The Certainty of Sense-Certainty

Idealistic Studies 40 (3):215-234 (2010)
Abstract
Commentators on the Phenomenology of Spirit have offered careful but conflicting accounts of Hegel’s chapter on sense-certainty, either defending his starting point and analysis or challenging it on its own terms for presupposing too much. Much of the disagreement regarding both the subject matter and success of Hegel’s chapter on sense-certainty can be traced to misunderstandings regarding the nature and role of certainty itself in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Specifically, such confusions can be traced to a failure to appreciate the connection between sense-certainty as a particular way of approaching and knowing the world, and the assumptions regarding the nature of the world it comes to know that Hegel attributes to sense-certainty. The “certainty” of sense-certainty is not so much an explicit attitude or conception it adopts but is rather something implicit in its practice of knowing through immediate or direct sensation
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