Hegel's 'Instinct of Reason' and Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice': What is a Relevant Aufhebung of Nature? Of Justice?

"O, these deliberate fools! When they do choose They have the wisdom by their wit to lose" (2.9.79-80) ​ In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, the blending of proto-idealist categories like instinctive reason and mercy with natural objects creates an uneasy middle world of clever laws, imaginary justice and seeming comic resolution. Drawing on that play and Hegel (and Haverkamp, Derrida, Eagleton, Freud) I answer: what would be relevant Aufhebungen (sublations) of nature and of justice? Part One concerns Hegel's "Instinct of Reason" in his Phenomenology of Spirit. I discuss its context in the book, and distinguish its phenomenological empiricism from reason's speculative empiricism to show why instinctive reason needs to be overcome. Part Two concerns Shylock's bond of a pound of flesh, the caskets and rings, economic and matrimonial engagements, wit, mercy, eyes, blindness, music and other chains of signification in The Merchant of Venice. Part Three draws on Derrida's "What is a Relevant Translation?" and Eagleton's Marxist reading of the play: I argue that all merely instinctive Aufhebungen of nature and of justice share a middle term -- unconscious coercions of the bonds of flesh. This is illustrated in the play's symbols of procreation. Relevant sublations overcome instinctive reason by being conscious of its rational chains --its sexual, cultural and linguistic coercions, its forced assimilations, conversions and translations. Shakespeare's play and Hegel's book teach this. I question how successful we can be.