Aufhebung (Germ.)

→ cosmopolitical

If some states may in any case gain in strength, like the United States in its “hyper-power” period, or a highly centralized, re-emerging China, other modern states will look for state partners to create what they think will be a safer world. Such developments have sometimes been qualified as “post-modern” entities, such as the European Union, or associated with the philosophical term of Aufhebung, the “sublation” of those sovereign states that were the pillars of stability in Westphalian Europe. The assumption is, if weak states do not necessarily bring peace, that strong states may elicit violence by the very authority they impose on dominated entities. About developing countries’ external debt, Jacque Derrida also referred to “ … Tilgung, the debt cancellation, destruction”, which Hegel distinguishes from Aufhebung, (from annul, remove) which suppresses while maintaining … » (1997, p. 48). This was not a standard translation, and was translated into English as “sublate” with the meaning of aufheben, i.e. the two contradictory meanings Hegel intends: “elevate/conserve” and “abolish”.

Derrida (1986) also looks into this subject about Freud's conception of repression, in connection with Hegelian dialectic, and the concept of Aufhebung in particular, as a step in deconstructing Hegel’s position insofar as Hegel faced the unresolved and repressed problems of philosophy as a psychoanalyst.

Jacques Derrida, Glas, John P. Leavey, Jr., and Richard Rand, Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986

Jacques Derrida, “The Right to Philosophy from the Cosmopolitan Point of View”, in Jacques Derrida and Peter Pericles Trifonas, Ethics, Institutions, and the Right to Philosophy, Lanham, Rowman & Littlefield, 2002