Thursday, March 31, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 57

This nature of the scientific method, which consists partly in being unseparated from the content, and partly in determining the rhythm of its movement by itself, has, as we mentioned before, its actual exposition in speculative philosophy. What is here stated does express the concept but cannot hold for anything more than an anticipatory assurance. The truth it contains is not to be found in this exposition, which is in part narrative in character, and therefore is as little refuted when anyone assures us on the contrary that this is not so, but that the matter rather stands such and such, when accustomed imaginations are recalled as conclusive and well-known truths and are retold, or dished up afresh and reassured from the shrine of inward divine contemplation. Such a reception is wont to be the first reaction of knowledge: to oppose something unknown, in order to salvage freedom and its own insight, its own authority against what is foreign (for it is in this shape that what ends up being received first appears). This attitude is adopted, too, in order to do away with the semblance and the kind of disgrace which would pertain to something having been learned. Thus also, the reaction whereby the unknown is accepted and regaled with acclamation is of the same kind; in another sphere, this would be ultra-revolutionary declamation and action.

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