Thursday, March 31, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 58

Hence what is important for the student of science is to imbibe the effort of the concept. This demands attention to the concept as such, to simple determinations, e.g., being in principle [des Ansichseins], being-for-itself [des Fürsichseins], equality with self, and so on; for these are such pure self-movements, which we might call souls, were it not that their concept denotes something higher than this. The habit of running along in imaginations is as difficult to be broken with by the concept as is formal thought which argues [räsoniert] back and forth in unreal thoughts. The former, that habit, may be termed material thinking, a fortuitous consciousness, absorbed in the material, and hence finds it disagreeable to lift itself clear of that matter and to be with itself [bei sich zu sein]. By contrast, the latter, argumentation [das Räsonieren], is freedom from content, and vanity with regard to it; what is wanted here is the effort to give up this freedom, and instead of being the arbitrarily moving principle of the content, this freedom should sink into and pervade the content, should let itself be moved by its own proper nature, i.e., by the self as what pertains to it, and to contemplate this movement. To abstain from interrupting the immanent rhythm of the concept, to refrain from interfering with it through caprice and wisdom acquired elsewhere, such restraint is itself an essential moment in the attention to the concept.

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