Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Attempted paraphrase of Phenomenology of Spirit, A.I. "Sense-Certainty"

The deficiency of sense-certainty is not the lack of a warrant for following it through to a thing-in-itself, but its incapacity to fix certainty on any “this”—neither the “this” which it claims to sense nor the “this” which it is as absolute source of sensation. It cannot even refer to what it supposes itself to have as certain—since in the moment of grasping it, its “this” disappears—and the “this” which would be left over by negating the “here and now” is not immediate, which is to say it is an abstraction from anything which could be the certain object of sense. The negation of the abstract universal does not, however, simply sweep the last shred of certainty away into a Kritik-al trashcan, but turns universality back over to the world of the senses. “This” insofar as it can have a referent refers to a universal “here-now” which, infinite in itself, comprises many finite “here-nows.” The universal “this” encompasses the “thises” which have proven unreal. It is the thing in its thinghood—a mediated immediacy.