Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Phenomenology of Spirit, Preface, paragraph 67
Just as obstructionist as argumentative comportment is the non-argumentative illusion built upon finished truths, to which the possessor believes it is unnecessary to return, but lays them at the foundation and believes he can both express them, and judge and dispute through them. In this regard, it is especially needful to make once again a serious business of philosophy. With regard to all the sciences, arts, skills, and handicrafts, the conviction holds that in order to possess them, a considerable amount of trouble must be spent in learning and practicing. As regards philosophy, on the contrary, an assumption seems still prevalent that, though every one with eyes and fingers is not on that account in a position to make shoes if he only has leather and a last, yet everybody understands how to philosophize straight away, and pass judgment on philosophy, simply because he possesses the criterion for doing so in his natural reason – as if he did not in the same way likewise possess the standard for shoemaking in his own foot. It seems as if the possession of philosophy lay precisely in the lack of knowledge and study, as if philosophy left off where the latter began. It is commonly held to be a formal, content-empty knowledge, and there is a general failure to perceive that, in the case of any knowledge and science, what is taken for truth in terms of content can only deserve the name of “truth” when philosophy has had a hand in its production; that, let the other sciences try as they might to get along by argumentation without philosophy, without it they are incapable of having life, spirit, truth in themselves.