§20. Hegel’s interpretation of time

Nonetheless, insofar as any point differentiates anything at all in space, that point is the negation of space, although in such a way that this negation itself remains in space (a point is, after all, space).31 Thus the point does not raise itself up out of space as if it were something different from space. To put it in Kant’s terms, points are merely limitations of space, as are all other spatial phenomena and all space that is determined, i.e., delimited by points, lines, or planes. [254] Space is the non-differentiated outside-each-other of a multiplicity of points. But space itself is not a point; rather, as Hegel says pregnantly, space is Punktualität, “punctiformity” (§254, Addendum). This is the basis for the principle by which Hegel thinks space in its truth, which is to say: as time.

The negativity which relates itself, as a point, to space and which unfolds its determinations, as line and plane, within space is, however, while in that sphere of outside-itself, also and equally a for-itself. Negativity posits its determinations in it {i.e., in the sphere of the for-itself} but, at the same time, posits them as in the sphere of being-outside-itself, thereby appear-ing as indifferent vis-à-vis the immobile juxtaposition [which is space]. As thus posited for itself, it {namely, this negativity, the point} is time. (§257 Paragraph)32

Thus, the negativity of the point—which we explained earlier and which in a word is “punctiformity,” i.e., space—is, when posited for itself, time.33

Our interpretation will now be directed less at Hegel’s formulation than at making accessible the phenomena that are intended therein. The points along with the lines and planes that a point can become are determinations of space that delimit space and thus can constitute a specific space. These determinations or delimitations of a given space are themselves space. But understood “logically” in the sense of Hegel’s logic, this means that these determinations and differences, these limits of space, insofar as they themselves are spatial and are space, simply remain in space. Such limits and differences are what they are by being different-from-something-else, i.e., by negation. A point, quanegation, has an indifferent subsistence in space: it arises in space and does not escape it. This indifference of its subsistence qua negation is precisely what characterizes space.

31.[Moser (p. 537.14–15), with “so, daß diese Negation (Punkt ist ja Raum) im Raum selbst bleibt,” corrects GA 21 (p. 253.30–31), which has “so, daß diese Negation im Raum (Punkt ist ja Raum) im Raum selbst bleibt.” The Moser text is also closer to Being and Time; see SZ, p. 567.1–2.]

32. [Heidegger’s glosses are found at Moser, p. 538.2–7.]

33. [By “punctiformity” Hegel means the “dot-quality” (Edith Wyschogrod) of something, whence derive lines and planes.]

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