithesis in turn leads to fresh tensions or contradictions, thus bringing about the synthesis of the two, which attempts to resolve the previous contradictions by sublation (Aufhebung): to preserve or incorporate what are reasonable and valuable in the contraries into a new and deeper perspective and discard what are not (negation of the negation).”
To Hegel, all things in the universe undergo such “three step movement in their interaction and transformation. For example, consider a seed: take a plant seed as a thesis; then a sprout/plant (anti-thesis) grows out from the seed (thesis); then the plant produces the new seed (a sort of synthesis via “sublation” – keep what are positive in both thesis and anti-thesis while discarding what is not. Try to analysize some other process in Hegelian terms.
<1> Identify and present one (controversial) issue (about “an object of study” under your examination, either in your own area of study, or in public areas of contemporary times, such as the issue of gun-control, the issue of immigrants, etc.) to which there are two (major) distinct seemingly opposing or incompatible approaches (such as “for” vs. “against” gun-control) under your examination; [1 page]
<2> briefly present each of the two distinct approaches: <i> Identify and present some element(s) in each approach that you would render reasonable or correct (for example, its “perspective” dimension that is “eligible” in the sense that it points to and captures some aspect of the object of study that needs due attention/treatment, rather than being ignored, in a more complete account of the object of study); <ii> Identify and present some element(s) in each approach that you would render unreasonable or incorrect (e.g., its “guiding-principle” dimension regarding how to look at relation between its own eligible perspective and the eligible perspective from the other approach might be inadequate when it dismisses other eligible perspectives). [1-1.5 pages]
Apply the Yin-Yang way of thinking together with the Hegelian model in your analysis of how we should “adequately” look at the relation between the two seemingly-opposing approaches to the issue under examination: <i> Apply the Hegelian model with its sublation feature [to meet Adequacy Condition (8) of seeking sublation for adequate methodological guiding principles, as explained in the lecture note for the 3/15-19 session] to keep what are reasonable or correct in the two approaches while discarding what not; <ii> Apply the Yin-Yang model with its feature of seeking complementarity and achieving harmonious balance (to meet Adequacy Condition (7) of seeking complementarity] to have those reasonable or correct elements that are “sublated” from the two approaches to the issue to complementarily work together to enhance your understanding and treatment of the issue. [1-1.5 pages]