Monday, February 28, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 4

The onset of culture [Bildung] and of the labor to emerge from the immediacy of substantial life has always to be made by acquiring knowledge of universal principles and points of view, by striving, in the first instance, to labor to acquire any notion of the matter at all, no less to give reasons for supporting it or refuting it, to conceive the concrete and rich fullness in terms of determinations, and to know how to furnish a coherent, orderly account of it and a responsible judgment upon it. To begin with, however, this onset of culture must leave room for the earnestness of fulfilled life, which ushers in the practical experience of the matter; and when, added to that, the earnestness of the concept penetrates to its depths, such knowledge and judgment will hold their ground in conversation.

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