A common theme among the readings is the concept of the senses and how they relate to knowledge. In Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel coins the term sense-certainty as something that “immediately appears as the richest kind of knowledge” and as “a knowledge of infinite wealth for which no bounds can be found,” (I.91). The way I interpreted this statement was by noting how important our senses are in determining what things are and therefore gaining knowledge. Knowledge gained through the senses (i.e., sight, smell, touch, taste, feel) provides the most natural and most hands-on experience in an attempt to identity and later understand an object.
Another quote that stands out to me is the one when Hegel says “But, in the event, this very certainly proves itself the most abstract and poorest truth” (I.91). I think this means that within the known factors, such as what we feel or see, we still have yet to delve into the true meaning of the object beyond merely identifying the object alone. It seems to be that sense-certainty is very important in the eyes of Hegel as the “richest knowledge” because it enhances our deductive reasoning. It forces us to use our senses to determine what we might think we know.
The idea of sense-certainty is still very complex in its meaning and by the way it encapsulates other sub-forms of knowledge and thought such as consciousness for example. Its perplexity makes sense in a complicated way by the way that the acquisition of knowledge can be reached in a multitude of ways, including how some knowledge is taught and how some is developed through the use of our senses.
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