Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 70

When a man asks for a royal road to science, no more convenient way can be mentioned to him than to rely upon common sense and – incidentally, to keep up with the times and with philosophy – to read reviews of philosophical works, and perhaps even go to the length of reading the prefaces and first paragraphs of the works themselves; for the latter give the general principles on which everything turns, while the reviews, together with a memorandum for posterity, provide the judgment which, being a judgment, is above and beyond that which is judged. This common way a man can take in his dressing-gown. But elation in the eternal, the sacred, the infinite, moves along in high-priestly robes – a road, rather, that already itself is the immediate being in the center, the genius of deep original ideas and higher flashes of inspiration. Nevertheless, as those depths do not yet reveal the well-spring of the essence, neither are these rockets the Empyrean. True thoughts and scientific insight can only be won by the labor of the concept. Only this can produce universality of knowledge, which is neither the general indeterminacy and inadequacy of common understanding, but the cultivated and plain [vollständige] cognition; neither the uncommon generality of the scheme of reason corrupted by the indolence and self-conceit of genius, but the truth which has expanded into its indigenous form, which is capable of being the property of all self-conscious reason.

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