PHENOMENOLOGY | POS | SEL001 | GWF HEGEL
|| PREFACE | ON SCIENTIFIC COGNITION | 001 ||
It is customary to preface a work with an explanation of the author's aim , why one wrote the book , and the relationship in which one believes it to stand to other earlier or contemporary treatises on the same subject .
In the case of a philosophical work , however , such an explanation seems not only superfluous but , in view of the nature of the subject-matter , even inappropriate and misleading . For whatever might appropriately be said about philosophy in a preface — say a historical statement of the main drift and the point of view , the general content and results , a string of random assertions and assurances about truth — none of this can be accepted as the way in which to expound philosophical truth .
Also , since philosophy moves essentially in the element of universality , which includes within itself the particular , it might seem that here more than in any of the other sciences the subject-matter itself , and even in its complete nature , were expressed in the aim and the final results , the execution being by contrast really the unessential factor .
On the other hand , in the ordinary view of anatomy , for instance ( say , the knowledge of the parts of the body regarded as inanimate ) , we are quite sure that we do not as yet possess the subject-matter itself , the content of this science , but must in addition exert ourselves to know the particulars .
Further , in the case of such an aggregate of information , which has no right to bear the name of Science , an opening talk about aim and other such generalities is usually conducted in the same historical and uncomprehending way in which the content itself ( these nerves , muscles , etc ) is spoken of .
In the case of philosophy , on the other hand , this would give rise to the incongruity that along with the employment of such a method its inability to grasp the truth would also be demonstrated .
SOURCE | SATYAVEDISM.COM