Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 29

Science portrays both this constructive movement in its thoroughness and necessity as well as that which has sunk into mere moments and the property of spirit, in its figuration. The goal is the insight of spirit into that which is knowledge. Impatience desires the impossible, namely, the attainment of the goal apart from the means. On the one hand, the length of the road has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary; on the other hand, every one of these must be lingered over, for each is itself an individual whole shape, and is fully and finally considered only to the degree that its specificity is treated as a whole, or as concrete, or as the whole in the peculiarity of this determination. Because the substance of the individual, nay more, because the world spirit has had the patience to take these forms over in the long stretch of time’s extent and the prodigious labor of world history, in which it, in each of them, gave shape to the whole content of that of which it is capable; and because by nothing less could it ever manage to attain consciousness regarding itself – for that reason, the individual, in the nature of the case, cannot expect by less toil to grasp what its substance contains. All the same, the task has meanwhile been made much lighter, because in principle this has been accomplished, the content has been reduced to possibility-cancelled reality, vanquished immediacy, the figuration already to its abbreviation, to the simple determination of thought. Being now a thought, the content is the property of substance; it is no longer existence in the form of being-in-principle, but only that which not only is no longer merely original, nor that which is sunk in existence, but is rather the in-principle already remembered, to be inverted into the form of being-for-itself. The way this is accomplished will now be indicated in more detail.

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