The Phenomenology of Mind HTML version

which in its very process of seeking declares that it is utterly impossible to have the satisfaction of finding.
But actual concrete reason is not so inconsequent as this. Being at first merely the certainty that it is all
reality, it is in this notion well aware that qua certainty qua ego it is not yet in truth all reality; and thus reason
is driven on to raise its formal certainty into actual truth, and give concrete filling to the empty "mine".
1. Cp. Hegel's Hist. Of Philos., pt. 2, ¤ 3, Introd. And C: pt. 3, Introd. Philos. Of Hist., pt. 4, ¤ 3, c. 3 ad fin.
2. Cp. Naturphilos., W.W., vii. 1. ¤ 246; Logik, W.W., v.
3. Cp. Fichte, Grundlage d. Gesam. Wissenschaftslehre.
4. V. sup. P. 154 ff.
5. This refers to Kant's "discovery" of his "table of categories".
6. Fichte, Berkeley.
7. Cp. Wiss. D. Logik, Pt. I, p. 253 ff.
8. V. sup. P. 154 ff.
THIS consciousness, which takes being to mean what is its own, now seems, indeed, to adopt once again the
attitude of "meaning"(1) and "perceiving"; but not in the sense that it is certain of what is a mere "other" , but
in the sense that it is certain of this "other" being itself. Formerly, consciousness merely happened to perceive
various elements in the "thing", and had a certain experience in so doing. But here it itself settles the
observations to be made and the experience to be had. "Meaning" and "perceiving", which formerly were
superseded so far as we were concerned (fer uns), are now superseded by consciousness in its own behalf (fer
es). Reason sets out to know the truth, to find in the form of a notion what, for "meaning" and "perceiving", is
a "thing"; i.e. it seeks in thinghood to have merely the consciousness of its own self. Reason has, therefore,
now a universal interest in the world, because it is certain of its presence in the world, or is certain that the
actual present is rational. It seeks its "other", while knowing that it there possesses nothing else but itself: it
seeks merely its own infinitude.
While, at first, merely surmising that it is in the world of reality, or knowing this only in a general way to be
its own, it goes forward on this understanding and appropriates everywhere and at all points its own assured
possession. It plants the symbol of its sovereignty on the heights and in the depths of reality. But this
superficial "mine" is not its final and supreme interest. The joy of universal appropriation finds still in its
property the alien other which abstract reason does not contain within itself. Reason has the presentiment of
being a deeper reality than pure ego is, and must demand that difference, the manifold diversity of being,
should itself become its very own, that the ego should look at and see itself as concrete reality, and find itself
present in objectively embodied form and in the shape of a "thing". But if reason probes and gropes through
the inmost recesses of the life of things, and opens their every vein so that reason itself may gush out of them,
then it will not achieve this desired result; it must, for its purpose, have first brought about in itself its own
completion in order to be able after that to experience what its completion means.
Consciousness "observes", i.e. reason wants to find and to have itself in the form of existent object, to be, in
concrete sensuously−present form. The consciousness thus observing fancies (meint), and, indeed, says that it
wants to discover not itself, but, on the contrary, the inner being of things qua things. That this consciousness