nLab nous




In (Hegel, Science of Logic, §54) it reads:

Anaxagoras is praised as the man who first declared that Nous, thought, is the principle of the world, that the essence of the world is to be defined as thought. In so doing he laid the foundation for an intellectual view of the universe, the pure form of which must be logic. What we are dealing with in logic is not a thinking about something which exists independently as a base for our thinking and apart from it, nor forms which are supposed to provide mere signs or distinguishing marks of truth; on the contrary, the necessary forms and self-consciousness of thought are the content and the ultimate truth itself.

In Georg Hegel, Lectures on the History of Philosophy, Vol 1 a similar remark is made about the ideas of Heraclitus, see at logos (in philosophy).

According to (Hegel, Phenomenology of the Spirit, Vorrede §55) this is Dasein :

Das Dasein ist Qualität, sich selbst gleiche Bestimmtheit oder bestimmte Einfachheit, bestimmter Gedanke; dies ist der Verstand des Daseins. Dadurch ist es Nus, als für welchen Anaxagoras zuerst das Wesen erkannte.

Existence is Quality, self-identical determinateness, or determinate simplicity, determinate thought: this is existence from the point of view of Understanding. On this account it is Nous, as Anaxagoras first thought reality to be.

According to (Hegel, Philosophy of the Spirit – The soul) this nous is

Spirit as the abstract soul of nature is simple, sidereal, and terrestrial life. Is is the nous of the ancients, the simple, unconscious thought, which (a) as this general essence is the inner idea and would have its reality in the underlying externality of nature. But since it, as soul, is immediate substance, its existence is the particularisation of its natural being, an immediate and natural determinacy, which has its presupposed reality in the individual earth.


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