‘It is a natural assumption in philosophy, before we start to deal with its proper subject matter, viz. the actual cognition of what really is, one must first of all come to an understanding about cognition..a certain uneasiness seems justified..
For if cognition is the instrument, [it] sets out to reshape and alter it. If [it] is not an instrument but a passive medium through which the light of Truth reaches us, then again we do not receive this Truth as it is, but only..through this medium.
Either way we employ a means which immediately brings about the opposite of its own end..what is really absurd is that we should make use of a means at all…‘
Hegel was acutely aware of this coasting close to the Self-Loop. There is a literature which argues that much of his later work was a recoil from this threat of outright chaos. But Hegel, like Immanuel Kant, succumbed, stopped short and turned back at the cliff’s edge.
Instead he transformed his intuition of the Self-Eating Expression into the more manageable trinity: ‘Thesis, Anti-Thesis, Synthesis’ [a structure that Hegel actually credited to Kant].
From Marx and Mao to Derrida and ‘Deconstructionism’, intellectuals saw explanation here. The rest as they say, is history.