Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 50

Just as little is that use of the form of Kantian triplicity – originally lifeless and uncomprehended, rediscovered by instinct and raised to its absolute significance, by which the true form was set in its true content, so that the concept of science arose – to be considered in any way as being scientific. For it is there reduced to a lifeless schema, to nothing better than a mere shadow, scientific organization reduced to a synoptic table. This formalism – about which we spoke before in general terms, and the manner of which we wish here to indicate more fully – thinks it has comprehended and expressed the nature and life of a given shape when it proclaims a determination of the schema to be its predicate. The predicate may be subjectivity or objectivity, or again magnetism, electricity, and so on, contraction or expansion, East or West, and such like – a form of predication that can be multiplied indefinitely, because according to this approach, each determination or shape can be used by the others as form or moment of the schema, and each can gratefully perform the same service for the other – a circle of reciprocities through which one does not touch on the matter itself, nor what is the one or the other. In addition, in part there are sensorial determinations included from common observation, which admittedly ought to mean something else than they say, and in part that which is inherently significant, viz., pure determinations of thought – subject, object, substance, cause, universality, etc. – is applied just as uncritically and unreflectingly as in everyday life, used much as people employ the terms strong and weak, expansion and contraction. As a result, that type of metaphysics is as unscientific as are those sensorial representations [Vorstellungen].

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