Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 13
While on the one hand the first manifestation of the new world is only the whole shrouded in its simplicity, or its general ground, on the other hand the wealth of the previous existence is still present in the remembrance of consciousness. The newly appearing shape yet misses the extension and particularization of content, but still more the development of form by which distinctions are determined with certainty and arranged in their precise relations. Without this development, science lacks general intelligibility [Verständlichkeit] and has the appearance of being an esoteric possession of a few individuals – esoteric, because in the first instance it is only found in its concept or its inwardness; a possession of few individuals, because its unextended appearance renders its existence particularistic. Only what is perfectly determinate is at the same time exoteric, comprehensible and capable of being learned and the property of everybody. The intelligible form of science is the road to it offered to all and made plain for all. To reach rational knowledge by our intelligence is the just demand of consciousness which comes to science. For understanding [Verstand] is thinking, the pure I in general; and what is intelligible [das Verständige] is something that from the first is familiar and common to science as well as to the unscientific mind, enabling the latter to gain direct entry into the former.