Spinozist Pantheism and the Truth of "Sense Certainty": What the Eleusinian Mysteries Tell us about Hegel's Phenomenology
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of the History of Philosophy 50 (1):85-110 (2012)
The Opening Chapter of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit, called "Sense Certainty," is brief: 283 lines or about seven and a half pages in the critical edition of Hegel's works (GW 9:63–70). Just over half the text is devoted to a series of thought experiments1 that focus on "the Here" and "the Now" as the two basic forms of immediate sensuous particularity Hegel calls "the This." The chapter's main goal is to demonstrate that, in truth, the object of sense certainty is precisely the opposite of what it purports to be: "the This" is mediated abstract universality. However, not just the truth of Hegel's claim but its very meaning has been the subject of dispute from early on.2 A currently influential interpretive ..
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