This chapter examines Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s remark in his Science of Logic that “actuality is the unity of essence and existence,” and that essence is “shapeless” because it is the inner unity of genesis. For Hegel, the shapes or forms inhere in the products of genesis, in the grounded Sache, rather than in the ground as the unity of formation process. This chapter discusses Hegel’s conception of the whole and its striking similarity to Aristotle’s idea of intellect (nous), along with his use of the term “absolute” in section 3 of book 2 as opposed to the expression “the absolute idea.” It also analyzes the Hegelian interpretation of Baruch Spinoza’s definition of attribute as the manner in which understanding grasps essence. The chapter concludes with a section on contingency as a logical category.
Keywords: actuality, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Science of Logic, essence, existence, Sache, absolute, Baruch Spinoza, attribute, contingency