Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Supersensuous within the Sensuous

I was interested to come across this passage in Feuerbach's Principles of the Philosophy of the Future:

The distinction between essence and appearance, cause and effect, substance and accident, necessity and contingency, speculative and empirical does not mean that there are two different realms or worlds – the supersensuous world which is essence, and the sensuous world which is appearance; rather, this distinction is internal to sensuousness itself. Let us take an example from the natural sciences. In Linnaeus's system of plants the first groups are determined according to the number of filaments. But in the eleventh group where twelve to twenty stamens occur – and more so in the group of twenty stamens and polystamens – the numerical determinations become irrelevant; counting is of no use any more. Here in one and the same area we have therefore, before us the difference between definite and indefinite, necessary and indifferent, rational and irrational multiplicity. This means that we need not go beyond sensuousness to arrive, in the sense of the Absolute Philosophy, at the limit of the merely sensuous and empirical; all we have to do is not separate the intellect from the senses in order to find the supersensuous – spirit and reason – within the sensuous.

The sentiment is anti-Kantian, of course; and is broadly Hegelian. But it's an interesting way to put an interesting objection.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please understand that this weblog runs on a third-party comment system, not on Blogger's comment system. If you have come by way of a mobile device and can see this message, you may have landed on the Blogger comment page, or the third party commenting system has not yet completely loaded; your comments will only be shown on this page and not on the page most people will see, and it is much more likely that your comment will be missed.