Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 31

What generally is familiar is not known [erkannt], just for the reason that it is familiar [bekannt]. In cognition, it is the commonest form of deception, both of self and of others, to presume familiarity with something and on that account to assent to it. With all its back-and-forth, such knowledge never moves an inch, and does not even know it. Subject and object and so on, God, nature, understanding, sensoriality, etc., are uncritically presupposed as familiar and as something current, and become fixed points both of departure and of return. The movement oscillates between these points which remain unmoved, and hence stays only on the surface. Apprehension and verification similarly consist in everyone judging whether what is said corresponds to his own imagination – whether to him it so seems, whether to him it is familiar, or not.

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