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The Phenomenology of Mind


THE PHENOMENOLOGY OF MIND
realized. That is "in itself" (an sich), which is implicit, inherent, or potential, and hence not yet explicitly
developed. The terms "for us" and "in itself" are thus strictly alternative: the former looks at the matter from
the point of view of the philosophical subject, the latter from the point of view of the object discussed by the
philosopher. The implicit nature of the object can only be "for us" who are thinking about the object: and
what we have in mind can only be implicitly true of the object. The alternative disappears when the explicit
nature of the object is what "we" explicitly take the object to be.
3. An expression drawn from the physics of Hegel's day.
III. FORCE AND THE UNDERSTANDING−THE WORLD OF APPEARANCE
AND THE SUPERSENSIBLE WORLD(1)
[[Translator's comments: The term "force" holds primarily with reference to the realm of Nature, whether
physical or vital: but it is also used, more or less analogically, in reference to other spheres, e.g. morality. It is
the objective counterpart of the activity of "understanding"; it is objectively the same kind of relation of unity
to differences which is subjectively realized when the mind understands. Force is a self−conditioned principle
of unity; the differences are the "expressions of force", the unity evolves the differences out of itself.
Understanding similarly is a self−conditioned process; it consists in reducing differences to some ultimate
unity, which is capable of deriving or "explaining" those differences from itself. The "unconditioned
universal" to which we are led by the analysis of perception takes shape, therefore, as "force". The question
is, How are the elements of this unconditioned universal related, and how do they hold together? The answer
is found in the highest achievement of the operation of understanding−the establishment of a "kingdom of
laws", which in its entirety is the meaning of the world so far as understanding goes. But laws per se are
looked on as an inner realm, which merely "appears" in the detailed particulars which those laws control, and
in which those laws are made manifest. The differences, in fact, are "phenomena", the laws per se are behind
the scenes:−−the world as a whole thus becomes distinguished into a realm of phenomena and a realm of
noumena. These two realms set a new problem to the mind, and must again be brought together in a
completer way than understanding can do. This new state of consciousness is "self−consciousness".
In this section we have at once an analysis of empiricism and a Criticism of the Kantian solution of the
problem of empiricism. It is shown that if phenomena are appearances of noumena, then the noumena do
appear, and are, in fact, nothing except so far as they appear: otherwise the noumena, so far being "hidden",
are worse than appearances, they are illusion. The phenomena are not merely appearances "to the mind", but
appearances of something that does make itself manifest. If phenomena are thus not external to and still less
independent of noumena, noumena are just as truly immanent in phenomena. Treated in any other way,
noumena can at best be only another kind of phenomena; and this raises anew precisely the problem which
the opposition of phenomena or noumena was intended to solve. Phenomena are related to noumena as the
trees to the wood, not as a compound to its atoms. The solution of the difficulty is thus only to be found in the
type of consciousness which contains both−−and this, Hegel says, is self−consciousness.]]
Consciousness has found "seeing" and "hearing", etc., pass away in the dialectic process of sense−experience,
and has, at the stage of perception, arrived at thoughts which, however, it brings together in the first instance
in the unconditioned universal. This unconditioned element, again, if it were taken as inert essence bare and
simple, would itself be nothing else than the one−sided extreme of self−existence (Fersichseyn); for the
non−essential would then stand over against it. But if thus related to the latter, it would be itself unessential,
and consciousness would not have got disentangled from the deceptions of perception; whereas this universal
has proved to be one which has passed out of such conditioned separate existence and returned into itself.
This unconditioned universal, which henceforward is the true object of consciousness, is still object of
consciousness; consciousness has not yet grasped its principle, or notion, qua notion. There is an essential
III. FORCE AND THE UNDERSTANDING−THE WORLD OF APPEARANCE AND THE SUPERSENSIBLE WORLD(1)
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