Volume 67, Issue 3, Summer 2023
Special Topic: Hermann Levin Goldschmidt’s Contradiction Set Free
Thinking in the Stillness of Life
On Hegel’s Notion of Experience
The text approaches the Hegelian dynamic between truth and certainty as it appear in the beginning of the Phenomenology as a question of truth and the sense of truth. Since this difference exceeds a merely epistemic stance and cannot be captured in terms of conceptual content, it leads to another mode of inquiry, namely, to that of a different relatedness to knowledge. Hegel’s emphasis, as I will attempt to show, on thinking the question of self-relatedness of thought in terms of experience (which is always negative) in the first place, may provide a means to identify such a mode of self-relatedness that precedes the “self” of consciousness. Such an approach would put the question of the self both against its rigid modern critiques on the one hand, and its contemporary dissolution into naturalistic objectified oblivion on the other. In this way, the essay also challenges Heidegger’s critical stance towards the Hegelian notion of “the experience of consciousness” by presenting it rather as a “consciousness of experience.” For here this double genitive expresses a repetition or return that appears as a kind of afterimage of a still-life.