Whatever Hegel’s philosophy is, it is a form of Metaphysics. I have been using that word a lot in introductory classes in Hegel’s Logic. Because it is one of the most important things to understand: Hegel’s Logic is a metaphysics, and Hegel’s Metaphysics is a logic. Expressed in one principle it sounds fantastic: Being = Thought.
Expressed like that, it sounds like a confusion between what we think and the reality in front of us. We find it selfevident that they have to be separate: thinking and being. Being is about what really exists and thinking is about ideas and perceptions that ‘are’ psychological. Thinking and being may be connected somehow, but how can they be identical? Hegel’s entire philosophy can be seen as the attempt to explain and demonstrate this.
But. What is metaphysics if we do not already presuppose this principle of Hegel?
- It is the science that comes ‘after’ (meta) physics, that deals with everything that we can approach directly by our experience.
- It is the science of the unity and cause of everything that we can experience – that unity however is not something that we can directly experience. We need reasoning to discover it – a logic.
- Therefore it is the science that deals with everything that goes beyond experience.
In short: science deals with the factual, metaphysical insight or understanding deals with the necessary.
So metaphysics deals with two questions at once. This is the metaphysical question: what is the necessary cause and unity of everything that we can experience?