Infomotions, Inc.New exposition of the science of knowledge / translated by A.E. Kroeger. / Fichte, Johann Gottlieb, 1762-1814




Author: Fichte, Johann Gottlieb, 1762-1814
Title: New exposition of the science of knowledge / translated by A.E. Kroeger.
Publisher: St. Louis, 1869.
Tag(s): knowledge, theory of; knowledge; freedom; new exposition; contemplation; science; know ledge; formal freedom; free dom; factical knowledge; abso lute; contem plation
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NEW EXPOSITION 



OF 

X tf 



* 

THE SCIENCE OF KNOWLEDGE. 



BY J. G. FICHTE. 



TEANSLATED FROM THE GEEMAN 



BY A. E. KROEGER. 

fj 






.0000114 




Published in St. Louis, Mo., 1869. 



PREFACE. 



The work herewith submitted to the philosophical public is, as its 
title expresses, a New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge, that 
science, the original and first presentation whereof published by 
Fichte in 1794 was published in a translation* by me in this coun 
try last year. Both works are the same in so far as the contents are 
concerned, but differ materially in respect to the presentation of 
those contents and to the terminology employed in the presentation. 
Thus, for instance, in the present exposition the word Freedom is 
always used in place of Ego, and Being in place of Non-Ego. Fichte, 
during his lifetime, elaborated quite a number of such expositions for 
each course of lectures a different one six whereof are printed in the 
German edition of his Complete Works. I selected the first one of 
17194 for the introduction of Fichte s Science of Knowledge to the Eng 
lish-speaking public, partly because it is, in my judgment, the easiest 
and most systematic elaboration of that science, and partly because 1 
wished to publish the Science of Rightsf and the Science of Morals, 
both of which works connect most happily with that first represen 
tation. 

I have selected the present exposition written by Fichte in 1801, 
but not published till long after his death, in 1845 for the second 
edition in the English language of the Science of Knowledge, partly 
because it really was Fichte s second exposition, and partly because 
the most important points of that science are therein stated with great 
clearness and eloquence. Moreover, it was written by Fichte with 
especial view to publication, whereas all his other presentations of 
the Science of Knowledge were written for lecture-purposes. Exter 
nal circumstances, however, prevented that publication, and hence the 
manuscript was left in a somewhat unfinished shape, a fact which will 
explain the abruptness of transition at various points and the crude- 
ness of several sentences. Finally, I chose this work because I had 

* ^Science of Knowledge. Translated from the German of J. G. Fichte, by A. E. 
Kroeger. Published!)^ J. B. Lippincott & Co.. Philadelphia, 1868. 

f Published this year: Science_oltights. Translated from the German of J. G. 
Fichte, by A. E. Kroeger. PublSieTy J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia 
1869. 



iv Preface. 

previously translated for the Journal of Speculative Philosophy,* 
wherein this work was first published, Fichte s First and Second Intro 
ductions to his Science, as well as his Sun-clear Statement respecting 
that Science, three works which connect with the present exposition 
in a particularly happy manner. 

As for the translation itself, it is an old work indeed, my oldest 
attempt at a translation of Fichte s Science. It was begun at New 
York in 1860 and finished at St. Louis in 1861. Nevertheless, I be 
lieve I may conscientiously sa3 r , that it is a very accurate transla 
tion ; therein differing materially from my translation of the first 
representation of the Science of Knowledge. For whereas in the pres 
ent work only the divisions and headings are my own, in that other 
translation I both omitted and added to a large extent. I omitted all 
those sentences and paragraphs which 1 considered out of place in a 
book-presentation though probably very much in place in a lecture- 
presentation of the Science of Knowledge ; and I added, for instance, 
the whole of the second portion of the theoretical part, which in the 
German edition is published as a separate work, but which really 
belongs where 1 have placed it additions and omissions which, in my 
judgment, make my English version of the Science of Knowledge of 
1794 much superior to the German original. 

The few students whom this work may interest I would beg not to 
be discouraged by any possible failure to comprehend it at its first, 
second, or even third reading. To a mind educated in the method of 
our modern schools and colleges, nothing is so difficult as to find sense 
in Transcendental Philosophy ; just as to a transcendental philosopher 
the most commonly accepted rules, doctrines, axioms, &c., appear ut 
terly absurd and beyond comprehension. The Science of Knowledge 
is not a book to read, but a work to study as you would study the sci 
ence of the higher mathematics, page by page, and year after year. 
Five or ten years may be needed to get full possession of it; but he 
who has possession of it has possession of all sciences. 

The Sonnet which precedes the Science of Knowledge has generally 
been considered a very happy expression of the fundamental view of 
that science. 

I have allowed my Essay on Kant s System of Transcendental Ideal 
ism to be published as an appendix because I thought it might lead 
some students to compare Kant s System with Fichte s, and to study 
Kant not merely in the Critic of Pure .Reason, but in those three 
great works, which in their unity alone represent the system of that 

great man. 

A. E. KROEGER. 

ST. Louis, October, 1869. 

* Journal of Speculative Philosophy. Published by W. T. Harris, St. Louis, Mo. 



S O ItTICTE T. 



I. 

What to my eye has given such wondrous power, 

That all deformity has ceased to be; 
That night appears as brightest sunlight hour, 

Chaos as order, death as life to me? 
What through the misty clouds of time and space 

Leads me unerring to the eternal flow 
Of beauty, truth and goodness and of grace, 

Wherein with self is lost all selfish woe? 
Tis this : since in Urania s eye, the still, 

Self-luminous, blue, and transparent light, 
My soul has looked, all thought of self being gone, 

Since then this eye my inmost soul doth fill, 
Is in my being the perennial one 

Lives in my life, and seeth in my sight. 

II. 

God only is and God is nought but life ! 

And yet thou knowest and I know with thee. 
If such a thing as knowing then can be, 

Must it not be a knowing of God s life ? 
" Gladly to His iny life I would resign; 

But oh ! how find it ? If tis ever brought 
Into my knowing, it becomes a thought, 

Clad with thought s garb like other thoughts of mine." 
The obstacle, my friend, is very clear, 

It is thy Self. Whate er can die, .resign, 
And God alone will hence breathe in thy breath. 

Note well, what may survive this partial death, 
Then- shall the hull to thee as hull appear, 

And thou shalt see unveiled the life divine. 



NEW EXPOSITION 



THE SCIENCE OF KNOWLEDGE. 



INTRODUCTION. 

CONTENTS OF INTRODUCTION: 

Part /.DESCRIPTION OF THE SCIENCE OF KNOWLEDGE. 
2 1. Preliminary Description of Knowledge by its Construction. 
\ 2. Description of the Science of Knowledge as a knowledge of Knowledge. 
3. Deductions. 

Part //.ON ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE. 

1. Concerning the Conception of Absolute Knowledge. 
\ 2. Formal and Word-Definition of Absolute Knowledge. 

1 3. Real Definition of Absolute Knowledge : Description of the Absolute Sub 

stance of Knowledge. 

2 4. Same continued: Description of the Absolute Form of Knowledge. 

2 5. Same concluded: Description of the Unity of Absolute Form and Absolute 
Substance in Knowledge. 

Part ///. ON 



OF T 



the 



)N INTELLECTUAL CONTEMPLATION AND DEDUCTION 
HE FIVEFOLDNESS IN THE FORM OF REFLECTION. 

\ 1. Union of Freedom and Being in Absolute Knowledge through Thinking. 
\ 2. Description of the Absolute Substance of Intellectual Contemplation as 
For-itself of that Thinking. 

\ 3. Description of the Absolute Form of Intellectual Contemplation as Ori final 

Act of Absolute Reflection of that Thinking. 
\ 4. The Absolute Ego as the Absolute Form of Knowledge. 

Part I. 

DESCRIPTION OF THE SCIENCE OF KNOWLEDGE. 

1. Preliminary Description of Knowledge ly Us Construc 
tion. 

This description is called preliminary, not because it will 
exhaust the conception of knowledge, but merely because it 
will enable us to point out those of its characteristics which 
are necessary to be known for our present purpose. The 



2 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

question, therefore, which we might be interrupted with at the 
beginning of what knowledge are you speaking ? and what 
meaning do you attach to this word? is not hero in place. 
We use the term, referred to, in no other sense than will be 
explained directly, and mean no more by it than will appear 
from the following : 

Construct a certain angle ! we should say to the reader, if 
we were conversing with him. Now close the angle, thus con 
structed, with a third straight line. Do you presume that the 
angle could have been closed with one or more other lines that 
is to say, longer or shorter ones, than the one you have drawn 
to close it? If the reader replies, as we expect him to do, that 
he presumes no such thing, we shall further ask him whether he 
considers this to be merely his opinion, his temporary judg 
ment on the matter, subject to a future rectification ; or whether 
he believes himself to Jcnow it, to know it as quite sure and 
certain. If he replies affirmatively to this question, as we also 
expect him to do, we shall again ask him, whether it is his opin 
ion that the case mentioned is applicable only to that particular 
angle, which he happened to construct in that particular man 
ner, and to those particular lines, forming the angle, which also 
happened to be just such particular lines ; and whether other 
possible angles, enclosed by other possible lines, might not be 
formed so as to have their two sides united by more straight 
lines than one ? We shall furthermore ask him, after he has an 
swered the foregoing, whether he believes that this fact appeai-s 
in this particular light only to him, individually, or whether lie 
believes that all rational Beings, who but understand his words, 
must necessarily partake of his conviction in the matter ; and 
lastly, whether he simply pretends to have an opinion on 
these matters, or whether he decidedly believes himself to 
Jcnow them. If he replies, as we expect him to do for if only 
one of his answers should be contrary to our supposition, we 
should at once be compelled to forego further discussion with 
him until his state of mind had undergone a change ; why ? 
he alone can understand who has answered these questions 
c orrectly; if he replies, that not one of all the infinite variety 
of possible angles, formed by any of tiie infinite number of 
possible lines, can be closed by more than one possible third 
line that every rational Being must necessarily entertain the 



New Exposition of the Science of Knoioledge. 3 

same conviction, and that he is positive of the absolute valid 
ity of this fact, both as regards the infinite variety of angles 
and the infinite variety of rational Beings, we shall proceed 
with him to the following reflections : 

You affirm, then, to have acquired a Knowledge by the afore 
mentioned representation, a firmness, and unshakable stability 
of this representation, on which you can repose immutably, 
and are sure that you can repose so forever. Now tell me, on 
what is this knowledge really based? what is this its firm 
standpoint, and what this its unchangeable object? To begin 
with : 

Our reader had just been constructing a certain angle, of a 
certain number of degrees, by certain side lines of a certain 
length. Thereupon he drew, once for all, the third line, and 
in drawing it declared, once for all, that all further attempts 
to draw another straight line between the two points would 
always result only in reproducing the same one line. 

In that instance of drawing a line, the reader must there 
fore have abstained from viewing it as a present instance ; he 
must have considered that it was not the present act of drawing 
a line, but the drawing of a line under these particular condi 
tions i. e. for the purpose of closing this particular angle 
and in its infinite continuability, which he surveyed at one 
glance ; and he must really have viewed it thus, if his asser 
tion is to have any foundation. Again : the reader pretended 
to know that this assertion of his did apply not only to the 
present angle, which he had just constructed, but to all the 
infinite number of possible angles. He must therefore have 
reflected not on the drawing of a line to close this angle, but 
generally on the drawing of a line to close any angle, and he 
must have surveyed this act of his, in its possible and infinite 
variety, at one glance, if the assertion of his knowledge in this 
matter is to have any foundation. Again : this assertion of 
his was to be valid, not merely for him, but for all rational 
Beings who could but understand his words. He could there 
fore in nowise have reflected on himself, as such a particular 
person, nor on his own individual judgment ; but he must have 
surveyed the judgment of all rational Beings, looking out from 
his soul into the souls of all rational Beings, if his assertion of 
the pretended knowledge is to have any foundation. Lastly : 



4 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

the reader, having joined all these facts together in his mind, 
asserts to know of them, thus confessing that he will not 
change his judgment of them in all eternity, and making of 
this, his momentary assertion, an assertion for all time to 
come as well as for the whole past if in the past he should 
ever have had occasion to judge on this matter ; he, therefore, 
does not regard his judgment on this subject as one of the 
present moment, but he surveys the judgment of himself and 
of all other reasoning Beings on this subject for all time, i. e. 
absolutely timeless, if the assertion of his pretended know 
ledge is to have any foundation. In one word : the reader 
claims for himself the power of surveying at one glance all 
represented ion-^of course, of the object we have applied it to. 
Now, nothing prevents us from leaving unnoticed the fact, 
that in the quoted example it was the representation of a line 
between two points, which was surveyed at one glance ; and 
we are consequently justified in asserting the result of our 
investigation to be contained in the following, merely formal, 
sentence : To the reader, who has answered our several ques 
tions, there is a knowledge ; and this knowledge consists in 
the surveying at one glance a certain power of representing 
or, as we would rather say, Reason, but this word is to have no 
other meaning here than it can necessarily have in this con 
nection, in its totality. Nothing, we say, can prevent us from 
making this abstraction, provided we do not thereby intend 
to extend the result of our investigation, but leave it entirely 
undecided whether the one case we have quoted is the only 
object of knowledge, or whether there are still other such 
objects. 

REMARKS. Such an absolute gathering together and taking 
in at one glance of a manifold of a representing (which 
manifold will most probably turn out to be at the same time 
always of an infinite character), as we have described in the 
above construction of knowledge, is, in the following treatise, 
and in the Science of Knowledge generally, termed contem 
plation. In that construction, we have found that knowledge 
has its basis and consists only in contemplation. 
^To this uniting consciousness is opposed the consciousness 
of the particular, which in the above illustration we found 
exemplified in the present drawing of a line between the two 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 5 

points of an angle.; This consciousness we may call percep 
tion or experience. It has appeared that in knowledge mere 
perception must be abstracted from.* 

2. Description of the Science of Knowledge as a knowledge 

of Knowledge. 

The Science of Knowledge is, as the term shows, a science, 
a theory of knowledge, which theory is doubtless based on a 
knowledge of Knowledge, generates knowledge, or in one word, 
is this knowledge. [This knowledge of Knowledge is first, as 
the words indicate, a knowledge in itself, a taking in of the 
manifold at one glancei 

It is, again, a knowledge of Knowledge. In the same man 
ner as the above described knowledge of the line-drawing be 
tween two points is related to the infinitely varying possible 
cases of such line-drawing, is the knowledge of Knowledge 
related to any particular knowledge. Knowledge, therefore, 
presents, the view of a manifold, which the knowledge of 
Knowledge takes in and surveys at one glance. 

Or, still more clear and distinct: In all knowledge of the 
drawing of a line, the relation of the sides of a triangle, or 
whatever other descriptions of knowledge there may be, this 
knowledge, in its absolute identity as knowledge, would be 
the real seat and centre of the knowledge of line-drawing, 
relation of the sides of a triangle, &c. In it and its unity we 
would know of everything, however different it otherwise 
might be, only in the same manner ; but of knowledge, as 
such, we should know nothing, precisely because we should 
know not of knowledge, but of the line-drawing, &c., in ques 
tion. There would be a knowledge, and it would know be 
cause it would be; but it would know nothing of itself just 
because it would merely be. But in the knowledge of Knowl 
edge this knowledge itself would be surveyed as such at one 
glance, and, therefore, as a unity in itself; just as the line- 
drawing, &c., was regarded, in our knowledge of it, as a unity 

* It is therefore an evidence of boundless stupidity when some one asks to tell 
him how we can know anything except through perception (experience). Through 
experience we can know nothing at v all, since the merely experienced must be 
thrown aside first in order that we may arrive at a knowledge. 



6 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

in itself. In the knowledge of Knowledge, knowledge steps 
out of itself, and places itself before its own eye, in order to 
"be reflected upon. 

It is evident that knowledge must be able thus to s<g|je, 
contemplate, examine, and comprehend itself, if a Science of 
Knowledge is to"T5e possible. Now it is true, that we might 
even here from the reality of the consciousness of men deduce 
a proof, although an indirect one, of the reality and conse 
quently of the possibility of such a knowledge. But the direct 
proof of it is the reality of the Science of Knowledge, and of 
this every one can become convinced by realizing it within 
himself. Relying on this proof by fact, which our present 
attempt will furnish, we can abstain from all other preliminary 
proofs, especially as we have commenced this factical proof 
already by the mere writing down of our I. 

3. Deductions. 

1. According to the above, all knowledge is contemplation 
( 2). Knowledge of Knowledge, therefore, being itself know 
ledge, is contemplation; and being a knowledge of Knowledge, 
is a contemplation of all contemplation the absolute uniting 
of all possible contemplation into one. 

2. The Science of Knowledge being this knowledge of Know 
ledge, is therefore no system or collection of axioms, no plu 
rality of truisms, but altogether one undivided contemplation. 

3. Contemplation is itself absolute knowledge firmness, 
unwavering stability, and immutability of our representation ; 
but the Science of Knowledge is an undivided survey of all 
such contemplation. It is therefore itself absolute knowledge, 
and, as such, firjnness, unshakableness, immutability of our 
judgment ( 1). Consequently, whatever appertains to the 
Science of Knowledge cannot be disproved by any reasoning 
Being ; it cannot be contradicted, it cannot be doubted ; since 
no disproving, no contradiction, no doubt is possible except 
through this science, and is therefore far below this science. So 
far as individuals are concerned, this science can meet only 
one difficulty : some men may not possess it. 

4. Since the Science of Knowledge is only the contemplation 
of knowledge (a knowledge of line-drawing, &c.) which latter 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 7 

has been and must be presupposed to exist independently of 
such science it is evident that this science can open no new 
and particular branch of knowledge made possible only by it, 
no material knowledge (no knowledge of something). This 
science can be nothing but the universal knowledge, which 
has come to know of itself, and has entered a state of light, 
consciousness and independence in regard to itself. This sci 
ence is not an object of knowledge, but simply a for7H of the 
knowledge of all possible objects. This science must on no 
account be considered as an external object, but as our own 
tool ; our hand, our foot, our eye ; and not even our eye, but 
only the clearness of the eye. The teacher makes it objective 
merely to the student, who does not yet possess it, and only 
until he possesses it ; for the student s sake only is it explained 
by words ; whereas whoever does possess it, speaks no more 
of it, but lives and acts it in his other knowledge. Strictly 
speaking, no one lias this science, but is it ; and no one has it 
until he has become it. 

5. The Science of Knowledge is, as we have said, a contem 
plation of that general knowledge which needs not to be first 
acquired, but which must be presupposed to exist in every 
Being, gifted with reason, and which, in fact, constitutes 
such rational BeingJ This science is, therefore, the easiest 
and plainest that possibly can be. To attain it, nothing 
further is necessary than to turn our reflection upon our self, 
and to cast a clear glance into our inner Being. The fact that 
mankind has gone astray in search of this knowledge for so 
many centuries, and that the present age, to which it has been 
submitted, has not understood it, proves only that men have 
heretofore paid more attention to everything else than to their 
own self. 

G. Now, although the Science of Knowledge is not a system 
of axioms, but an undivided contemplation, it may neverthe 
less be possible that the unity of this contemplation is not in 
itself an absolute simplicity, a first element, atom, monad, or 
whatever else 3^011 may call this first thought (perhaps because 
such a thing does not exist in knowledge or anywhere else) ; 
but an organic unity, a variety melted together into unity, 
and this unity diffused at the same time into variety and an 
undivided unity. In fact, this appears to be the case when we 



8 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

remember merely that this contemplation is to Ibe a contem 
plation of all the manifold contemplations, of which latter 
each one is again to contain an infinite variety of instances. 

7. Now, if this should turn out to be the case, it might be pos 
sible, also, that we should be unable not in our presupposed 
possession of this science, but in its demonstration to others, 
who are presumed not to possess it to present this unity to 
the student in a direct manner. We might see ourselves com 
pelled to cause this unity to organize itself from out of one or 
the other of the various instances, and then to disorganize it 
again into these, making the student a witness of this process. 
It is clear that, under such circumstances, the one instance 
selected from which to start the organization could not be 
understood by itself, since by itself it would be nothing; being 
something only as a part of an organized unity and compre 
hensible only in this unity. In this manner we could, there 
fore, never gain admittance into the Science of Knowledge ; or 
if it were possible, and if such an isolated instance could be 
made clear to the student, it could be done only if the contem 
plation of this isolated instance should turn out to be accom 
panied although in an indistinct and to us unconscious 
manner by the contemplation of the whole unity; the iso 
lated instance having its resting-point in this unity, and 
receiving from it its distinctness and comprehensibility, while 
at the same time imparting to this unity a peculiar distinctness 
of its own, when connected with it. Thus it would also be 
with all subsequent instances, to be taken into consideration. 
Still more : the first instance would not only throw a peculiar 
light on the second instance, but at the same time the second 
instance would reflect back a peculiar light on the first one ; 
since this receives its complete distinctness from the Whole, 
of which the second instance is a part. In the same way the 
third instance would not only be illuminated by the first one, 
but would reflect back upon both preceding ones its own 
peculiar light ; and thus on to the end. In the course of our 
investigation, each part would consequently be explained by 
all others, and all others by each particular instance. All 
investigated parts would have to be kept in mind, since with 
each step forwards we should get a new view not merely of 
the new instance, but of all others and/rom all others ; and no 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 9 

instance would be completely explained until all the others 
had been explained, and until the one clear view, by which 
all the variety is united into one and the one re-diffused 
into the variety, had been obtained. The Science of Know 
ledge would consequently in spite of the successive demon 
stration adopted by us remain the same one and undivided 
view, which from the zero of distinctness in which it merely 
exists, but is unconscious of itself is elevated in a successive 
and straightforward manner to that point of clearness and 
perspicuousness in which it is thoroughly conscious of itself 
and lives in itself; thus confirming anew what has already 
been seen, that the Science of Knowledge does not consist 
in an acquisition or a production of something new, but in 
illuminating and making perspicuous that which always has 
been and always has been ourselves. 

We might add historically, that the method of the Science 
of Knowledge is really as we have here presumed it to be, and 
that it is consequently fixed for all time to come. This science 
is not a drawing of conclusions in a simple, straight line, from 
some starting-point or other a proceeding which is possible 
only in a presupposed lower organism of knowledge, but of 
no use whatever in Philosophy (being, on the contrary, posi 
tively ruinous to it), but a drawing of conclusions from and 
to all sides at one and the same time ; from a central point to 
all other points and from all other points back again to the 
central point, just as in an organic body. 

Part II. 

ON ABSOLUTE KNOWLEDGE. 

1. Concerning the conception of Absolute Knowledge. 
In order to pave a way for our investigation, let us first pre 
mise that the very conception of Jmowledge precludes all sus 
picion of its being the Absolute itself. For every second word 
added to the expression, the Absolute, destroys the conception 
of absoluteness, as such, and makes that word a mere adjective 
of the noun to which it becomes affixed. The Absolute is not 
knowledge, nor is it Being, nor is it identity or indifference of 
these two terms ; it is simply and only the Absolute. But as 
we can never advance in the Science of Knowledge and per- 



10 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

haps in all other possible knowledge beyond knowledge, this 
science cannot take its starting-point from the Absolute, but 
must commence with absolute knowledge. The question, 
how, under these circumstances, we are nevertheless able to 
assign to the Absolute its place beyond and independent of 
absolute knowledge or, at least, to tliinlc it thus as we have 
just now done, and how we could describe it, as we did, will 
undoubtedly be answered in the course of our investigation. 
It is possible that the Absolute enters our consciousness (is 
thought by us) only in the above connection with knowledge 
or, as the form of knowledge. 

The same question in regard to the possibility of thinking 
the Absolute, which we have just raised, can undoubtedly be 
objected to the thinking of absolute knowledge, i. e. if it 
should appear that all our real and possible knowledge is 
never an absolute, but, on the contrary, always a relative know 
ledge, limited or determined in a particular manner, and 
might be answered similarly : that this absolute knowledge 
can be revealed and is revealed to our consciousness only as 
the form, or, from another point of view, as the material part, 
or the object of real knowledge. This is the reason why we, 
having the intention of describing this absolute knowledge, 
and therefore undoubtedly persuaded that we know something 
about it, must for the present leave the question undecided 
how we ever came into possession of this our real knowledge 
of absolute knowledge. Perhaps we also view it, although as 
absolute, yet at the same time as never otherwise than in a 
relation, i. e. in its relation to all relative knowledge. In the 
description we are about to attempt, we can trust only to the 
direct contemplation of the reader, and must be content with 
asking him whether this description will call up in his mind 
what to him appears and forces itself upon his conviction as 
absolute knowledge. Or, if even this self-contemplation 
should desert him, we must wait and see whether in our suc 
ceeding paragraphs a light may not break upon his mind in 
regard to this first point. 

2. Formal and Word-definition of Absolute Knowledge. 

Even if we should be compelled to content ourselves with 
the fact, which everyone will admit, that all our real know- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 11 

ledge is a knowledge of something tills something, and not 
that or the other something yet every one of our readers will 
undoubtedly be able to understand, that there could be no 
knowledge of something if there were no knowledge pure and 
simple. So far as knowledge is a knowledge of something, it 
is a different knowledge in every other something of which it 
knows ; but so far as it is knowledge pure, it is the same in all 
knowledge of something; and always altogether the same, 
although this knowledge of something might be extended into 
infinity, and consequently present an infinite difference. Now 
it is this knowledge, as the one and the same in all particular 
knowledge, to the thinking of which the reader is invited when 
we speak of absolute knowledge. 

Let us make this thought, which we wish the reader to form, 
still more distinct by a few additional remarks : It is not a 
knowledge of something, nor is it a knowledge of nothing 
(which would make it a knowledge of something, this some 
thing being nothing) ; it is not even a knowledge of itself ; it- 
is altogether no knowledge of; nor is it a knowledge (quantita 
tive and in shape of a relation), but it is the knowledge (abso 
lutely qualitative). It is no act, no fact, no something in know 
ledge, but it is simply that knowledge in which alone all acts 
and facts which can take place are contained. "What use we 
can, nevertheless, make of this knowledge, the reader must 
wait to see. It is not opposed to the something of which is 
known, for in that case it would be the knowledge of some 
thing, or this particular knowledge itself ; but it is opposed to 
the "knowledge of something. 

Some one, however, might say that this conception of know 
ledge pure and simple is after all nothing but an abstraction 
from all the particular of knowledge. To such an objection 
we must, of course, admit that in the course of our actual con 
sciousness we are elevated to a particular consciousness of the 
absolute one and the same in all particular knowledge only 
by a free depression and subjection (generally called abstrac 
tion) of the particular character of a particular knowledge ; 
although there may be another way by which to attain this 
consciousness, and although this may be the very way we 
intend to lead the reader. But what we protest against is, that 
this abstraction be supposed to produce from a multitude of 



12 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

particulars what is contained in no single one of these particu 
lars; and that such an objection should hold, that that char 
acter of knowledge, which every particular knowledge is pre 
supposed to have, is on no account to be presupposed for the 
possibility of each single, particular knowledge, but enters 
knowledge only after a number of instances of knowledge 
have taken place, making then a knowledge what was pre 
viously a particular knowledge, although it never was know 
ledge. 

3. Real definition of Absolute Knowledge Description of 
tlie Absolute Substance of Knowledge. 

The real definition of absolute knowledge can be given 
only by demonstrating this knowledge through immediate 
contemplation. The reader must not believe that we can arrive 
at the nature of this absolute knowledge by drawing conclu 
sions in a logical chain of reasoning; for, since this knowledge 
is to be absolute, there can be no higher, no more absolute 
point from which our logical chain of reasoning could start. 
We can form a conception of absolute knowledge only by a 
likewise absolute contemplation. 

It is also apparent that such an absolute contemplation of 
absolute knowledge, and consequently the real definition of 
the latter, must be possible if a Science of Knowledge is to 
be possible ; for the contemplation which forms the Science of 
Knowledge is to survey at one glance all reason and know 
ledge. The particular knowledge, however, cannot be sur 
veyed at one glance, but requires particular glances, each one 
differing from the other. Knowledge must, therefore, be con 
templated from that point of view in which it is one and the 
same knowledge, i. e. absolute knowledge. 

In the description itself we shall assist the reader by the 
following introduction. Let the reader endeavor to think the 
Absolute itself, as such. Now, ive affirm that he can think it 
only under these two conditions : 1st, as being wliat it is 
reposing within and upon itself, without change or alteration, 
firm and complete of itself; 2d, as being what it is for no 
other reason than because it is of itself, by itself, without any 
foreign influence ; for everything foreign must vanish when we 
speak of the Absolute. 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 13 

(It is possible that this duplicity of conditions, wherewith 
we designate the Absolute, being unable to designate it in any 
other manner a fact rather curious, considering that we are 
speaking of the Absolute may be in itself a result of our 
mode of thinking, as a knowledge ; but this we must leave 
undecided for the present.) 

The first condition we can term absolute rest, Being, a state 
of repose, &c.; the second, absolute change, or Freedom. Both 
expressions are to signify no more than is contained in the 
contemplation of the two characteristics of the Absolute, which 
we have asked the reader to undertake. 

Now, knowledge is to be absolute, one and always the same 
knowledge, the unity of one and the highest contemplation, a 
mere absolute Quality. The two characteristics of the Abso 
lute, therefore, which we have distinguished from each other 
above, must unite and become one in knowledge, so as to be 
no longer distinguishable ; and this absolute union of both 
must constitute the real nature of knowledge, or the absolute 
knowledge. 

I say, the melting together and close union of both into an 
indivisible unity, by which each part resigns and loses alto 
gether its distinguishing characteristic, and both together form 
only one and an entirely new One, consequently their real union 
and true organization forms absolute knowledge ; but on no 
account their mere co-existence, concerning which nobody is 
able to comprehend how they can co-exist with each other, 
and which would form a mere formal and negative unity ; a 
non-diversity, which could after all (God knows for what rea 
sons) be only postulated, but could never be proved. You 
must not understand it as if Being and Freedom entered into 
any particular, consequently presupposed, knowledge, and 
there uniting formed absolute knowledge by their union, thus 
constituting another knowledge within the first one. But be 
yond all knowledge, Freedom and Being unite, mix with each 
other, and this union and identity of both into a new being 
alone constitutes knowledge, as knowledge, as an absolute 
Tale. Everything depends on understanding this properly, 
and the neglect to so understand it has caused an infinity of 
errors. 

But it might be asked, how we, who undoubtedly are also 



14 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

gifted only with knowledge, can undertake seemingly to go 
"beyond all knowledge and construct knowledge itself out of a 
non-knowledge ; or, in other words, how the contemplation of 
the absolute knowledge, to which we have invited the reader 
in our demonstration, and which can also be surely only a 
knowledge, is at all possible a possibility, however, which 
we have shown above to be the condition of the possibility of 
the Science of Knowledge ; and again, how we could under 
take to describe this contemplation, or this knowledge, as a 
non-knowledge, as we have done. The answer to these ques 
tions will be found as we proceed. This continual referring 
to our further progress arises from the peculiar method of the 
Science of Knowledge, as demonstrated before. A clearness 
is wanting, which can be found only in a second link of our 
argument. 

It must be considered, however, that the absolute knowledge 
has here been described simply so far as its substance is con 
cerned, feeing and Freedom, we have said, unite together ; 
they, therefore, are the active, if we can speak of anything 
active in this connection ; and are active for the very reason 
that they are not yet knowledge, but simply Being and Free 
dom. But as they unite and give up their separate existence 
in order to form a unity, a knowledge, they are mutually con 
nected with each other ; for only thus do they form know 
ledge ; separately they are merely Being and Freedom, and 
rest now in a state of repose.J\ This is what we term the sub 
stance of the absolute knowledge, or the absolute substance 
of knowledge. It is possible that this absolute substance 
holds the same relation towards the absolute form of the same 
knowledge which Being holds to Freedom in the absolute sub 
stance itself. 

4- Real Definition of Absolute Knowledge continued 
Description of the Absolute form of Knowledge. 

Not the inactive Being is knowledge, we said above, neither 
is it Freedom, but the absolute union and fusion of both into 
one is knowledge. 

Hence it is this union, regardless of what it is, that thus 
unites, wnich constitutes the absolute form of knowledge. 
Knowledge is a For-itself-and-in-itself Being, an inner life and 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 15 

organic acting power. This its being what it is for its self is 
the light of life and the source of all appearances in the light ; 
it is the substantial inner sight, as such.(^We do not wish you 
to believe, that in knowing an object you draw a distinction 
between your consciousness (o/this object) as the subjective, 
and the object itself as the objective; but we wish you to 
understand fully and be convinced in your innermost soul 
that both of these are One and a mutual Uniting, and that 
only after and by reason of this Uniting you are enabled to 
draw a distinction between bothT] You must be convinced 
that you do not tie both together, after their dissolution, by a 
string, which you know not where to get, but that both are and 
must be organically melted together and united before you 
can_ divide them. 

Or, think again the Absolute as it has been described above. 
It is simply what it is, and is this simply because it is. But 
this definition still leaves the Absolute without the power of 
looking upon itself; and if you demand, for whom it is a 
question which will occur to you very naturally, and which 
you will understand immediately when put by another per 
sonyou will vainly search for an eye to look upon the Abso 
lute outside of the Absolute. But even should we grant you 
this eye, which we cannot do, you would never be able to 
explain the connection between it and the Absolute, however 
loudly you might assert such connection. This eye (this being 
what it is for its own self) is not outside of the Absolute but 
within the Absolute, and is ,the inner life, the organic self- 
penetration (-comprehension) of the Absolute itself. 

Science has given to this absolute within itself moving life, 
and being what it is for itself, the only appropriate name ! 
which seemed to express the idea : Egoliood. But if the inner 
eye of any one of our readers is not gifted with the freedom 
to look away from all outside objects and fix itself wholly 
upon his self, all explanations and proper expressions will be 
of no avail in making us understood. Such a reader will mis 
interpret every new word we might add. He is blind and will 
remain so. 

If, as appears from the above, this l>eincj-for-itself consti 
tutes the real inner nature of knowledge, as knowledge (as an 
inner life of light, and inner sight), the nature of knowledge 



16 New Exposition of .the Science of Knowledge. 

must necessarily consist in a form (a form of Being and Free 
dom, i. e. of their absolute uniting), and all knowledge must 
consequently "be formal in its real nature. And that which 
we have termed in the preceding section the absolute sub 
stance of knowledge and which will perhaps remain alto 
gether the absolute substance, as substance appears to us 
here, where we have given to knowledge its independent exist 
ence, as &form, i. e. a form of knowledge. 

5. Union of tlie Absolute Form and tlie Absolute Substance 

in Knowledge. 

A. Knowledge is absolute ; it is wliat it is, and because it is. 
For it is only by the uniting and melting together of separ 
ates whatever these separates may be but on no account 
by the separates in their separateness that knowledge arises. 
Being knowledge, it, of course, cannot transcend its own 
sphere, for, if it did, it would cease to be knowledge ; nothing 
can exist for knowledge but itself. It is, therefore, absolute 
for itself, and comprehends itself, and begins as real formal 
knowledge (a condition of light and inner sight) only in so far 
as it is absolute. 

But we have said that as knowledge it is simply the melt 
ing together of separates into a unity; and let it be well 
remarked this unity is within itself and according to its 
nature whatever other unities may be a melting together of 
separates, and no other act of unity. 

Now, all knowledge begins with this thus characterized uni 
ty, which constitutes, in fact, the absoluteness of knowledge, 
and can never transcend it, or throw it aside, without destroy 
ing itself. This unity extends, therefore, as far as knowledge 
extends, and knowledge can never arrive at any other unity 
than a unity of separates. 

In other words, we have here deduced the assertion of 1, 
that all knowledge is the gathering together and reviewing at 
one glance of a manifold; and we, moreover, have shown 
the infinity of this manifoldness, the infinite divisibility of all 
knowledge, about which we could learn nothing from the mere 
fact developed in l,but had to arrive at through a deduction 
of the absolute ; and this infinite divisibility is deduced from 
the absolute character of knowledge, which is formal. 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 17 

Whatever your knowledge may grasp is unity : for know 
ledge exists and contemplates itself only in unity. But when 
you now again endeavor to grasp (comprehend) this know 
ledge, the uni^ty of it will at once dissolve itself into separates ; 
and the moment you try to seize one of these separates of 
course, as a unity, since no other way is possible this one 
separate part will likewise dissolve into a manifold, and so 
on, until you cease to divide. When you do cease, you have 
a unity which is a unity only because you pay no further 
attention to it. Now keep in mind that this infinite divisibil 
ity is within yourself, owing to the absolute form of your 
knowledge, which you cannot transcend, and which you con 
templatethough without a clear consciousness of this fact 
whenever you speak of infinite divisibility. \JLet it, then, nev 
ermore be said by you that this infinite divisibility might have 
its cause in a thing per se, an object of your senses which, if 
it were true, would only be confessing that you found it impos 
sible to discover its cause since this cause has been pointed 
out to you as existing in your own knowledge, the only possi 
ble source thereof, where you can find it whenever you turn 
your eye with a clear and earnest glance upon your inner self J 
But it must be well remembered that knowledge does on no 
account consist in the Uniting, or in the Dividing, each by it 
self, but in the union of both, in their melting together and 
real identity ; for there is no unity without separates, nor are 
there separates without a unity. Knowledge can never take 
its start from the consciousness of first elements, which you 
might possibly put together to a unity ; for all your know 
ledge cannot arrive in all eternity to a consciousness of first 
elements ; nor can it start from a unity, which you might per 
haps divide into parts to suit your fancy, conscious that you 
could pursue your dividing into infinity ; for you have no 
other unity than a unity of separates. Knowledge, therefore, 
balances between loth, and is destroyed if it does not balance 
between both. ^ The character of knowledge is organic. 

B. Knowledge is not the Absolute, but it is absolute as 
knowledge. Now the Absolute, when regarded as in a state 
of repose, is simply what it is. What knowledge is in this 
regard, what its absolute essence, its unchanging substratum 
is, we have seen in the preceding section. But the Absolute 
2 



18 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

is, moreover, when regarded as in a state of progress or free 
dom and it must be considered thus in order to be considered 
as the Absolute what it is, simply because it is. The same 
must hold good in regard to knowledge. 

It is clear that knowledge, in so far as it is not mere know 
ledge, but absolute knowledge, does not remain closed up 
within itself, but rises above itself, looking down upon itself 
from above. We shall not attempt at present to justify the 
possibility of this new reflection, which is after all self evident, 
since knowledge is an absolute For-ilself. The deduction of 
this reflection, with all the consequences arising therefrom, we 
shall leave to the future. 

But it will perhaps be well to remarl>, in order to throw all 
possible light on our subject, that this freedom of knowledge 
to reflect upon its own nature was silently taken into our cal 
culation in the preceding division, and alone made it possible 
for us to demonstrate what we did. We said : "Knowledge is 
a For-itself for-itself, and can, therefore, never go beyond the 
unity of separates, and consequently can never go beyond the 
separates." IN ow there we had to presume, for the mere sake 
of making ourselves understood, that knowledge was not con 
fined within itself, but had the faculty of expanding itself into 
the infinite. 

But, furthermore, knowledge is as knowledge only for itself 
and within itself : hence, it can be only for itself because it is : 
and as knowledge it is because it is only in so far as it is this 
for-itself (not for any foreign and outside object), but internal 
ly for itself ; or, in other words, because it posits itself as being 
because it is. Now this bei?ig because it is is not a character 
istic derived from the absolute Being of knowledge (its state 
of unchanging repose), like the Being described in the pre 
ceding section, but is derived from the Freedom and from the 
absolute Freedom of knowledge. Whatever, therefore, is un 
derstood by and derived from the character of this absolute 
Freedom does not result from the Being of knowledge ; this 
Being might even be possible without it, if knowledge were 
possible without it. This character, if it is, is simply because 
it is ; and if it is not, simply because it is not ; it is the produc 
tion of the absolute Freedom of knowledge, which is under no 
law, rule or foreign influence, and is itself this absolute Free- 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 19 

dom. From this point of view the reader must consider what 
we have just said; not*as if we had intended to deduce this 
Freedom from something else as we did in the case of the 
Being of knowledge, which we composed out of the union of 
the two predicates of the Absolute but that we absolutely 
posit it as the inner immanent absoluteness and Freedom of 
knowledge itself. So much in regard to the formal part of 
this character of Freedom in knowledge. 

Now, as far as its substance is concerned : "A knowledge is 
within and for itself because it is," means : an absolute act of 
knowledge is taken of knowledge, the For -itself -Being; con 
sequently, an act of self-comprehension, or of the absolute 
generation of the For-itself- Hood ; and this act is regarded 
as the ground (cause) of all Being in knowledge. Knowledge 
is, simply, because it is, for me ; and it is not for me, if it is 
not. An act it is, because it is Freedom; an act of Egoliood 
of the For-itself, because it is Freedom of knowledge \ unity, 
an altogether indivisible point of self-penetration in an indi 
visible point, because here only the act as such is to be ex 
pressed, and on no account a Being (of knowledge, of course) 
which alone involves the manifold, but which here belongs to 
the grounded and must therefore be carefully separated from 
the ground. An inner living point, absolute stirring up of life 
and light in itself and from out of itself. 

Part III. 

ON INTELLECTUAL CONTEMPLATION. 

1. Union of Freedom and Being in Absolute Knowledge 

tlirougli Tliinldng. 

A. We have considered absolute knowledge in regard to its 
inner, immanent character i. e. with abstraction "from the 
Absolute itself as absolute Being, and in regard to its inner, 
immanent generation as absolute Freedom. But the Absolute 
is neither the one nor the other, but both as a unity ; in know- 
ledge, at least, does this duplicity mingle into a unity. But 
even apart from this, the absoluteness of knowledge is not 
absoluteness itself, as the term shows, but is the absoluteness 
of knowledge ; existing therefore, since knowledge is for itself, 
only for knowledge, which is not possible unless its duplicity 



20 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

melts together into a unity. There must consequently be 
within knowledge itself, as sure as it is knowledge, a point 
where the duplicity of its absolute character unites into unity. 
This point of union we shall now turn our attention to, having 
sufficiently described the separates. 

At least one of the separates, which we have to unite with 
the other in knowledge, is the inner Freedom of knowledge- 
The higher point of union, which we are now to describe, is, 
therefore, founded on absolute Freedom of knowledge itself, 
presupposes it, and is possible only under such presupposi 
tion. From this reason alone, therefore, is it already evident 
that this point of union is itself a production of absolute 
Freedom, and cannot be derived, but must be absolutely pos 
ited ; it is, if it is, simply because it is ; and if it is not, simply 
because it is not. So much in regard to its outward form. 

Again : the presupposition in the absolute reflection of the 
Freedom of knowledge, described in the preceding section, is, 
that all knowledge emanates from it as its first source ; that, 
consequently, since Freedom is unity, we must start from the 
unity to arrive at a manifold. Only by this presupposition 
of the self-reflection of freedom is the higher uniting reflection 
(of which we speak now) made possible ; but with the first we 
necessarily have the absolute possibility of the latter. Rest 
ing directly upon and emanating from unity, this higher reflec 
tion is therefore in its purest essence nothing but an inner 
For-itself -existence of this unity, which is possible in know 
ledge simply because it is possible, but possible only through 
Freedom. 

(This reposing in the unity and inner for-it self -life, which 
has been shown to arise only from the exercise of the absolute 
Freedom of knowledge, is what is usually termed thinking. 
The moving in the manifoldness of the separates is, on the 
contrary, a contemplation. This we mention merely to define 
the meaning of these two words. But it must be remembered 
that knowledge does repose neither in the unity nor in the 
manifoldness, but within and between both ; for neither think 
ing nor contemplation is knowledge, but both in their union 
are knowledge.) 

Again : This uniting reflection presupposes plainly a Being, 
i. e. the Being of the separates, which are to be united ; and 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 21 

this Being the reflection holds and carries within itself, in so 
far as it unites them ; each, of course, for itself as a unity, a 
point, because the reflection emanates from thinking. In this 
regard the reflection is, therefore, not a free knowledge, as 
above, but a knowledge which carries its Being within itself ; 
is, hence, in so far bound by the law of the Being of know 
ledge, the law of contemplation : unable ever to arrive at any 
other unity than a unity of separates. What the reflection 
does is unity, represented by a point; what it does not, but 
simply is, and carries within itself, by virtue of its nature, 
without any co-operation of its own, is manifoldness ; and 
the reflection itself is materialiter, in its inner essence with 
out regard to the two outer links connected by it the union 
of both. What, then, is this reflection ? As an act, unity in 
knowledge, and for itself a point (a point in absolute empti 
ness, wherein it seizes and penetrates itself) ; as Being, mani 
foldness ; the whole, therefore, a point extended to infinite 
separability, and yet remaining a point ; a separability con 
centrated into a point, and yet remaining separability. Con 
sequently a living and self-luminous form of line-drawing. 
In a line, the point is everywhere, for the line has no breadth. 
In a line, manifoldness is everywhere, for no part of the line 
can be regarded as a point, but only as a line in itself, as an 
infinite separability of points. I have said the form of line- 
drawing, for there is no length as yet this it gets only by 
grasping and infinitely extending itself ; nor is there even a 
direction given, as we shall presently see ; it is the absolute 
union of contradictory directions. 

B. The uniting reflection is, in its true nature, the for-itself 
existence of absolute knowledge, its inner life, and eyesight. 
Let us consider this a little further. 

Absolute knowledge is not Freedom alone, nor Being alone, 
but both ; the uniting knowledge must consequently be based 
on Being, but without detriment to its inner unity ; for it is a 
self-comprehension (penetration) of knowledge; but know 
ledge comprehends itself only in unity, and this unity, the 
ground-form of the present uniting reflection, must be pre 
served to it. Or let us represent the matter from another side 
and in a more exhaustive manner. The present reflection is 
the inner nature of knowledge itself, its self-penetration. 



22 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

Now knowledge is never the Absolute itself, but only the 
melting together of the two attributes of the Absolute into 
One. Knowledge is consequently absolute only for itself, and 
in this absoluteness only secondary, but not primary. In this 
One, simply as such, with total disregard of the infinite sepa 
rability of contemplation, our present reflection rests and pen 
etrates the same ; that is to say, penetrates the oneness and 
goes beyond it to the attributes of the Absolute, which are 
melted together in it. To say, therefore, this uniting know 
ledge is based on, or reposes in. Being, means the same as, it 
reposes in the Absolute. (This is, in reality, self-evident ; for 
as this reflection is the for-itself existence of absolute know 
ledge, the whole absoluteness of Jmowledge, described above, 
must appear in it. It is consequently no longer a knowledge 
imprisoned within itself, as we have heretofore described it, 
but a knowledge seizing, encircling and penetrating its whole 
self; from which fact we derive a slight glimpse of the possi 
bility seemingly to go beyond all knowledge, as we did in a 
previous paragraph. Our mode of doing so was founded on 
the act of knowledge, whereby it penetrates its own nature, 
and which we have here deduced. It is, of course, understood 
that the two attributes of the Absolute are viewed as a unity.) 
Now there are tAvo points of repose and turning-points in 
this reflection, in Being or in the Absolute. Either this reflec 
tion reposes on the character of absolute Freedom, which 
becomes Freedom of knowledge only through further determ 
ination, thus simply presupposing Freedom ; views only the 
outward form, the act ; and in this respect the absolutely free 
and, on that very account, empty basis of knowledge appears 
as comprehending and penetrating itself simply because it 
does so without any higher reason, and the therefrom arising 
Being or Absolute (of knowledge) is inner sight, a condition 
of light. The whole standpoint of this view is simply form, 
or Freedom of Knowledge, Egohood, Inwardness, Light. 

Or it reposes on the character of absolute Being, thus simply 
presupposing an existence, but making this an existence of 
Ivnowledge in and for itself; views consequently the inward 
character of this act of self-penetration, and is thereby 
forced to subjoin a dormant faculty of such an -act to the act 
itself, a Zero in relation to the act capable of being converted 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 23 

into a positive fact by simply an exercise of Freedom. The 
fact tliat the act takes place, in regard to the mere form, is 
to have its ground in Freedom, as heretofore ; but the possi 
bility that the act can take place is to have its ground in a 
Being, and in a Determined feing. Knowledge is not to be, 
as formerly, absolutely empty and to create light only through 
an exercise of Freedom, but it is to have the light absolutely 
within itself, and only to develop and seize it through Freedom. 
The standpoint of this view of the matter is absolute repose. 

Let us now turn our attention to the inner essence of the 
reflection, as such. It is a for-itself existence of knowledge 
which is itself a for-itself existence ; and through this view 
of the subject, which we have always kept in mind, we gain a 
double knowledge, one, for which the other is (in the contem 
plation the upper, or subjective), and one, which is for the 
other (in the contemplation the lower, or objective). Now, 
neither the one nor the other, nor consequently both, would 
be knowledge if both together did not unite, and thus form 
only one knowledge. Let us now view this organic uniting of 
the reflecting and the reflected in knowledge both in a general 
way, and especially as it is connected with our present inves 



tigation. 



1. That which, in uniting, forms knowledge is always Free 
dom and Being. Now in the reflection, spoken of above, the 
upper, subjective, with its actual result within knowledge, is 
a uniting, consequently an act or Freedom of knowledge, which 
can change into a knowledge only by uniting with a Being of 
knowledge, closely connected with it. (The line which is to 
be drawn can occur as line in a knowledge only when drawn 
within a something itself fixed and unchanging.) 

2. Whatever is in the immediate neighborhood of and con 
nected with this act of uniting, is, according to the above, the 
standpoint of the uniting reflection, in the unity of the point, 
which standpoint may be a twofold one. In it knowledge ap 
pears as an unchangeable Being, a Being simply what it is ; 
consequently, a remaining in the standpoint, on which it hap 
pens to rest, without faltering or changing, but on no account 
a balancing between both standpoints. 

Now this uniting reflection, or thinking, must repose either in 
the first described standpoint of absolute Freedom ; and then 



24 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

the line is drawn from this standpoint to that of Being ; know 
ledge is regarded as simply its own cause, and all Being of 
knowledge and all Being for knowledge, i. e. as it appears in 
knowledge, as having its absolute ground in Freedom. (The 
material contents of the described line would be illumination^ 
The expression of this view of the matter would be : there is 
simply no Being (of course, for knowledge, since this view is 
based on the standpoint of knowledge) except through know 
ledge itself. (Nothing is to which Being is not given by 
knowledge.) We will call this line the ideal. 

Or the reflection reposes on the last described standpoint of 
the unchanging, the permanent ; and then it describes its line 
from the point of absolute Being and condition of light to the 
development of the same through absolute Freedom (and the 
material of the line would be .enliglitenment). We will call 
this line the real. 

But upon one of these standpoints the reflection would 
necessarily repose; and when reposing upon the one, not 
upon the other ; and one of the two directions the line would 
necessarily receive, and then not the other. 

REMARKS. I. A knowledge which, through its connection 
with its branch-knowledge, is posited as being simply what it 
is, is a knowledge of Quality. 

Such a knowledge is necessarily a Tlrinlting, for only think 
ing reposes upon itself by virtue of its form of unity ; contem 
plation, on the contrary, never arrives at a unity which cannot 
again be dissolved into separates. 

The knowledge of quality, of which we have spoken liere, is 
the absolute /br-itself-existence of absolute knowledge itself. 
Beyond and outside of this no knowledge can penetrate. 
Now, qualities are only in knowledge ; for the quality itself 
can be flxed, determined, only by knowledge. The two qual 
ities here deduced, Being and Freedom, are consequently the 
"highest and absolute qualities. This shows how we came to 
find them above as the not-to-be-united and no-further-to-be- 
.analyzed qualities of tlie Absolute. The Absolute is probably 
nothing else than the union of the two first- qualities in the 
formal unity of thought. 

II. Let us consider the following sentences, which can be 
proved by the immediate contemplation of every one : 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 25 

1. No absolute, immediate knowledge, except of Freedom ; 
or immediate knowledge can know only of Freedom. For 
knowledge is unity of separates or opposites : but separates 
are united into unity only by absolute Freedom (a point which 
we have proved above, but which everybody can moreover 
convince himself of by immediate contemplation). Only Free 
dom is the first, immediate object of a knowledge. (In other 
words, knowledge starts only from self-consciousness.) 

2. No immediate, absolute Freedom, except in and through 
a knowledge. Immediate, I say ; a Freedom which is what it 
is, simply because it is; or negatively, which has no other 
ground of its determined character than itself (no such other 
ground, for instance, as natural instinct would be). For only 
such a Freedom can unite absolute opposites : but opposites 
are united only in a knowledge. (In Being or Determinedness 
of quality opposites exclude each other.) 

3. Knowledge and Freedom are consequently inseparably 
united. Although we draw a distinction between them how, 
why, and in what regard we can do this will appear in due 
course of time they are in reality not to be distinguished at 
all, but are simply one and the same. A free and infinite life 
a For-itself, which sees its own infinity the Being and the 
Freedom of this light, melted together in the closest union : 
this is absolute knowledge. The free light, which sees itself as 
Being ; the Being, which sees itself as free : this is the stand 
point of absolute knowledge. These propositions are decisive 
for all transcendental philosophy. 

4. If this has been understood, the question will arise, how 
and from what standpoint has it been understood ? From 
what higher truth can it be demonstrated ? Everyone who has 
understood the foregoing will reply: I understand and see 
that the nature of knowledge must be thus simply because I 
so understand it ; this conviction expresses my original Being. 

In the above we have consequently created an immediate 
contemplation of absolute knowledge within us ; and in the 
present moment, wherein we become conscious of this fact, we 
have again created a contemplation (for-itself-existence) of 
this contemplation. The latter is the point of union important 
to us here. 



26 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

2. Description of the Absolute Substance of Intellectual 
Contemplation as the For-itself. of that Thinking. 

We now return to the first contemplation, as tlie object of 
ours. In that contemplation, a lower contemplation (view) of 
knowledge and a Being of this knowledge were united. To 
begin with the former : 

1. No immediate knowledge except of Freedom. Here the 
inner form of knowledge was presupposed, and from this form 
a conclusion was drawn as to its possible exterior, its object. 
The point of view was in this form, and this form placed itself 
before itself as Freedom. 

2. No absolute Freedom except in a knowledge. Here the 
form of Freedom was presupposed ; in it the contemplation 
rested and viewed itself as of necessity a knowledge. 

In the first instance we had an absolute for-and-in -itself 
Being of knowledge, as real unity, dividing itself into an outer 
absolute multiplicity, founded on Freedom. Its reflex (For- 
itself existence) lies in the centre. 

At present we have an immediate self-grasping of the out 
ward unity (through Freedom) in the multiplicity and melting- 
together of the same to the inner and real unity of knowledge. 
The uniting reflex is here also in the centre. (Inner and out 
ward unity we use here merely as temporary expressions to 
make ourselves better understood until we can explain them.) 

Now both is to be simply one and the same : absolute Free 
dom is to be knowledge, and absolute knowledge Freedom. 
Both are not mewed (contemplated) as One as we have seen ? 
since we always have to proceed from one of the two points of 
view to the other ; but they are to be one. The middle and 
turning point, which we characterized above as the reflex of 
the absolute knowledge, is this one Being / and thus it also 
appears how the two possible descriptions thereof are always 
merely descriptions of the same Being of absolute knowledge. 
Unity of this Being and its two descriptions is consequently 
the lower contemplation. 

Let us now approach the real end of our investigation, and 
make this contemplation again its own object; that is to say, 
not, let us make an object again of this object-making; but 
rather, let us ourselves be in the following this very contem- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 27 

plation, which, as it is the contemplation of the absolute intel- 
lectualizing, may well be called intellectual contemplation. 

We are it in the following manner : In the above described 
contemplation, absolute knowledge evidently seizes (grasps) 
itself, in its absolute spirit, in an absolute manner. 1. It lias 
itself from itself, in its absolute nature, in the unity : it is, pre 
cisely because it is knowledge, in its existence at the same 
time for itself . 2. It grasps, contemplates and describes itself 
in this contemplation in the above mentioned manner, as unity 
of Freedom and of knowledge, which latter is here viewed in a 
somewhat different manner, and no longer as absolutely being. 

But for the very purpose of describing itself, it is necessary 
that it should possess itself as knowledge (as realized know 
ledge). Now, what sort of knowledge is this latter? We have 
sufficiently described it: a firm, in- itself reposing, in and 
through itself determined (presupposing, in relation to its form, 
no Freedom, but itself presupposed by absolute Freedom) 
thought (act of life, of thinking) of the before-mentioned abso 
lute identity of Freedom and Knowledge (the last expression 
used in its former and broader sense, as the pure form of the 
for-itself). This living thought is it which views itself in the 
intellectual contemplation, not as thought, but as knowledge ; 
because the absolute form of knowledge (the for-itself exist 
ence, absolute possibility, to be in every Being at the same 
time the reflex thereof) which lies within it, realizes itself (in 
making this reflection) because it can so realize itself by vir 
tue of the absolute formal Freedom of knowledge. Thus the 
thought views itself in this contemplation in an absolute 
(absolutely free) manner, according to its absolute Essence. 
This is sufficient so far as the substance of the intellectual 
contemplation is concerned. Now in regard to its form, where 
by we in a certain manner keep it no longer within us, but 
make it an object of our reflection. 

3. Description of tlie Absolute Form of Intellectual Con 
templation as Original Act of Reflection. 

The thought, or knowledge, takes hold of itself with abso 
lute Freedom. This presupposes a previous tearing itself away 
on the part of the thought from itself, in order to take hold of 



28 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

itself again, and make itself its own object; presupposes an 
emptiness of absolute Freedom, in order to be for itself. Free 
dom creates itself, and precisely this gives us a duplic ity of 
Freedom, which must be presupposed, however, for the act of 
intellectual contemplation (and generally for every reflection, 
in its infinite, ever higher rising possibility), and which conse 
quently belongs to the original nature of knowledge. It is this 
not-being of absolute Freedom, in order to be, and to enter 
Being, which we here direct attention to. In the lower (objec- 
tivated) knowledge, Freedom is and Being is. Here both is 
not, but is in progress of being. 

In this act knowledge stands revealed to itself : 1st, as Free 
dom ^ whereby it describes Being ; and 2d, as Being ^ which is 
described. In this act both is for itself, and without the act 
neither would be ; all would be blindness and death. Through 
this act Freedom actually becomes Freedom, which is at once 
apparent; and Thought becomes Thought, which is to be 
remembered. This act brings visibility and light into both ; 
creates it within them. It is the absolute reflection : and 
the nature of this reflection is an ACT. (This is of infinite 
importance.) 

Wo reflection, therefore, as an act, without absolute Being of 
knowledge ; again, no Being (state of repose) of knowledge 
without reflection ; for else it would be no knowledge, and 
would contain neither Freedom (wJiicli is only in an act, and 
receives its Being only through this act) nor Being of know 
ledge, which is only for-itself. 

Thus both standpoints are united in this contemplation. 
Whether you deduce Being from Freedom, or Freedom from 
Being, the deduction is always the same from the same, only 
viewed in a different manner ; for Freedom or Knowledge is 
Being itself, and Being is Knowledge itself, and there is posi 
tively no other Being. Both views are inseparably connected, 
and should they nevertheless be separated the possibility of 
which we can as yet only partially comprehend they will be 
only different views of one and the same. 

This is the true spirit of transcendental Idealism, All Being 
is Knowledge, The foundation of the universe is not anti- 
spirit , un-spirit, the relation and connection of which with 
spirit we should never be able to understand, but is itself spi- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 29 

rit. No death, no lifeless matter ; but everywhere life, spirit, 
intelligence : a spiritual empire, absolutely nothing else. 

On the other hand, all knowledge, if it be a knowledge how 
error and delusions are possible, not as substantes of know 
ledge, for that is impossible, but as accidentes thereof, we shall 
see in time, is Being (posits absolute reality and objectivity). 

Now to the whole of this absolute reflection there is presup 
posed a Being of Thought as well as of (in this place station 
ary and existing) Freedom ; and here, also, the one is not 
without the other. At the same time there is in the lower 
knowledge likewise, as has heen shown, Freedom and Being 
(i. e. possibility of reflection, and the pure, absolute Thought), 
and either is also not without the other, as above. Finally, 
the two connections of the same, the upper and the lower, are 
not without each other ; and we thus arrive, when conscious 
ness begins, at an inseparable Fivefold, as a perfect synthe 
sis. In the centre of it, i. e. in the act of reflecting, the intel 
lectual contemplation has its place, and connects both, and in 
both the branch-members of both. 



4- The Absolute Ego as Absolute Form of Knowledge. 

The intellectual contemplation stands in the centre and 
unites : what does this mean ? Evidently, the (lower) Being is 
at the same time in and for itself, and illuminates and pene 
trates itself in this for-itself-existence. The contemplation, 
the free For-itself, is consequently essentially connected with 
it ; and only both together are a knowledge ; and otherwise Be 
ing would be blind. On the other hand, the (upper) contem 
plation the free For-itself is received into the form of repose 
and determinateness, and only in this union becomes a know 
ledge ; for, in the other case, the Freedom of the For-itself 
would be empty and void, and would dissolve into nothing 
ness. Thus knowledge is partly illuminating its Being, partly 
determining its For-itself (Light) : the absolute identity of 
both is the intellectual contemplation, or the absolute form of 
knowledge, the pure form of the Ego. The For is only in the 
light ; but it is at the same time a for-itself a Being placed 
in the light before its own eye. 

Here which is very important the intellectual contempla- 



30 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

tion dwells within itself ; it is inwardly a pure For, and noth 
ing else. In order to illustrate this very abstract and in itself 
incomprehensible thought through its opposite (because this 
thought, as will soon be shown, is possible only with its oppo 
site) : an object, as Ego (intelligence) is above, for which there 
is a lower objective; but this latter is itself nothing but the 
upper Ego (intelligence). In the upper the contemplation 
reposes and is grounded ; in the lower, Being reposes and has 
its ground : but both are connected in an Identity, so that, if 
you do think a duplicity and you cannot think otherwise 
you are forced to predicate of eacli the contemplation and the 
Being. In other words, there are in reality not two members, 
one upper and one lower, connected by a line, but the whole is 
one self-penetrating point ; consequently, not only the being- 
one of two members, and a knowledge outside of both (as, for 
instance, the contemplation of an external object), but the 
contemplation of their identity in the form of one Jmowledge. 
This alone is real consciousness a remark which it is neces 
sary to make here not only for the sake of the pointedness 
and clearness of our whole system, but which will turn up 
again at a future period with a highly important consequence. 

Until now we have mounted upwards, have left all the dif 
ferent degrees of our reflection, by which we mounted, behind 
us, and stand now on the highest point, in the absolute form 
of knowledge, the pure For. This For-itself-existence is an 
absolute For-itself, i. e. simply what and simply because it is, 
not deriving its being from another object. Its contemplation 
reposes, therefore, in itself for itself, which we have termed 
the form of thinking. It is consequently, as an absolute form 
of thinking, held within itself ; but it does not hold itself. It 
is a stationary, closed, within-itself luminous eye. (There is, 
as we have already shown in another way, an absolute, quali 
tative, determined knowledge, which simply is, but is not 
made ; and precedes all particular freedom of reflection, alone 
making it possible.) 

In this thus closed eye, in which nothing foreign can pene 
trate, which cannot go beyond itself to something foreign, does 
our system rest ; and this closedness (in-itself-completeness), 
which is founded on the inner absoluteness of knowledge, is 
the character of transcendental Idealism. Should it, neverthe- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 31 

less, seem to go beyond itself as we certainly have hinted 
it would have to go beyond itself by virtue of its own nature, 
and this itself it would then posit as its self only in a peculiar 
manner. 

And now, since we have discovered the absolute form of 
knowledge to be simply For-itself, the reflection of the teacher 
of the Science of Knowledge, which heretofore was active and 
produced something, which wa.s known only to Mm, withdraws 
altogether. His reflection is henceforth only passive; and 
vanishes, consequently, as something particular. Everything, 
which is to be hereafter demonstrated, lies within the discov 
ered intellectual contemplation, the root of which is the For- 
itself of absolute Knowledge, and is but an analysis of the 
same ; let it be understood, however, not in so far as it is 
regarded as a simple Being or Thing, in which case there would 
be nothing to analyze, but in so far as it is regarded as what 
it is, as knowledge. This contemplation is our own resting- 
point. Still, we do not analyze, but knowledge analyzes itself, 
and can do so because it is in all its knowledge a For-itself. 

From this moment, then, we stand and repose in the Science 
of Knowledge the object of the science, knowledge, having 
been determined. Heretofore we sought only to gain admit 
tance into the science. 



PART FIRST. 



Knowledge posits itself as a Power of Formal Freedom of 
Quantitatiiig determined through an absolute Being. 



PART FIRST. 



Knowledge posits itself as a Poicer of formal Freedom of 
Quantitating determined through an absolute Being!* 1 



CONTEXTS or PART FIRST. 
1. SYNTHESIS OF QUANTITY AND QUALITY IN KNOWLEDGE, 

A. Knowledge posits itself as primarily determined by its Being, and hence as 
limited. 

B. But by positing itself Knowledge posits a free act of reflection as ground of its 
being. 

C. Hence Knowledge must posit itself as both : an original determinedness of 
Freedom, and a Freedom as the ground of its original determinedness; or, as a 
formal Freedom of Quantitating. 

2. SYNTHESIS OF OBJECTIVITY AND SUBJECTIVITY, OR REALITY 
AND IDEALITY, IN THE FORM OF KNOWLEDGE. 

A. Knowledge posits itself for itself, or thinks itself in factical knowledge as 
necessarily such Power of formal Freedom, and hence as determined in its abso 
lute character as a Knowledge of Quantitating: Objective condition of the Ego. 

B. But knowledge in positing itself for itself posits itself as free, and hence as de 
pendent only upon its Freedom: Subjective act of the Ego. 

. Both are one and the same: Knowledge is necessarily free if there is a know 
ledge, but that there is Knowledge depends upon absolute Freedom; its think 
ing itself free and its being free are one and the same ; the condition is not 
without the act, nor the act without the condition. 

3. SYNTHESIS OF THINKING AND CONTEMPLATION, OR SUB 
STANCE AND ACCIDENCE IN ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE. 

A. Knowledge posits itself for itself as a Self-originating, and hence posits a Xot- 
Being of Itself, or an Absolute Pure Being (Check), as its origin and limit: 
Thinking or Substance. 
3 



36 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

B. But Knowledge posits itself as a Self-originating 1 for-itself, and hence origin 
ates itself in this self-positing or preposits itself: Contemplation or Accidence. 

C. Both are one and the same: Contemplation, or the Freedom of undetermined 
Quantitating, can be thought onlj r us determined by the original Thinking of an 
Absolute Being, and the thinking of an Absolute Being is determined by the 
Contemplating of a Quantitating: neither is without the other. 

D. Results. 

1. SYNTHESIS OF QUANTITY AND QUALITY IN KNOWLEDGE. 

A. Knowledge posits itself as primarily determined by its Being, and hence as 
limited. 

Knowledge lias now been found, and stands "before us as a 
closed eye, resting upon itself. It sees nothing outside of 
itself, but it sees itself. This self-contemplation we have to 
exhaust, and with it the system of all possible knowledge is 
exhausted, and the Science of Knowledge realized and closed. 

Firstly: this knowledge sees itself (in the intellectual con 
templation) as absolute knowledge. This is the first conside 
ration which we must make clear, for only by its means has 
our investigation acquired a firm standpoint. 

In so far as knowledge is absolute for itself, it reposes upon 
itself, and is completed in its being and its self-contemplation. 
This has been explained above. But the Absolute is at the 
same time, because it is. In this respect, likewise, knowledge 
must be absolute for itself, if it is to be an absolute knowledge 
For-itself. This is its eye and standpoint in the intellectual 
contemplation. 

The absolute knowledge is for-itself because it is, signifies 
therefore : the intellectual contemplation is for itself an abso 
lute self-generation out of nothing ; a free self-grasping of light, 
which thereby becomes a stationary glance and eye. ]S r o fact 
of knowledge (no being or determinedness thereof) without 
the absolute form of the For-itself, and consequently without 
the possibility, freely to be reflected upon. 

Bat absolute knowledge must be for itself w7iat it is. The just 
described Because must melt together with the inner simple 
What, and this melting together itself must be inwardly and 
for itself. This can be very easily expressed in the following 
exposition : Knowledge must be for itself simply icJiat it is for 
thu immediate reason because it is. The determinedness of the 
What has not its ground in the Because* but, on the con 
trary, has its ground in the Being of knowledge ; the Because 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 37 

containing merely the naked fact as such, or the TJtat of 
a knowledge, and of a knowledge of something. Or, Freedom 
is here, also, purely formal ; demanding only, that a know 
ledge, aFor-itself existence, be generated; and is not mate 
rial, or, does not demand that sucJi a particular knowledge 
"be generated. If knowledge did not find its nature to be 
generative, it would not find itself at all, and would have no 
existence, and of a What or a Quality of knowledge we should 
find it impossible to speak. But finding itself generative, it 
finds immediately, without generation, its What, and without 
this What it does not find itself generative ; and this not in 
consequence of its Freedom, but of its absolute Being. Having 
thus discovered, at least, that we have to unite in knowledge 
not simple points, but even syntheses, we now proceed to the 
other links of our main synthesis. 

The absolute What of Knowledge is here, as is well known, 
also but a mere form, the form of thinking, or of the in-itself 
confinedness of Knowledge. As this What, it is to find it 
self independently of all Freedom, just as Freedom finds 
itself. But all contemplation is Freedom is, consequently, 
absolutely because it is (absolute self-generation from nothing 
ness, as above). If this Because were therefore to contemplate 
itself, the What in its absolute character would be annihilated. 
The form of this contemplation is annihilated by its sub 
stance and vanishes in itself. It is indeed a knowledge, a 
For-itself, which is, however, again simply not for itself a 
knowledge without self-consciousness; an altogether pure 
Thinking, which vanishes as such the moment we become 
conscious of it: an absolute knowledge of a What, without 
the possibility to state whence it comes, which Whence would 
be its genesis. 

Here likewise there is a duplicity as there is everywhere : a 
Being, and a free contemplation lifting itself above the Being. 
But both links are not again united and melted together in the 
present instance as they were in the previously deduced syn 
thesis of Freedom and Being, when we found the For-itself 
and the What, Contemplation and Thinking, to be melted 
together in the absolute unity-point of consciousness. The 
synthetical point of unity is here, therefore, not discoverable, 
and is not possible; there is a hiatus in the knowledge. (Each. 



38 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. - 

one when asked whence lie knows that he does this or that, 
replies : I know that I do such and such a thing because I do 
it; he presupposes, consequently, an immediate connection 
between his doing and his knowledge, an inseparability of 
"both and since all absolute knowledge is a saltus a continu 
ity of knowledge over and beyond this saltus. But if you ask 
some one : whence he knows, for instance, that everything 
accidental must have the ground of its determinedness in 
something else, he will reply : It is absolutely so; without pre 
tending to give a reason for the connection of this his know 
ledge with his other knowledge or doing. He confesses the 

hiatus.) 

But both (in their immediateness separate) links form only 
in their unity absolute knowledge; and this absolute unity, 
as such, must be for itself as surely as absolute knowledge is 
for itself. But this unity to explain the proposition by its 
opposite would be no absolute, but merely a factical unity 
having its ground in Freedom, as such, if we were to express 
it, for instance, in this manner: " While reflecting, my reflec 
tion hit upon this"; so that it might equally as well have hit 
upon something else ; or, " I found this while reflecting"; so 
that it might possibly have been found also by some other 
process. The proper expression, on the contrary, is : From 
the What there results absolutely sucli a reflection (not the 
reflection itself as a fact, for in that light it does not result at 
all, and is simply a free act, as we have abundantly shown) ; 
and from the reflection, after having been presupposed as a 
fact, results sucli a What. 

The immediate insight into this necessary consequence for 
that is what we mean by the For-itself of that unity as abso 
lute unity would thus be itself an absolute Thinking (an 
absolute contemplation of the Being of knowledge), directed 
upon the form of pure Thinking (as described above), as hav 
ing already a for-itself existence, and upon the free reflection 
as a fact, and contemplating both as being, and as being abso 
lutely joined together. 

In this thinking, or contemplation, the whole intellectual 
contemplation, as we have described it above, as an absolute 
not Thinking or Contemplation, but real unity of both would 
be placed before its own eye as what it really is : a firm know- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 39 

ledge, reposing upon the firm ground-form of knowledge alrea 
dy deduced. The intellectual contemplation reflects itself; 
and since this cannot be done accidentally, as if the intellect 
ual contemplation could cease to do so and still be, the more 
proper way to express is, not to say, it does it, but it is this re 
flection of itself. Neither can it be said that the present reflec 
tion throws its light on the previously described and (accord 
ing to our propositions) within itself blind and in a separated 
duplicity disunited contemplation ; for this reflection has no 
light within itself except what is derived from the latter, in 
which the For-itself of knowledge has originally realized 
itself. It is, consequently, always one and the same point 
of contemplation, absolutely illuminating itself from itself, 
which we have been describing throughout the whole of our 
investigation, although atfirst simply according to its outward 
Being (when we took the light from ourselves), and only after 
wards according to its inner light. 

B. But by positing itself knowledge posits a free act of reflection as ground of its 
Being. 

Knowledge is absolute for itself, reflects itself, and only 
thus does it become a knowledge. Finally, having thus be 
come knowledge i. e. in our successive demonstration of the 
subject it is knowledge for itself, and reflects itself no longer 
as Being, for as such it does not reflect itself at all, nor as a 
For-itself Being, but as both in their absolute union ; and only 
thus is it now absolute knowledge. 

This reflection is absolutely necessary like the former one 
(the original reflection, which constitutes knowledge), and is 
simply a result of the former, of a For-itself-being of know 
ledge, from which it is separated only by our Science. 

The characteristic nature of this reflection is at once appa 
rent from the fact, that, making knowledge, as such, its object, 
composing and genetically describing it, itself must penetrate 
beyond this knowledge, adding and adducing links, which, 
although existing in the reflection and hence for our Science 
which makes this reflection a knowledge, also in knowledge- 
have no existence whatever for knowledge itself, which we 
have here made the object of our reflection, and which even 
do not belong to absolute knowledge (for this is also em- 



40 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

braced by our present reflection). (Here the self-forgetting and 
self-annihilating character of knowledge appears in a still 
clearer light.) But how it is possible for us thus seemingly 
to penetrate even beyond absolute knowledge, can appear 
only at the close of our investigation, when our Science must 
fully and completely explain its own possibility. 

Let us immediately enter the innermost synthetical central 
point of this reflection. The central point of the former reflec 
tion was absolute knowledge, as pure thinking and contempla 
tion together : Freedom of reflection determined in regard to 
its What, by an absolute What. (This was expressed as fol. 
lows : Knowledge must be for-itself simply wliat it is, for the 
immediate reason because it is, &c.) Now, this knowledge 
reflects itself as a knowledge, and as an absolute knowledge. 
This does not mean on any account: it is externally for itself; 
as it appeared to us in our scientific reflection of the foregoing 
paragraph, with the present additional assurance that it is 
absolute, although we did so express it temporarily; but it 
looks through and penetrates with its glance its own nature, 
according to the point of union and of division thereof, and 
by reason of the knowledge of this point of union is it ab 
solute, and does it know itself as absolute in our present re 
flection. 

In the preceding description of knowledge the act of reflect 
ing was posited as independent of its material determinedness, 
while on the other side its determinedness was posited as inde 
pendent of the act, and it was absolutely known that these 
thus separated parts did nevertheless form no twofoldness. 
But since the point of union in which they unite although 
they may remain forever divided from another point of view, 
which we shall not here consider was not known, that know 
ledge, did not really penetrate itself; and though it icas abso 
lute knowledge, it was not absolute knowledge for itself. 

The last ground of the act, which as act of free reflection 
must always remain absolute, is its possibility, which lies in 
the absolute form of knowledge to be for itself; the ground 
of the determinedness of the reflection is the primary absolute 
determinedness; the ground of the absolute unity of both is 
understood, signifies : it is understood that the act of that reflec 
tion would not be possible (consequently could not be) without 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 41 

/ 

that absolute determinedness, which is the first basis aiid orig 
inal starting-point of all knowledge. 

C. Hence Knowledge must posit itself as both: an original determinedness of 
Freedom, and a Freedom as the ground of its original determinedness; or, as 
formal Freedom of Quantitating. 

The centre of the present synthesis was absolute knowledge, 
encircling, determining and passing beyond all real know 
ledge : and we had discovered that knowledge formaliter 
could only be free, could explain itself only out of itself, and 
posits its ground only within itself; and that it could not be 
possible in any other wa}^ But in consequence of its imme- 
diateness and of the original determinedness inseparable 
therefrom, which, in its infinity, can be determined, distin 
guished, and at the same time related only by Thinking, know 
ledge commences with a determined, necessary Thinking, 
which in the present connection can be only the absolute 
Thinking, and consequently malting necessary (for absolute 
Thinking and necessity are one and the same) of Freedom 
itself. It is considered so immediately in view of its being a 
knowledge, a factical existence of Thinking. But in the higher 
reflection it is recognized as generated through absolute 
Freedom, through the confinedness of original Freedom to a 
state of immediate determinedness ; and at the same time as a 
free passing beyond this separable determinedness, in order 
to relate it (by Thinking) : consequently, as unity of the fixed 
state of determinedness and the free passing beyond this deter 
minedness, of Being and Freedom. (The difference between 
absolute Being and factical Being is to be well remembered ; 
for both determinations are transferred to one object Think 
ing and are consequently only different views of what is 
really one and the same.) 

But thus we argue for the present if all knowledge is de 
termined by this absolute law, then the knowledge of this law, 
as a knowledge with which something else in knowledge is 
to be connected must also be determined by it : this know 
ledge must consequently view itself as really generated or 
illuminated by Freedom ; or, in other words, it must be in and 
for itself. 

(Every one will perceive that the knowledge which in our 
former reflection seemed to have penetrated beyond itself, 



42 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

here returns again within itself; or that only a double view 
of this self-encircling and self-determining knowledge is pos 
sible as an inner and as an external knowledge, and that 
the real focus of absolute consciousness lies probably in the 
uniting point of this duplicity, in the balancing between both 
views. This will appear also from another representation of 
the subject, for example: The Thinking, that the knowledge 
referred to is generated by Freedom, since no knowledge can 
be generated in any other manner, is, as we have represented 
it, in reality itself a free Thinking, the subjecting of a particu 
lar instance under a general rule. Consequently, this rule 
must appear in and be accessible to that free Thinking. But 
that free Thinking signifies the freely generated actual Think 
ing and this consequently presupposes itself in fixing the 
rule. Or still another example : If I transfer by my own free 
act Freedom to the presupposed knowledge, I must first have 
this Freedom in my own free knowledge. In short, it is the 
same proposition which we have met in advancing all our re 
flections. In order to direct my knowledge with freedom upon 
any subject, I must know already of the subject on which I 
am to direct it ; and in order to know of it, I must have direct 
ed my Freedom upon it ; and thus on infinitely, which infinite 
-regressus must even here be stopped by an absoluteness which 
we have now to discover.) 

It is understood that this affirmation applies not only to the 
centre of knowledge, but through it and from it to all its syn 
theses. 

"We approach now the exposition of this knowledge in its 
centre. The knowledge that knowledge is formaliter free, is 
to be within and for itself. To begin with the easiest point: 
the first result therefore is that Freedom is in itself and repo 
ses upon itself: it contemplates itself, or which means the 
same, since only the inner reposing upon itself of Freedom is 
called contemplation the contemplation rests ; which is a 
balancing of knowledge between the undetermined separabil 
ity (the not yet separated and distinguished infinity). 

But this contemplation is not merely to ~be ; it is, moreover, 
to posit itself as formaliter free ; containing the That (to posit 
itself) of this Being within itself ; and this formal freedom of 
the contemplation is to contemplate itself. (How could we 
possibly create this contemplation without imagination 2 Our 



New Exposition of the Science of Knoicledge. 43 

imagination furnishes the substance of the contemplation. 
But as we do not imagine idly at hap-hazard, but direct our 
imagination to the special point of our investigation, Thinking 
takes also part in it.) No doubt every one will find this as the 
result : Freedom, dissolved and running over into the undeter 
mined separability, must, in order to become contemplation, 
gather itself together and seize itself in one point duplicate 
itself it must be even for itself. Only thus can it become a 
point of light from which to distribute light over the undeter 
mined separability. 

I say, only in this One point does the contemplation become 
light to itself; from this point, therefore, a light arises not only 
upon the separable, as I said just now, but also upon the two 
views of the separable. These two views are : a dissolving of 
the light within itself, and a seizing and fixed taking hold of 
the light; the latter from a central point, which is wanting 
when the light dissolves. From this standpoint we must there 
fore say: The focus of this contemplation of formal Freedom 
is neither in the central point (the penetrated), nor in its two 
qualitative tcr minis (the penetrating), but between loot}}. In so 
far as the light has penetrated itself in such a unity point, 
and contemplated such penetration, and the manifoldness 
which is inseparable from this contemplation, as penetrated 
from out this unity point, the light has been factically, and 
the formal Freedom the That, has been immediately posited. 
But in so far as the light, in order to contemplate itself, 
penetrating the central point, now contemplates the mani 
fold as an infinity without unity, it destroys and puts an 
end to the fact; and this absolute balancing between cre 
ating and destroying the fact (destroying it in order to be 
able to create it, and creating it in order to be able to destroy 
it) is, viewed from the standpoint of contemplation, the real 
focus of absolute consciousness. (Both united are exemplified 
in every contemplation : the contemplation of Here, for in 
stance, is the annihilation of the undetermined infinity of 
Space, and the contemplation of Now the annihilation of the 
undetermined infinity of Time; while at the same time the 
infinity of both Space and Time is contained in the con 
templation of Here and of Now, and annihilates them again in 
their turn. The contemplation of the determined This (=x) 
separates this x (a tree, for instance) from the infinite chain 



44 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

of all the other These (trees and not-trees), and thus annihi 
lates the latter; while, vice versa,&\\ these others must "be con 
templated, and consequently posited as existing, if x is to be 
contemplated as x that is to say, if x is to "be distinguished 
from any other object, &c.) 

It is further to be remarked here, that the Quantity even 
the infinite separability is here immediately connected with 
Quality, and proved to be inseparably united with the latter, 
as undoubtedly we were compelled to prove in explaining 
the idea of absolute consciousness. For the formal Freedom, 
which here becomes contemplation, what else can it be but the 
absolute Quality of knowledge externally? and $&& contempla 
tion of this formal Freedom itself, what else is it than the ab 
solute but inner (For-itself) Quality of Knowledge, as a know 
ledge ? And thus we have found, even in contemplation itself 
and nowhere else can we find it, since the contemplation is 
absolute contemplation and absolutely nothing but contem 
plation that formal Freedom views itself only as the contrac 
tion of a dissolving manifoldness of ^possible light into a central 
point, and the distribution of this light from out this central 
point over a manifoldness held and really illuminated only 
by the central point. (The fountain of all Quantity is conse 
quently only in Knowledge that is to say, in real knowledge, 
in a more contracted sense of the word in knowledge which 
comprehends itself as such. Every one can comprehend this 
sentence who has but gained a clear insight into his know 
ledge ; and thus new light is thrown on real transcendental 
idealism and its caricatures. The absolute One exists only in 
the form of Quantity. How does it come into this form? That 
we see here. How does it come into knowledge itself, the 
qualitative, in order thereafter to enter its form of Quantity ? 
Thereof now.) 

2. SYNTHESIS OF OBJECTIVITY AND SUBJECTIVITY, OR REALITY 
AND IDEALITY, IN THE FORM OF KNOWLEDGE. 

A. Knowledge posits itself for itself, or thinks itself in. factical knowledge as 
necessarily such power of formal Freedom, and hence as determined hi its abso 
lute character as a knowledge of Quantitating: Objective condition of Hie Ego. 

Absolute Being is, as we know, in absolute Thinking. This 
absolute Being has entered free knowledge, signifies : the con 
templation, described in the preceding 1, with its immediate 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 4> 

facticity, and at the same time with the annihilation of that 
facticity, is on that very account one and the same with think 
ing ; and it is this in knowledge that is to say, it is known to 
be the same, and is thus absolutely known. Now, what sort 
of a consciousness is this ? Evidently a uniting consciousness 
of the absolute contemplation of formal Freedom, with an ab 
solute going beyond this contemplation to a Thinking. In 
short, a taking hold of itself on the part of knowledge as ter 
minated here and absolutely fixed in this termination. Know 
ledge thinks itself only by such a grasping of itself ; it goes 
beyond itself only in thus grasping its end ; consequently, in 
positing an end for itself. The manifestation of this is the 
feeling of certainty, of conviction, as the absolute form of feel 
ing, and arises conjointly with the self-substantialization of 
knowledge that is to say, with the knowledge that a manifold 
(what this manifold is, the reader will please leave undecided) 
exists. 

Now this formal Freedom is the absolute ground of all 
knowledge for us, as teacher of the Science of Knowledge, 
and which forms the contents of our present synthesis for 
itself. It is absolute for itself means : this Freedom, and the 
knowledge which it generates, are thought as simply all Free 
dom and all knowledge : it is thought as a reposing in an 
absolute unity. Knowledge encircles and completes itself in 
this Thinking as the one and entire knowledge. If we con 
sider thinking and contemplation as two separates, their union 
is evidently immediate and absolute ; it is the absolute know 
ledge, but which knows not nor can know anything about 
itself; in one word, it is the immediate feeling of certainty* 
(that is to say, absoluteness, immutability) of knowledge. (We 
here discover once again the absolute junction of contempla 
tion and Thinking, which we found to constitute the ground- 
form of knowledge ; and this time explaining itself genetically 
in the Being of knowledge itself.) 

(In order to elucidate this proposition, which it might be dif 
ficult to comprehend in this simplicity of its immediate evi 
dence, let the reader consider the following : Above we said 



* It is for tliis feeling of certainty, which accompanies all true knowledge, that 
Fichte uses the word Intuition as an equivalent. 



46 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

Freedom must direct itself upon something which is presup 
posed as determined; but in order to be able to take this 
direction it must knoAV beforehand of the object, which know 
ledge it can have acquired only through Freedom ; and since 
this knowledge presupposes again a determined object, we are 
thus thrown into an infinite progress. This progress is now 
done away with. Freedom requires no point outside of itself 
to give it a direction ; Freedom is in and for itself the highest 
Determined hereafter the substance of knowledge and is 
posited as self-sufficient absolutely. 

Or, since knowledge has been considered from the first as 
the gathering together of an undetermined manifold, the 
knowledge of knowledge depends on this, that we know we 
have comprehended the altogether uneradicable unity-charac 
ter of all particular acts of knowledge, however infinitely dif 
ferent they may be in all other respects. But how can we 
know this ? Not by considering and analyizing the particular, 
for we should never get through with it. Consequently by, in 
a manner, prescribing a law to the particular by this very 
unity. Now the question is at present about absolute know 
ledge ; consequently, about die unity of all particular determ 
inations of knowledge and of the objects of knowledge, which 
is the same thing. A law must therefore be prescribed to 
this absolute knowledge, so that it can recognize itself as one, 
as always the same eternal and immutable One, and can thus 
be included in its own unity. This we have done here, and in 
the manner just described.) 

Being is consequently united with knowledge in this 
way, that knowledge comprehends itself as an absolute 
and unchangeable Being (a Being what it is, wherein it finds 
itself originally confined.) The difference and the connec 
tion with our former argument is very apparent : it lies be 
tween Freedom and not-Freedom. Freedom (i. e. always the 
formal Freedom, with the material or quantitative freedom we 
have nothing to do in this whole chapter) is itself not free ; 
i. e. it is latent Freedom, or Freedom in form of necessity, if 
there is a knowledge. Possibility of knowledge only through 
Freedom, necessity of the latter for actual knowledge : this is 
the connection with our former argument. The problem is 
solved, and the centre of the former synthesis is itself absorbed 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 47 

in knowledge ; i. e. the centre of the present synthesis is fixed. 
Knowledge has its end in itself ; it encircles and rests upon 
itself as knowledge. 

B. But knowledge in positing itself for itself posits itself as free, and hence as 
dependent only upon its Freedom: Subjective act of the Ego. 

I. As we argued in C of 1, so here. The formal Freedom 
which begins all actual knowledge (because it alone can give 
the latter a For, a light-point) has been thought as the abso 
lute condition of the possibility of all knowledge, or as the 
necessity which conditions the character of knowledge. This 
thinking, by which we fuse Freedom and necessity together, 
must be for itself, must become a knowledge returning back 
within itself. Consequently even this knowledge, which encir 
cles and penetrates all actual knowledge, goes again beyond 
itself to construct itself within itself. (In the same manner 
factical knowledge went beyond itself in order to arrive at the 
present knowledge of it. There is a triplicity, as every one 
can see now, and the present synthesis is again a synthesis of 
the two last ones.) 

We enter into the centre of it. It is not at all the question 
and the object of our new synthesis to discover how in the 
uniting knowledge anything can be known of the formal act 
of Freedom, for the latter is the absolute contemplation itself, 
and absolutely originates factical knowledge from itself and 
by itself, but how anything can be known of necessity, and 
of necessity simple and pure, independently of its application 
to formal Freedom in the uniting Thinking. 

Necessity is absolute fixedness of knowledge, or absolute 
thinking, and therefore excludes from its character all mobil 
ity and all penetrating beyond itself to ask for a Because, and 
it is not what it is unless all this is excluded. Now it is to be 
applied in a knowledge to contemplation ; consequently it 
must nevertheless enter knowledge, assume the form of the 
For-itself, contemplate itself, &c. But in contemplation it 
would see itself no longer merely as simply what it is, but as 
what it is because it is. 

This contemplation consequently cannot comtemplate itself, 
can arise to no knowledge of itself, because in doing so it 
would annihilate its form by its substance. We thus obtain 



48 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

a knowledge, or (since we speak of forms generally) the form 
of a (perhaps later to be exhibited) knowledge, which abso 
lutely does not posit itself as knowledge, but as (of course, 
formal) Being, and as absolute upon itself reposing Being, and 
which cannot be penetrated, nor permit questions about its 
Because, and which moreover does not itself go beyond itself, 
nor explain itself, and which finally is not either a knowledge 
for itself, nor anything of the kind that could be characterized 
as knowledge. 

"We have here discovered the real focus and centre of abso 
lute knowledge. It is not to be found in the taking hold of 
itself on the part of knowledge (by means of formal Freedom) ? 
neither is it in its self-annihilation in absolute Being, but 
simply between both; and neither is possible without the other. 
It cannot take hold of itself as the absolute (of which we speak 
here, the One always coequal, unchanging) without viewing 
itself as necessary, and consequently forgetting itself in this 
necessity ; and it cannot taTce liold of necessity without talcing 
liold (that is to say, without creating it) for UP elf. It floats 
between its Being and its not-Being, as it indeed must, since 
it carries its absolute origin knowingly within itself. 

II. The centre and turning point of absolute knowledge is 
a floating between Being and not-Being of knowledge, and 
consequently between the being absolute and the being not 
absolute of Being ; since the Being of knowledge cancels the 
absoluteness of Being, and since absolute Being cancels the 
absoluteness of knowledge. Let us make our standpoint firmer 
by a further vigorous investigation of the distinction between 
the Being of knowledge and absolute Being. 

In order to connect our remarks with one of the links in the 
chain of our argument it matters not which let us argue 
thus : Knowledge cannot take hold of itself as a knowledge (as 
eternally the same and unchangeable) without viewing itself as 
necessary. Bat at present knowledge, in regard to its Being 
(Existence), is not at all necessary, but is grounded in absolute 
formal Freedom ; and this must remain true as well as the 
former. 

Now what is this peculiar Being of knowledge, in regard to 
which it is first necessary and not free, and at another time free 
and not necessary? It is true, this necessity is no other than 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 49 

that of Freedom (and there can never be any other) ; but nev 
ertheless it is necessity, Freedom in bondage. Hence this dif 
ficulty will easily be solved in the following manner: 77 there 
is a knowledge at all, it must be necessarily free (latent free 
dom) ; for freedom constitutes its character. But tliat there is 
a knowledge afc all, depends altogether upon absolute Free 
dom, and it might therefore just as well be not. We will 
assume this answer to be correct, and see how it is possible. 
(In this investigation it will doubtless appear that it is both 
correct and necessary.) Knowledge was posited in this answer 
as that which might and might not be ; we call this accidental. 
Let us describe this knowledge. It is evident that in this 
knowledge Freedom (formal Freedom, with which alone we 
have to do here) is thought (not contemplated) as realizing 
itself; for then knowledge is. It is thought, I say, and is 
thought, of course, as Freedom, as undecidedness, and indif 
ference, in regard to the act ; as melting together Being and 
not- Being-, as pure possibility, as such, which neither posits 
the act, for it is at the same time checked nor checks it, for 
it is at the same time posited. In short, the perfect contradic 
tion, as such. (We try to discover here everything in know 
ledge, for we teach the Science of Knowledge. Thus absolute 
Being was nothing else to us than absolute Thinking itself, 
the fixedness and repose in Itself, which can never can go be 
yond itself, the altogether ineradicable characteristic of know 
ledge. In like manner absolute Freedom is here the absolute 
unrest, mobility without a fixed point the dissolving within 
itself. Hence thinking here annihilates itself; it is the 
above-mentioned absolute hiatus and saltus of knowledge 
which arises absolutely with all Freedom and all originating, 
and hence whenever reality originates from necessity. It is 
clear that through such a positive not-Being of itself know 
ledge passes to absolute Being. It is, of course, evident and 
admitted that of itself it is nothing ; indeed, none of the links 
of our chain of reasoning is here for itself. It is a turning- 
point of absolute knowledge. 

(Everything but this the logically trained Thinkers can com 
prehend. They shrink back from the contradiction. But how, 
then, is the proposition of that logic of theirs possible which 
says that no contradiction can be thought ? They must have 



50 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

taken hold of or thought this contradiction in some manner or 
another, since they make mention of it. If they would only 
once carefully question themselves, how they come to the 
Thinking of the merely possible, or the accidental (the not- 
necessary), and how they manage to do it. Evidently they 
jump through a not-Being, not-Thinking, &c., into the abso 
lutely immediate, the free, the in-itself-originating precisely 
the above contradiction actually realized. The impossibility 
to comprehend this produces in logical Thinking nothing less 
than a complete denial of Freedom, the absolute fatalism, or 
Spinozism.) 

But this Thinking of formal Freedom is again, as we have 
seen above, possible on condition that the formal Freedom in 
wardly realizes itself in the manner described above. This 
realizing is now also thought in the present connection ; for 
the entire disposition of knowledge, as regarded here, is one 
of rest and fixedness in itself. By this means, the lower con 
templation becomes itself (i. e. to the reposing Thinking) a 
Being (condition, state), which, although it is and remains 
within itself agility, nevertheless conditions thinking, since it 
takes it from its balancing between Being and not-Being, in 
which it rested while a mere possibility, and fixes it down to 
positive Being. Here we begin to get a clear view of subjec 
tivity and objectivity, of ideal and real activity of knowledge. 
This duplicity arises from Thinking (which originates out of 
mere possibility) and from contemplation, which generates 
itself absolutely from itself (from realized Freedom) and is 
added as a new link. 

Contemplation as contemplation, as that what it is, is only 
in so far as it realizes itself for itself with absolute Freedom. 
But this Freedom is posited in Thinking, so that this act, 
which produces the contemplation, could also be not, and only 
on this supposition is it an act; and since it is nothing else 
but an act, is it at all. Here, consequently, we already dis 
cover, through an easy and surprising observation, Contempla 
tion and Thinking inseparably united in a higher contempla 
tion, and the One not possible without the other. Knowledge, 
therefore (in the more limited meaning of the word, i. e. the 
actual knowledge which posits itself as such), does no longer 
consist in the mere contemplation, or in the mere Thinking, 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 51 

but in the melting together of both. The form and the sub 
stance of Freedom is united, and so is also reality and possi 
bility ; since reality (as could not be otherwise) is merely the 
realization of possibility, and possibility (from this point of 
view, for we may arrive at another view of it) is nothing but a 
degree of reality; or, more strictly, is the reality, which is 
checked, in the reflection, in its transition from its possibility 
to its realization. 

Let us ascend now to an adjoining link, which can receive 
nowhere so much light as in this connection. We introduced 
this argument by saying : Tliat a knowledge is at all is acci 
dental; but if a knowledge is, it is necessarily grounded in 
Freedom. The first part of this proposition we have explain 
ed ; in the latter part, we evidently mention something con 
cerning a knowledge which may be posited simply by means 
of the If, but which otherwise has neither been posited, nor 
not been posited. We go beyond this knowledge, and assert 
something about it with absolute necessity. Evidently this 
assertion is an absolute, unchangeable, in-itself-reposing 
Thinking of knowledge according to its absolute Being and 
Essence. Everyone sees that this assertion is not produced 
indirectly by the mere actual knowledge that a knowledge is 
(for the present instance, let us say) and has been produced 
by absolute Freedom, but that it must have an entirely differ 
ent source ; and here we arrive by another way to a more tho 
rough and connecting reply to the question, how a knowledge 
of necessity can be possible ? For as sure as the absolute 
knowledge (in the infinite facticity actual existence of 
each single knowledge) is only in the absolute form of the 
For-itself, so sure each knowledge goes also beyond itself; 
or, viewed from another point", is in its own Being absolutely 
outside of itself, and encircles itself entire. The For-itself 
Being of this encircling, as such, its inwardness and absolute 
reposing -upon itself, which is of course necessary since it is 
a knowledge, is the just described Thinking of the necessity 
of the Freedom of all knowledge. The pure, inner necessity 
consists in this very reposing upon and not being able topene- 
netrate beyond itself of Thinking; its expression is absolute 
essence or fundamental character (here, of knowledge) ; and 
the external form of necessity, the universality, consists in 
4 



52 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

this, that I absolutely can think every factical knowledge^ 
however distinct and different it be from other knowledges, as 
a factical knowledge only with this defined fundamental char 
acter. Where, then, does all necessity come from ? From the 
absolute comprehension of an absolute Form of Knowledge. 

We have thus arrived at a new union. The contemplation 
of absolute knowledge, as accidental (containing an actual 
substance, determined in one way or other), is united with the 
Thinking of the necessity (i. e. the necessity conditioned by 
Being) of this accidentalness ; and in this absolute know 
ledge reposes, and has exhausted its fundamental character 
for itself. 

To explain : Some one might say, all knowledge (in its in 
finite determinability, the source of which we, it is true, do not 
know as yet, but which we presuppose in the meanwhile histori 
cally) is comprehended and discovered as absolutely generating 
itself, which is impossible for two reasons, the second of which 
we have just mentioned. The real state of the matter, how 
ever, is as follows : Knowledge is the contemplation of the de 
scribed absolute Thinking of the accidentalness of the (factical) 
knowledge. Knowledge is not free because it is thought free, 
nor is it thought /m? because it is free, for between both these 
links there is no Why or Therefore, no distinction whatever ; 
but the Thinking itself free and the absolutely leing free of 
Knowledge is one and the same. We are speaking of a Being 
of Knowledge, consequently of a For; of an absolute Being of 
Knowledge, consequently of a For in Thinking (a reposing 
within itself), in which it completely penetrates itself to its 
very first root. 

C. Both are one and the same: Knowledge is necessarily free if there is a know 
ledge, but that there is Knowledge depends upon absolute Freedom; its think 
ing itself free and its being free are one and the same ; the condition is not 
without the act, nor the act without the condition. 

Back to the standpoint of the complete synthesis. 

Through the itself realizing contemplation, the previously 
free and in-freedom-reposing-thinking becomes fixed ; being no 
longer a real, factical, -conditioned thinking ; and this think 
ing is thus fixed for itself. In actual thinking, as such, formal 
Freedom is annihilated ; it is a contemplation, but on no ac- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 53 

count is this same contemplation at the same time not. The 
Not-Being, which was thought together with it in formal Free 
dom, is here (i. e. in so far as the Real and not the merely Pos 
sible is thought) annihilated ; and this very annihilation of 
formal Freedom must be thought if the real Thinking is to com 
prehend itself as real and confined if, therefore, it is to be for 
itself. (Hence the Subjective and Objective, the Upper and 
Lower in knowledge ; the unchangeable Subjective, or the 
ideal activity, is the formal Freedom : either to be, or not to 
be : here, however, viewing itself as cancelled ; the unchange 
able Objective, the Real, is the confinedness as such, through 
which formal Freedom, however, as indifference of Being and 
Not-Being, is cancelled. We have explained here also the 
Thinking of the Accidence, or what in the Science of Know 
ledge signifies the same thing, of the Accidence itself. It is a 
Thinking in which formal Freedom is posited as cancelled ; a 
confined Thinking, as all Thinking is, which, however, at the 
same time, is thought as confined for and within itself.) 

All this becomes clear and productive only when we com 
pare and connect it with its nearest adjoining links. We said 

above : We cannot think a fact, as such, without thinking at 
the same time that it could also not be. Here again we thought 
accidentalness and united formal and real Freedom, the exist 
ence of the former and its cancelling through the latter, in one 
thinking, just as we do here. Now, are both one and the same, 
or different ? The more similarity there is between the two, the 
more necessary is it to distinguish them, and the more pro 
ductive of results the distinction ; for, I say, both are not the 
same at all. 

That previous thinking starts from the thinking of Freedom, 
reposes in this Nothing and contradiction of pure undecided- 
ness (B) as its focus ; and is consequently, whenever it reflects 
upon and seizes itself (as it does in the above thought) in order 
to get out of itself to the fact, a mere nothing, it is ephemeral, 
dissolving and cancelling itself. Consequently the fact, seized 
in such a moment, which is to be, although it could just as 
well not be, is likewise reflected and seized only as undecided 
and dissolving within itself, as the external form of a fact, 
without inner reality and life ; as a point, it is true, but as a 
point which is never at rest, and which strays in the infinite 



54 New Exposition of the Science of knowledge. 

empty space, in a pale, lifeless picture ; nothing but the mere 
beginning and attempt of a real thought and determining 
which never arrives at a real fact. 

(It seems to us, that Philosophy might explain itself with 
out difficulty on this question as something generally known 
not only to not-philosophers and to the empty, purely logi 
cal philosophers, but also to the public at large. For this 
sort of thinking is of the very kind which they have been cul 
tivating the greater part of their lives ; that empty, desultory 
thinking which results when somebody sits down in order to 
thitilc and reflect, and cannot tell you afterwards what he has 
thought about, or wJiat thoughts have really occupied his time. 
Now, how have these people existed during this time, since 
they must have existed in some way ! They have floated in 
the not-Being of real knowledge, in the standpoint of the abso 
lute, but where from sheer absoluteness no thought was able 
to form itself. It will appear, that the greater part of the sys 
tem of knowledge of most men remains stuck in the Absolute 
and that to us all the whole infinite experience which we have 
not yet experienced, in short, eternity and hence, in 
deed, the objective world remains also hidden in that very 
Absolute.) 

The present thinking, on the contrary, stands within itself in 
its own confinedness; reposes, if we may say so, as if lost in this 
confinedness, in order to proceed progressively from it to the 
understanding that formal Freedom has been cancelled in this 
confinedness. In its root it is always factical, and proceeds 
only thence to the absolute, and only to the mere negation of 
it ; while the former thinking was absolute in its root, and 
proceeded merely to an empty picture of a fact. 

Now this confinedness is, as we know, a taking hold of itself 
on the part of knowledge, and its result is contemplation or 
light. To this therefore, to this state of light, thinking is con 
fined by the above described cancelling and fixing of formal 
Freedom ; or, to use a more common expression, by Allen- 
tion, which is nothing but Freedom surrendered to the object 
you pay attention to, a forgetting of self, a confinedness, fix 
edness of thinking, &c., &c. It is apparent, therefore, that 
formal Freedom is Indifference to Light and Attention ; it may 
surrender itself to them, or it may not ; the very desultory, 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 55 

in-itself-dissolving thinking, mentioned above ; the floating in 
the absolute. 

Now, how does knowledge know that it has thus taken hold 
of and holds itself? Evidently, immediately ; for the very rea 
son that it knows or thinks itself as the Holding ; in short, 
through the That of formal Freedom. Again, how can know 
ledge obtain a sight of this That the same formal Freedom 
except by having sight (by being a For-itself ) ? Its light is de 
pendent upon its Freedom ; but since this Freedom is its own, 
Freedom is again dependent upon light, is only in light. 
Knowledge knows that it holds itself and is thus the absolute 
source of light, and this constitutes its absoluteness ; and, vice 
versa, it knows and has light only in so far as it holds itself 
with absolute Freedom (is attentive), and knows that it does 
so. It cannot be free without knowing, nor know without be 
ing free. 

Ideal and real views are altogether united and inseparable ; 
the condition with the act, the act with the condition; or 
rather, in absolute consciousness they are not all divided, but 
are One and the same. 

This absolute knowledge now makes itself its own object ; 
firstly, in order to describe itself as absolute. This is done, 
according to the above, by constructing itself from out of not- 
Being ; and this construction is itself internally an act of 
Freedom, which is however here lost within itself. 

It is evident, however, that it cannot so construct itself with 
out being ; consequently without having, in some view, a fixed 
existence. If, in one of these views, it starts from its condition 
of Light, it will posit the act, Freedom, as the cause of Light ; 
and should it reflect again upon itself in this positing, it will 
become .aware that it could not see this act, unless by the pre 
supposed light, immanent within itself, and then it will obtain 
an idealistic view of itself. If, on the other hand, it starts 
from Freedom as the act, it will view the light as the product 
of this act, and will thus be led to view the original Freedom 
as the real ground of Light, and view itself realistically. 

But according to the true description of absolute knowledge 
which we have now drawn, it views itself in the one way as 
well as in the other only onesidedly. Consequently neither 
the one, nor the other view, in contemplation, but both united 



56 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

in Thinking, constitute the true view, which is the basis of both 
these contrary views of contemplation, and upon it alone shall 
we be able to build anything. 

3. SYNTHESIS OF THINKING AND CONTEMPLATION, OR SUB 
STANCE AND ACCIDENCE IN ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE. 

A. Knowledge posits itself for itself as a Self-originating, and hence posits a Xot- 
Being of Itself, or an Absolute Pure Being (Check), as its origin and limit: 
Thinking or Substance. 

The conception of absolute knowledge having been exhaust 
ed in all respects, and we having found at the same time how 
it could thus exhaustively comprehend itself, or how a Science 
of Knowledge could be possible, we now rise to its highest 
origin and ground. 

Besides the conception of the Absolute, established at the 
beginning, we have in our last investigations obtained a still 
clearer conception of the form of the Absolute : namely, that 
in relation to a possible knowledge it is a pure, altogether and 
absolutely within itself confined Thinking, which never goes 
beyond itself to ask the Why of its formal or material Being, 
or to posit a Because of it, even though it were an absolute 
Because ; in which, on the very account of this absolute nega 
tion of the Because, the For-itself (knowledge) has not yet 
been posited, and which, consequently, is in reality a mere 
pure Being without knowledge, although we have to make 
this Being discernible in our Science of Knowledge from the 
standpoint of the absolute pure form of Thinking. 

Knowledge therefore, as absolute and confined in its origin, 
must be designated as the One (in every sense of the term, of 
which indeed it receives several only in the relative), as ever 
the same unchangeable, eternal, and ineradicable Being (God, 
if we persist in connecting him with knowledge and leaving 
him a relation to it), and in the state of this original confined- 
ness as Feeling = A. 

Nevertheless, this Absolute is to be an absolute knowledge ; 
it must therefore be for itself, which it can become, as we have 
seen, only in a fact, through the absolute realization of Free 
domin so far being simply because it is by going beyond 
itself, and again generating itself, c., which ideal series we 
have also completely exhausted=B. 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 57 

Now which is least important, but cannot be neglected 
since as knowledge it generates B with absolute Freedom, but 
within knowledge it will probably know also of this Free 
dom as the ground of this knowledge (=F B). 

Again which is more important this B is not to be merely 
a knowledge for and of itself as the product of Freedom, 
which, even though it were possible in itself (although it can 
not be so according to all former explanations, since the con 
sciousness of Freedom can develop itself only in and. from out 
of its own confinedness) would result in a completely new 
knowledge not at all connected with A ; but B, according to 
our former deductions, is to be a For-itself of A in and through 
B. B must not tear itself away from and lose A.; for if it did, 
there would be no absolute knowledge at all, but merely a 
free, accidental, empty, unsubstantial knowledge. 

From this follows, first of all, a simply immediate, and in- 

itself- absolute connection of A and B, ( 4- J which, it is true, 

is not without B (the realization of Freedom) ; but which, if B 
is, arises altogether in an immediate manner, and arrives at a 
consciousness of itself according to its character in A itself ; 
which is consequently known as a feeling of dependency 
and conditionedness ; and in this respect we have called A 
Feeling. 

Again : the knowledge B is a knowledge, a For-itself. This 
signifies now not only : it is a knowledge generated through 
Freedom ; but, at the same time, it is a knowledge connected 
with and expressing the Absolute through the above connec 
tion -f . (In the foregoing exposition A is added to F ; con 
sequently, A F B.) We have, therefore, 

1. A For -its elf existence, a reflection of "absolute knowledge, 
which presupposes in itself that absoluteness (A). This reflec 
tion undoubtedly obeys its own inner laws regarding tlieform 
of knowledge, and with the clearer exposition of this reflection 
we shall soon have to busy ourselves. 

2. A appears visibly twice, partly as presupposed prior to 
all knowledge, the substantial basis and original condition of 
it, and partly in free knowledge (B), in which it becomes visi 
ble to itself and enters into light (in accordance with the abso 
lute form of the For-itself, expressed in the sign -f). Where, 



58 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

then, is the seat of absolute knowledge ? Not in A, for then it 
would not be knowledge ; not in B, for then it would not be 
absolute knowledge ; but between botli in -f . 
From this there results the following : 

1. Absolute knowledge ( 4- J is for itself (in B) just as abso 
lutely because it is, as absolutely what it is. Both, though it 
seems to be contradictory, must, as we have shown, be kept 
together, if there is to be an absolute knowledge. The way 
and mode of this remaining together is to be found in know 
ledge itself, and constitutes the formal laws of knowledge, 
according to which the entire B is= A F B. In other words, 
the whole contents, A, must enter, through the realization of 
Freedom, F, in the form of light, B. 

2. It is For-itself (=F) simply wliat it is (=A) which ex 
presses the contradiction in the most positive manner can 
signify only : its Freedom and its For-itself or its knowledge is 
(and for this very reason for itself) at an end. It discovers in 
itself and through itself its absolute end and its limitation ; in 
itself and through itself, I say ; it penetrates knowingly to its 
absolute origin (from the not-knowledge), and arrives thus 
through itself (that is to say, in consequence of its absolute 
transparency and self-knowledge) at its end. 

Now this is precisely the mystery which no one has been 
able to perceive because it lies too openly before our eyes, and 
because in it alone we see everything ! If knowledge consists 
just in this, that it views its own origin ; or, still more defin 
itely and with abstraction from all duplicity, if knowledge 
itself signifies : For-itself Being, inner life of the origin; then it 
is very clear that its end and its absolute limit must fall also 
within this For-itself. Now, according to all our explanations 
and the evident perception of each, knowledge does consist in 
this very penetrability, in the absolute light-character, subject- 
object, Ego ; consequently, it cannot view its absolute origin, 
without viewing its non-Existence or its limit. 

3. What then, now, is absolute Being? It is the absolute 
origin of knowledge comprehended in knowledge, and conse 
quently the not-Being of knowledge. It is Being-in-knowledge, 
and yet not Being of knowledge; absolute Being, because the 
knowledge is absolute. 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 59 

Only the beginning of knowledge is pure Being; wherever 
knowledge is, there is its own being already ; and everything 
else which might be taken for Being (for something objective) 
is this Being and obeys its laws. The pure knowledge viewed 
as origin for itself, and its opposite as not-Being of knowledge 
because otherwise it could have no origin is pure Being. 

(Or let us say, if people only will understand us correctly, 
the absolute creation, as creation and by no means as the cre 
ated substance, is the standpoint of absolute knowledge ; this 
creates itself from its simple possibility, and this very -possi 
bility is pure Being.) 

That is, this is pure Being for the Science of Knowledge and 
precisely because that science is a science of knowledge > and 
deducing Being from knowledge as its negation and being. 
It is consequently an ideal view of Being, and its highest ideal 
view. Now it may well be that here this negation is itself the 
absolute position (affirmation), and that our position itself is 
in a certain respect a negation, and that in the Science of 
Knowledge, though subordinated to it, we shall find a highest 
real view, according to which knowledge also does certainly 
create itself and accordingly everything created and to be 
created but only according to the form ; according to the 
substance, however, after an absolute law (into which the 
Absolute Being now changes), which law negates every know 
ledge and being as the highest position. A pure moralism, 
which is realistically (practically) exactly the same that the 
Science of Knowledge is formally and idealistically. 

B. But Knowledge posits itself as a Self-originating for-itself. and hence origin 
ates itself in this self-positing or preposits itself: Contemplation or Accidence. 

a. The in-itself-confined thinking in A can be viewed as 
inwardly and originally (not factically, since this is denied by 
its essence) in itself confined and unable to go beyond itself. 
Such would indeed be its character in relation to a possible 
consciousness, the origin and foundation of which would be 
this very in-itself-confinedness, and at the same time the con 
sciousness of this confinedness ; we have therefore called it 
Feeling ; Feeling, even of this absoluteness, unchangeable- 
ness, c., from which, it is true, we can derive nothing at pres 
ent, and which is to serve us only as a connecting link. Besides, 



60 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

it would be a realistical view, if it were and could "be any view 
at all. 

I). This A, however, is known in B, though altogether inde 
pendent of it inform, and is viewed in it as an absolute ori 
gin, to which, in the same knowledge, a?i6>-Being of knowledge 
necessarily attaches itself from the very nature of knowledge, 
which otherwise could not be a knowledge or viewing of its 
own origin. Here A seems to have arisen out of B, and the 
view is idealistic. 

c. Now the important matter here is to us, that this know 
ledge inwardly and for-itself, and, let us add, in its immediate 
ness (in its form), is absolute; or, which is the same, that the 
contemplated origin is absolute, or that the not-Being of know 
ledge is the absolute expressions which all mean the same, 
and follow one from the other. It is this, means : it is so with 
out the cooperation and independently of Freedom, conse 
quently in a Feeling of confinedness ; through which the above 
described feeling of absoluteness enters knowledge, and with 
it together constitutes the absolute A as real and as independ 
ent of Freedom. Thus the realistic and idealistic views are 
thoroughly united, and a Being appears which exists in Free 
dom, whilst also a Freedom is made apparent which originates 
from out of Being (it is the moral Freedom, or creation which 
comprehends itself as absolute creation from Nothingness) ; 
and both therefore and with them Knowledge and Being are 
united. 

Let us explain : 1. In actual knowledge this is the feeling 
of certainty, which always accompanies a particular knowledge 
as a principle of the possibility of all knowledge. Evidently 
this feeling is absolutely immediate ; for how could I ever, in 
mediated knowledge, draw the conclusion that anything is cer 
tain unless I presuppose a premise which is absolutely certain 
in itself? (For where is the drawing of conclusions to com 
mence otherwise ? or is absolute Unreason to precede reason ?) 
But what is this feeling in regard to its substance ? Evidently 
a consciousness of an unchangeableness (an absolute in-itself- 
determinedness of knowledge, of which the That is well known; 
but by asking after its "Why or Because, we lose ourselves in 
the absolute not-Being of knowledge (=to the absolute Being). 
In certainty, therefore (=4he for-itselfof absoluteness of know- 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. Cl 

ledge), ideal and real, absolute Freedom and absolute Being, 
or necessity, unite. 

2. The For-itself existence of the absolute origin is absolute 
Contemplation, fountain of Light, or the absolute Subjective; 
the not-Being of knowledge and the absolute Being, which 
necessarily connect with the For-itself existence, are absolute 
Thinking fountain of Being within the Light ; consequently, 
since it nevertheless is within knowledge, the absolute Object 
ive. Both fall together (unite) in the immediate For-itself of 
Absoluteness. This, therefore, is the last tie between subject 
and object, and the entire synthesis here established is the 
construction of the pure, absolute Ego. This tie is evidently 
the fountain of all knowledge (i. e. of all certainty), from which 
it follows that, in the particular case of this certainty, the sub 
jective agrees with the objective, or "the representation of the 
thing with the thing itself." This is only a modification of the 
discovered ground-form of all knowledge. (It is therefore very 
wrong to describe the Absolute as Indifference of the Subject 
ive and Objective, a description which is based on the old 
hereditary sin of dogmatism, which assumes that the absolute 
Objective is to enter into the Subjective. This supposition I 
hope to have rooted out by the foregoing. If Subjective and 
Objective were originally indifferent, how in the world could 
they ever become different, so as to enable any one to say, 
that ~botli, from which he starts as different, are in reality 
indifferent? Does, then, the absoluteness annihilate itself in 
order to become a relation ? If this were so, it would become 
absolutely Nothing, as it indeed is the contradiction which we 
have pointed out above, only in another connection ; and this 
system, instead of absolute identity-system, ought to be called 
absolute nullity system. On the contrary, both are absolutely 
different ; and in their being kept apart by means of their 
union in absoluteness, knowledge consists. If they unite, 
Knowledge and with Knowledge, they also are annihilated 
and pure Nothingness remains. )* 

d. We have said the origin is an absolute one, from out 
which and beyond which it is impossible to go. It seems, 
therefore, to be unchangeable in this For-itself; and yet it is 

* This is a polemic against Schelling. Translator. 



62 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

presupposed by it. Bat the origin is not in this For-itself, ex 
cept in so far it is realized through absolute formal Freedom 
(as we have learned to know this Freedom as that which can 
and cannot be ) the origin is not contemplated unless it makes 
itself; it does not make itself unless it is contemplated (a dif 
ference of subject and object which, strictly, ought to be anni 
hilated here in a unity of the subject, in fact in an inward 
ness of the origin) ; and it is not contemplated except in so 
far as this Freedom as such is for itself, or is viewed as in-itself- 
originating (itself realizing). 

If I reflect upon the latter, knowledge appears in regard to 
its Being generally as accidental ; in regard to its substance, 
however, which is nothing else than that knowledge is abso 
lute, as necessary. From this the double result follows : that 
a knowledge is at all, is accidental ; but that it, if it is, is tlms 
i. e. a knowledge reposing upon itself, For-itself existence 
of the origin, and on that very account not-Being, Contempla 
tion and Thinking together is absolutely necessary. 

What, now, is that Being of Knowledge (inwardly ; not ac 
cording to the external characteristics, which w have become 
sufficiently acquainted with), and what is, on the contrary, 
this TJms- Being (Determination) of knowledge? The first, 
like all Being, a confinedness of Thinking, but of free Think 
ing ; the latter a confinedness of the not-free, but absolutely 
in its own origin already confined Thinking. The Thinking is 
therefore only the formal, the enlightening, but not the gene 
rating of the material of the J7^^s-Being ; the latter must be 
presupposed by the former. 

But now both are altogether the same, and the only distinc 
tion is that in the latter Freedom is reflected upon and every 
thing viewed from its standpoint, while in the former Freedom 
neither is nor can be reflected upon: that here knowledge, 
therefore, separates from itself, since in the higher thinking it 
does not presuppose, but generates itself, and in the lower 
thinking, on the contrary, presupposes itself for itself. 

We have arrived at a very important point. The funda 
mental principle of all reflection, which is a disjunction and a 
contradiction, has been found : all knowledge presupposes in 
the same manner, and from the same reason, its own Being, 
that it presupposes its not-Being. For the reflection, standing 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 63 

as it does on the standpoint of Freedom, is a for-itself Being 
of the origin as an originating ; and thus the present proposi 
tion differs from the former. But the originating, as such, 
presupposes a not-originating, consequently a Being ; and if 
we speak of the originating of knowledge, as we must, since 
only knowledge originates (Knowled.ge= Originating), a Being 
of knowledge ; and if we speak of a coniinedness to originat 
ing, as we have done here, an equally confined Being, or Thus- 
Being of knowledge : and tills is the object of the reflection. 
Knowledge cannot generate itself without being already, nor 
can it be for itself and as knowledge without generating itself. 
Its own Being and its Freedom are inseparable. 

Visibly the reflection, therefore, reposes upon a Being ; is 
formaliter a free, and, in regard to the material, a fixed Think 
ing, and the result is therefore this : If the formal Freedom 
which, to be sure, in itself always remains, but can just as well 
not be (not realize itself) does realize itself, it is simply and 
altogether determined by the absolute Being, and is in this 
connection material Freedom. Thus the synthesis is com 
pleted, in which we can now move freely, and describe it in 
all directions. 

C. Both are one and the same: Contemplation, or the Freedom of undetermined 
Quantitating, can be thought only as determined by the ori "final Thinking of an 
Absolute Being, and the thinking of. an Absolute Being is determined by the 
Contemplating of a Quantitating: neither is without the other. 

Let us describe it, then, from a new point of view. 

1. A (the absolute Being, pure Thinking, Feeling of depen 
dence, or whatever else we choose to call it, since it really pre 
sents itself in these different aspects as the reflection progresses) 
is reflected with absolute formal Freedom. I have said, with; 
the Freedom is added, might be and might not be. But this 
Freedom is an absolute For-itself; knows, consequently, in 
this its realization of itself. What it reflects, however, is the 
absolute Thinking ; i. e. it thinks absolute ; or, the formal 
Freedom is admitted in this absolute Thinking, and receives 
therefrom its substance, since it might just as well not be as 
be, but when it is, it must necessarily be thus. (Moral origin 
of all Truth.) 

Remark here the absolute disjunction, and in two direc 
tions : 



64 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

a. Knowledge is chained down in A : again it tears itself 
loose from itself in order to Ibe for itself and form a free Think 
ing. Both statements are absolutely contradictory ; but both 
are, if there is to be knowledge, equally original and absolute. 
This contradiction therefore remains and can never be harmo 
nized ; and this is an external view for knowledge, since its 
focus is really in us. 

b. Let us now approach the inner view by throwing the focus 
into the reflection itself. The reflection knows immediately 
of the absolute Freedom, with which it realizes itself, knows 
free, or knows of Freedom. But now it also thinks confinedly. 
Both statements are in contradiction, and remain equally 
always contradictory. (The ground of all opposition, of all 
manifoldness, &c., is to be found in confined Thinking.) But 
both are also united in this, that the absolute Thinking is the 
principal, nay, the only possible origin of all free reflection ; 
and thus Freedom is subordinated to absolute Thinking. 
Here is the ground of all substantiality and accidentality : 
freedom as substratum of the accidence can and cannot be ; 
but if it is, it is unalterably determined through absolute 
Being as the substance. (Spinoza knows neither substance 
nor accidence, because he knows not Freedom, which con 
nects both. The absolute accidence is not that which can be 
thus or otherwise ; for then it would not be absolute, but 
merely that which can be at all or not be ; which, however, if 
it is, is necessarily determined.) 

The turning-point between both is formal Freedom, and this 
turning-point is (not arbitrary, but determined) ideal and 
real. My knowledge of the absolute (the substance) is determ 
ined through the free reflection, and since this is also con 
fined, as we have shown through its confinedness^accident- 
ality. (We know of the substance only through the acci 
dence.) Or, vice versa, placing ourselves on the standpoint of 
Being, the determinedness of the accidence is explained to us 
by means of the substance ; and thus the in-itself eternally 
and absolutely disjoined is united by the necessity to proceed 
from the one to the other. 

2. Formal Freedom, as we have seen, must in this reflection 
know of itself ; otherwise it would not be subordinated to ab 
solute Being, but would dissolve in it. But it knows of itself, 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 65 

as we are aware, only through contemplation, which is an alto 
gether free floating within the unconditioned separable, and 
over all quantitability. (That this whole quantitability is 
altogether a result of the self-contemplation of Freedom, we 
have proved sufficiently ; but it must not be forgotten, since 
the neglect to remember it leads to dogmatism.) It views 
itself as free, means : it views itself as quantitating in the 
unconditioned, expanding itself over infinity and contracting 
itself in a seeming light-point. From this arises, therefore, 
still another material determinedness, which here, it is true, 
remains only determinability, and which arises simply from 
Freedom and its absolute representation in the reflection itself. 

Here is visible the disjunction between the absolute formal 
Freedom (which can only be or not be) and the quantity-con 
tents of it. The first is a Thinking, but a free Thinking ; the 
latter a contemplation, and & formally confined contemplation. 
(I say, formally ; for quantitability only, and not a determined 
quantity, has been posited as yet.) Both are united by the 
in-itself-dissolving form of Freedom, without which, according 
to our former conclusions, neither would be at all. It is fur 
ther evident that this is the groundform of all causality. The 
actual Freedom is ground (cause), the quantity (no matter 
what quantity), result, effect. It is clear that the Ideal and 
Real thoroughly unite here. (Let no one say, that in know 
ledge a conclusion is drawn from the effect to the cause, 
although the cause is to be the real ground. Here effect is not 
at all without immediate cause ; both fall together and unite. ) 

3. Now, according to 1, Freedom is to receive a material 
determination, i. e. absolute Being. In its nature Freedom is 
confined to a quantitating, but it has not within itself a deter 
mining law for this quantitating. (If it had, the necessity for 
that material determinedness would be done away with.) 
That material determinedness must therefore apply in the 
same manner to Freedom as to quantity. (The reader will 
remark how this is proved.) Now pay particular attention to 
the following : The Ego the immediate, real consciousness 
knows not generally, nor does it know particularly of the 
determination of Freedom through the Absolute, except in so 
far as it knows of Freedom, or as it posits itself quantitating. 
Both (1 and 2) are mutually determined through each other. 



66 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

Both consequently ought to unite if a knowledge is to be ; 
the determination of Freedom through the Absolute as a ma 
terial determination not a formal one, for that is included in 
the form of Knowledge consequently as a limitation of the 
quantitating and a certain, no longer arbitrary, but through 
the Absolute determined quantitating ; and of both must be 
known absolutely because it is known as is always known 
and that this is absolute knowledge must also be known in 
the same immediate manner. 

Thus there would occur in no knowledge the determina 
tion of the throughout formal pure Freedom through abso 
lute Being, nor, if Freedom be already materialized, the 
consciousness of the quantitating as the product of that rela 
tion; as if this consciousness would first look at that rela 
tion, and then quantitate itself accordingly with Freedom; 
no less would there be found in any knowledge a quantum 
limited through absolute Freedom, as if knowledge could 
now relate this quantum to the original determination of 
Freedom through absolute Being : but a quantum is found 
with the immediate consciousness that it is determined by the 
absolute Being, and from this finding all knowledge commen 
ces. The union of both links, as a fact, takes place outside 
of (beyond) consciousness. (The result is plain : Truth can 
not be seized outside of and without knowledge, and know 
ledge then be arranged to suit such truth ; truth must and can 
only be Jcnown. Vice versa, we cannot know without knowing 
something and if it is a knowledge and knows itself as such 
without knowing trutli. ) 

D. Results. 

"We contract all the preceding into a common result. 

1. Knowledge, if it contemplates itself, finds itself as an 
inner and for and in itself originating. If it contemplates 
itself, I say ; for just as well as it might not be at all, it might 
not be for itself. Its duplicity as well as its simplicity de 
pend on its Freedom. The entrance into the Science of Know 
ledge is Freedom ; therefore this science cannot be forced upon 
any one, as if it had already an existence within everybody s 
knowledge, merely requiring to be developed by analysis ; but 
it rests upon an absolute act of Freedom, upon a new creation. 



New Exposition of tfye Science of Knowledge. 67 

Again : It contemplates itself tliis is the second part of our 
assertion as absolutely originating; if it is. being simply 
because it is, presupposing no condition whatever of its real 
ity. This comprehension of the absoluteness, this knowledge 
which knowledge has of itself and what is inseparable there 
from, is absolute, is Reason. The mere simple knowledge, 
which does not again comprehend itself as knowledge, is 
Understanding. The common, also philosophical, knowledge 
understands, it is true, according to the laws of reason (of 
Thinking), and is forced to do so, because otherwise it would 
not be knowledge at all ; it lias therefore reason, but it does 
not comprehend its reason. To such philosophers their rea 
son has not become something inward, something for itself ; 
it is outside of them, in nature in a curious sort of soul of 
nature, which they call God. Their knowledge (understand 
ing) posits therefore objects, precisely externalized reason. 
All the certainty of their mere understanding presupposes in 
an infinite retrogression another certainty ; they cannot go 
beyond this retrogression, because they do not know the foun 
tain of certainty (the absolute knowledge). Their actions 
(prompted merely by the understanding) have an end, also 
externalized reason from another view ; and even this separat 
ing of reason into a theoretical and practical part, and of the 
practical part into the opposition of object and end, arises from 
neglect of reason. 

2. In this contemplation of the originating, knowledge dis 
covers a not-Being, which moves up, if we may say so, to the 
former without any cooperation of Freedom ; and in so far as 
this originating is absolute, this not-Being is also an absolute 
not-Being, which can be neither explained nor deduced any 
further. The not-Being is to precede the originating as a fact ; 
from not-Being we are to proceed to Being, and by no means 
vice versa. (This moving up of not-Being, and its position as 
the primary, rests also upon immediate contemplation, and by 
no means on a higher knowledge, &c. True, everybody will 
say : " Why, it is natural that a not-Being should precede an 
origin, if it is to be a real, absolute origin ; this I comprehend 
immediately." But if you ask him for the proof, he will not 
be able to give it, but will plead absolute certainty. His asser 
tion is consequently our absolute contemplation, expressed in 
4* 



68 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

words, and is derived from it, not vice versa: for our doctrine 
remains one of contemplation. ) 

3. Now let this thus described knowledge again reflect upon 
itself, or be in and for itself. This it can do necessarily, as 
sure as all knowledge can do it, according to its ground-form ; 
but it is not compelled to do so. If, however, only the first 
and ground-view is to remain permanent and standing, and 
not to vanish like a flash of light, giving place again to the 
former darkness, then this reflection will follow of itself; in 
deed it is nothing else than the making that fundamental view 
permanent. 

This reflection, or this new knowledge, comprehending the 
absolute knowledge, as such, cannot penetrate beyond it, nor 
wish to explain it any further ; for then knowledge would 
never come to an end. It attains a firm standpoint, a repos 
ing, unchangeable object. (This is very important.) So much 
about its form. Let us now investigate its substance. 

There is thus evidently in this reflection a double know 
ledge : 1st, of the absolute originating, and, 2d, of the not- 
Being accompanying it, which was above a not-Being of all 
knowledge, but is here, as the reflection must know of it, mere 
ly a not-Being of the originating; hence a knowledge of a 
reposing absolute Being, opposed to knowledge, and from 
which Knowledge, in its originating, starts. 

4. Let us view the relation of this twofold in the reflection 
of it. The comprehending of the absolute Being is a Think 
ing, and, in so far as it is reflected upon, an inner Thinking, a 
Thinking for itself. The For-itself of the originating, on the 
contrary, is a contemplation. Now neither the one nor the 
other alone, but both are reflected as the absolute knowledge. 
Both, therefore, must be again joined together in their mutual 
relation as the absolute knowledge. And firstly, since Free 
dom for itself is an undetermined quantitating, but is only 
through absolute Being (original Thinking, or whatever you 
choose to call it), this determination in knowledge must be 
that of a quantitating. (I say, expressly, in knowledge, as 
such, and thereby knowledge rises above itself, comprehend 
ing and separating Us own, immanent law from the absolute.) 

This is comprehended as absolute knowledge, means: 
some particular quantitating is immediately comprehended as 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 69 

that which is demanded by absolute Being or Thinking, and 
only in this falling together of both does consciousness arise. 
It is to be hoped that the whole matter is clear now, and 
every one can judge whether he understands it by answering 
the following questions : 

Ques. In what standpoint or focus does absolute know 
ledge commence ? or which is the same where does all rela 
tive knowledge stand still, where is it at an end, and where 
has it encircled itself? 

Ans. In the knowledge of a particular quantitating as de 
termined through absolute Being= A. Not in the knowledge of 
the quantitating by itself, nor of the determinedness of the same 
through absolute Being ; but in the not Indifference, but 
Identity -point of both ; in the imperceptible, consequently not 
further comprehensible or explainable, unity of the absolute 
Being and the For-itself Being in knowledge, beyond which 
even the Science of Knowledge cannot go. 

Ques. Whence then, now, the duplicity in knowledge ? 

Ans. Formaliter : from the absolute For-itself of this very 
knowledge, which is not chained down to, but penetrates be 
yond, itself; from its absolute form of reflection, which on 
that very account includes infinite reflectibility : the free tal 
ent of knowledge (which can therefore be or not be) to make 
each of its own states its object, and put it before itself to 
reflect upon. Materialiter : Because this thus found and not 
generated knowledge is a Thinking of an absolute quantita- 
Mlity. 

Ques. "Whence, then, now in knowledge the absolute Being 
and the quant it ability f 

Ans. Even from a disjunction of that higher, the Thinking 
and the Contemplation in reflection. (Knowledge finds itself 
and finds itself ready-made ; applied Realism of the Science 
of Knowledge.) 

Ques. Is then, now, the Contemplation equal to the Think 
ing, or the Thinking equal to the Contemplation ? 

Ans. By no means. Knowledge makes itself neither of these 
two, but finds itself as both ; although, as finding itself consti 
tuted by both, it indeed makes itself, since it elevates itself 
by its own Freedom (free reflection) to this highest idea of 
itself. 



70 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

Now, in this very point the knot of the absolute misunder 
standing of our science is to be found. (I shall never live to 
experience that this is understood, i. e. penetrated and ap 
plied!) Knowledge makes itself, according to its nature, its 
ground - substance : this is half, superficial Idealism. The 
Being, the Objective, is the first; knowledge, the form of the 
For-itself -Being follows from the nature of this Being ; this is 
empty Dogmatism, which explains nothing. Both must be 
kept apart in the conception of them and both also must be 
reconciled and united, as we have done here, according to their 
relation and position in reality and this is transcendental 
Idealism. This discovered duplicity, however, is nothing else 
than what we have heretofore termed TJiinldng and Contem 
plation in their most original significance, and their relation 
to each other, whereof now. 

Ques. Whence then, now, the relation of both to each other 
in knowledge f (I say, in knowledge, since only in knowledge 
a relation is possible.) 

Ans. Because Thinking is the in-itself firm and immovable 
penetrated by the real, by Being, and penetrating it subject 
ive-objective in original unity; therefore absolute cogniza- 
bility, the real substantial basis of all knowledge, &c., &c. ; 
and because contemplation is mobility itself, expanding the 
above substantial (of Thinking) to the infinity of knowledge ; 
because, therefore, the latter is brought to rest by the former, 
and thereby fixed for tlie reflection, thus becoming an absolute 
and at the same time infinite substantial not a passing-away 
and in-itself-dissolving knowledge. 

This is the conception of absolute knowledge ; and at the 
same time it is explained from the absolute form of know 
ledge how knowledge (in the Science of Knowledge) can 
comprehend and penetrate itself in its absolute conception. 
The Science of Knowledge explains at one and the same time, 
and from the same principle, itself and its object absolute 
knowledge ; it is therefore itself the highest Focus, the self- 
realization and self-knowledge of the absolute knowledge, as 
such, and in that it bears the impress of its own completion. 



PART SECOND. 



Knowledge posits itself for itself as a determined Freedom 
of Quantitating, or as Nature. 



PART SECOND. 



Knowledge posits itself for itself as a determined Freedom 
of Quantitating, or as Nature. 



CONTEXTS OF PART SECOND. 

\ 1. Knowledge cannot posit itself for itself as a determined freedom of quan- 
ti biting- without both thinking that Freedom as the ground of all quantity, 
and at the same time contemplating a quantity as factically the prior. 

I 2. Hence all contemplating knowledge begins with a determined quantitating 
(World, Nature, &c.), which, however, it must think as accidental, or as hav 
ing formal Freedom for its ground, and which it thus thinks by ascribing to 
itself a power of Attention. 

g 3. Results. 

4. Deduction of Space. 

5. Deduction of the Ground-form of Time. 

\ G. Deduction of Matter. 

I 1. Knowledge cannot posit itself for itself as a determined freedom of quan 
titating without both thinking that Freedom as the ground of all quantity, 
and at the same time contemplating a quantity as factically the prior. 

The standpoint and the result of the last reflection, which 
constituted absolute knowledge, was a determinedness of Free 
dom, as a quantitating, through absolute Being or Thinking. 
Let it be well understood, as a quantitating generally, but by 
no means yet as the positing of a fixed quantum. Upon this 
we must now reflect again, altogether in analogy with the 
former reflections. As absolute knowledge went beyond itself 
5 



74 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

and placed itself before itself, in its form of reflection, as a 
reciprocity of substantiality and accidentality, so also here. 

Let us first, however, observe the following: This reflection 
is, as we have seen, a multiplicity, if it views itself with respect 
to its components, which, in that case, are not knowledge, but 
merely the necessary components of knowledge ; but as know 
ledge it is simple, and the very final point of all knowledge. 
We now propose to descend from this point, in order to dis 
cover standpoints of knowledge, which in themselves are again 
equally manifold. Their particular character must always be 
well remembered. 

Now, while we said formerly, this reflection occurs ; we here 
express ourselves thus : this reflection must occur. This must 
is a conditional must ; it means, if a knowledge is to be, then 
a reflection must have taken place. But as knowledge, from 
its highest absolute point of view, is accidental, a knowledge 
mustnot necessarily be, and the necessity, which we have 
demanded, is therefore only a conditional necessity. Yet on 
that very account we must prove the conditional necessity of 
this and all other reflections which we shall hereafter put forth, 
i. e. we must deduce the reflection as such. 
We approach this deduction. The knowledge, spoken of, is 
the knowledge of a determinedness of quantitating. But this 
is not possible, unless the quantitating, in its agility and mo 
bility, as it was described above, is realized, and unless the 
focus of knowledge is concentrated in it. It must be well 
remembered: the quantitating, as such, in its form; and by 
no means yet a determined quantitating. The quantitating is 
for-itself only as a formal act. Where, then, should the de 
terminedness come from ? 

This, then, would be the fundamental character of the new 
reflection. Let us immediately proceed to the representation 
of this reflection, and enter at once its central point. The act 
is, as we have said, a free quantitatlng, which is inwardly for 
itself, but at the same time reflects upon itself as confined and 
determined through absolute Being. The disjunction is clearly 
exposed: it is the opposition of confinedness and Freedom 
(of quantitating, of course, as such) ; the former is to be de 
pendent idealiter upon the latter; the latter is to be dependent 
realUer upon the former. So much about this. 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 75 

We proceed to the union of that disjunction. Only in so 
far as the freedom of quantitating is inwardly realized i. e. 
as it contemplates itself, can it be taken hold of by a fixed 
Thinking. The Thinking, and whatever follows therefrom, 
is idealiter dependent upon contemplation. Vice versa, only in 
so^far as this Freedom is subordinated to pure Being does 
this Freedom and the quantitating inseparable from it, as 
well as its contemplation, take place. In other words : only 
in so far as it is not, as it is consequently the pure Being, and 
presupposes its Not-Being in advance of its Being, is it an 
absolute originating. Realiter therefore, the contemplation 
of the quantitating, is dependent upon absolute Being and 
upon the determination of Freedom through absolute Being 
In this closest reciprocity, this floating between the ideal and 
the real (in this thorough penetration of Contemplation and 
Thinking), and in the unity of both, which is no immediate 
object of knowledge, but knowledge itself, this reflection floats 
like every reflection according to its specific character of 
course as reflection of the Freedom of quantitating. 
We now proceed to the adjoining links of the argument. 
1. The Freedom of quantitating tJiinJcs itself. Let us facil 
itate the comprehension of this proposition by calling to re 
membrance the conception of causality in the upper "synthe 
sis. There Freedom, as ground, was that through which the 
quantum (if any quantum was supposed as posited) was per 
ceived in its determinedness. It was realiter thus deter 
mined in this manner, because Freedom had made it thus 
and was perceived idealiter, because Freedom was perceived 
a& holding itself over and within it. Bat this Thinking and 
this is the decisive remark-is no pure, original, but a syn 
thetical uniting and reflecting Thinking, and Freedom was 
posited in it always in its factical form (but only the form) 
of determinedness. This Freedom is here thought pure and 
absolute, signifies: it is thought, in the highest universality 
as the absolute, eternal, unchangeable ground of all possible 
quantity which can be thought. (The meaning of this can 
easily be explained: it is expressed in the general proposition 
which the Science of Knowledge has already uttered repeat 
edly, but which is now Introduced into the real system of 
knowledge : only Freedom (whether actual or not, is here not 



76 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

yet decided) is the ground of all possible quantity. But to us 
it is of importance that the derivation and the connection "be 
understood, and, as this point is of the most important conse 
quences, we shall add a few more words in relation to it. 

In the common view, the Thinking pointed out here is rela 
ted to the former as the general abstract proposition is related 
to the concrete : in the former, any determinedness of Freedom 
is posited as the ground of some particular quantum ; in the lat 
ter, Freedom is posited as (absolutely by reason of its form) the 
only possible ground of all quanta. There we had an appli 
cation of the conception of causality ; here we have its own 
ground. Now we know well enough that this common view is 
altogether a false and wrong one ; that each link presupposes 
the other one, and that abstractions, as commonly understood, 
have no existence. In the upper link Freedom was formal ; 
could be and could not be. Here, as in the entire reflection, 
it is posited positively, and is materially determined, as quan- 
titating, and as the only quantitating. The ground of this 
onlyness, absoluteness, and universality, is itself absolute : 
the pure, on-itself-reposing, in itself unchangeable, and conse 
quently an unchangeableness-asserting Thinking. Freedom 
is thus substantialized, and each of its possible quantitative 
states of determinedness becomes an accidence for the very 
reason because the free quantitating is the connecting link of 

both. 

2. Now to the second link. In the same way as we argued 
in the first synthesis, when representing absolute substantial 
ity: Thinking is not possible unless contemplation takes 
place ; so here also : The freedom of quantitating cannot be 
thought unless it has been contemplated, consequently not 
without the existence of a quantitating, and without this 
quantitating having already been found as existing. All 
Thinking of Freedom, as ground of all quantity, posits again 
a quantity, of which it cannot be said that it is realized icitli 
(actual) Freedom within consciousness (for here consciousness 
first begins), but which lies beyond all consciousness, in the 
not-being of consciousness, and which is only thought within 
consciousness as having its ground in the (from that very rea 
son, not actual) Freedom. Where consciousness begins, this 
quantitating is not consciously produced, but is already found 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 77 

existing within consciousness ; and of it we shall have to say 
nothing more, than that it may be the sphere of future pos 
sible acts of Freedom within consciousness, of the Freedom 
which posits itself and knows itself as such, or of actual Free 
dom. Only in so far as the contemplating consciousness and 
without contemplation there is no consciousness at all goes 
in itself beyond itself, thinks itself, and thinks itself as abso 
lutely free, does it apply this contemplation to Freedom as its 
only possible (not actually to be cognized, but thinkable) 
ground. Nothing, however, is here to be said about the man 
ner in which it is thus ground. This is unknown to us as yet, 
and nothing else is to be thought than what we have said. 

Adding, however, in order to let the reader think something 
at least, what I can unhesitatingly add, that this latter view 
is ground of a nature (i. e. what is called nature, the absolute, 
within and before all knowledge presupposed nature), I im 
mediately proceed to the following reflections. 

2 2. Hence .all contemplating knowledge begins with a determined quantitating 
(World, Nature, &c.), which, however, it must think as accidental, or as having 
formal Freedom for its ground, and which it thus thinks by ascribing to itself 
a power of Attention. 

Contemplation (in its originality) is, as we have said, quan- 
titability ; it has also been shown that all quantitability is 
posited in absolute knowledge as accidental (as that which 
can also not be passing and changeable not eternal) ; conse 
quently, if it is, as to le connected with a ground, and, since it 
is quantitability, with Freedom. Here, then, is the connecting 
link, which leads us further; to the thinking of the accidental 
there attaches itself the thinking of Freedom, and, in so far as 
this accidentalness is thought as absolute quantitability, the 
thinking of absolute Freedom. In order to comprehend this 
quantitability (which in itself is only form of quantity, but 
which, for the sake of a better comprehension of the following 
thought, I not only permit, but even request the reader to think 
as possibly determined) in order to be but able to compre 
hend it, I say, as accidental, the contemplation must describe 
or reconstruct its origin within itself: must construct itself as 
limiting itself from the absolute and in-itself-dissolving contem 
plation to this quantitability ; thus making it a product of Free 
dom within knowledge. ]S T ot as if this quantitability were ere- 



78 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

ated thereby for we have seen that it appears together with the 
first origin of knowledge, and originates before all real con 
sciousness but it thereby becomes accidental. (The case is 
very simple ; in form it is the same operation which, at least, 
we educated men perform every day, when we distinguish our 
representation of a thing from the thing itself ; although it 
may well be presumed that, for instance, savages or children 
cannot even do this, since to them, lost in wondering astonish 
ment, both representation and the thing melt together, and 
cannot be kept apart. Now this very same operation is to take 
place here, only not in regard to a single object, but applied to 
the absolute ground of all objectivity, to quantitability itself. 
This is done inform, with Freedom. To him who does not per 
form it, this contemplation does not become an object of his 
knowledge, because he does not elevate himself above it ; it is 
to him knowledge itself: he is imprisoned within it and melted 
together with it, as the child is fused together with single 
objects. He describes within it the other natural phenomena 
as the mathematician, who reposes in the contemplation of 
space, describes his figures within it. All that we have 
said, the entire synthesis with the exception of that one 
link in which he reposes has for him no existence. He is 
one of those intelligences, mentioned before, who liave reason, 
but are not reason, and do not elevate themselves to its con 
ception.) 

But what has lie attained for whom it has existence ? A new 
altogether unfettered contemplation that of formal Freedom, 
which it is not necessary to describe here, since it will accom 
pany us to the end ; and which resigns itself to the original 
contemplation, or rather includes it, and within which, as its 
sphere and its Freedom, the Thinking of Freedom, and of all 
that which lies within absolute knowledge, is now alone pos 
sible. (This Freedom, torn loose from the original ties of con 
templation, it is which lifts itself above the found knowledge.) 
The latter contemplation is to be the determining, the former 
the determined ; consequently a relation of causality, but dif 
ferent from the one mentioned before, from the pure causality. 
The Ideal ground is the effect, the real ground the effecting. 
Here, consequently, we have the secondary relation of Causal 
ity, hinted at before. (To the primary we elevate ourselves 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 79 

only by a transcendental view ; and this has never occurred 
to former philosophers.) 

Let us now review the foregoing. 

From the one side, contemplating knowledge begins with a 
determined quantitability ; determined, at all events, in so far 
as it is contemplated as quantitability within an altogether 
in-itself-dissolving freedom (i. e. for him who here realizes 
within himself the necessary contemplation. How it is for him 
who cannot do so, we are not yet able to state : his knowledge 
we do not describe at present.) This determined quantitabil 
ity is the absolute, last ground of all contemplation, and, in 
contemplation, cannot be transcended; it is the original deter- 
minedness with which all consciousness commences and first 
becomes real; the known end of all contemplation. (This 
is the world, nature, objective Being, &c. There can be no 
more clearly defined conception : and I am sure that this one 
is sufficient and explains all ; and yet some persons foolishly 
think that this last determinedness ought again to be ex 
plained and deduced.) 

Now, this quantitability is thought, for the very reason of 
its imrnediateness, as accidental, but no knowledge can rest 
in the accidental (whose knowledge rests there does not com 
prehend it as accidental). We therefore penetrate necessarily 
beyond it through Thinking and free intellectual (in con 
traposition to the confined, sensual) contemplation. And 
there we find that all quantitability, from its very form, is 
simply tlie result of the in- itself -reposing, in and for-itsclf 
~being Freedom, altogether as such, and has in and for itself no 
connection whatever with absolute Being ; that there is conse 
quently in all these representations altogether no knowledge, 
no truth and certainty, not only not of absolute Being, things 
per se, &c., but even not of any sort of connection with this 
absolute Being. We discover, on the contrary, as the last and 
highest, a material (we could not term it otherwise) determin 
edness of Freedom i. e. in such a manner that it nevertheless 
remains in and for itself formal Freedom, and everything that 
follows therefrom through the absolute Being. The know 
ledge of this determinedness is the real end of knowledge, and 
first gives knowledge. If, therefore, the contemplating know 
ledge is nevertheless to be a knowledge, it can be nothing 



80 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

else than the determination of the pure, absolutely through- 
itself-existing, consequently not formal or quantitating Free 
dom through absolute Being, wliicli is gathered up in the form 
of knowledge as an inner formaliter free knowledge and seen 
through it as through an irremovable veil, and knowledge is 
realized within knowledge i. e. absolute knowledge, or cer 
tainty enters, when this very harmony, this falling together 
of the two ground-forms of knowledge, the formal and the 
material, is realized. 

Quantitability in contemplation, therefore, and its formal 
determinedness, deduced by us, are the result of the in- 
itself-existing formal Freedom. But that knowledge should 
rest in this contemplation, and should find itself as resting 
(for it is contradictory to rest in quantitability), results 
from the, we know not how, thought determination of pure 
Freedom through absolute Being. Whatever knowledge can 
hold stationary, whatever does not dissolve within its grasp, 
is nothing but that determination ; and again, only through 
this quantitability can that determination be perceived, since 
quantitability, and it only, is the eye and the focus of actual 
consciousness. But let it be well remarked, that this harmony, 
this falling together of the two endpoints, takes place only 
beyond knowledge, because knowledge, as such, does not go 
further than to absolute quantitability. That harmony is 
known only in absolute Thinking ; consequently only its 
That can be recognized, but its How ? cannot be contemplated. 

\ 3. Results. 

The results of the foregoing may now be expressed in a 
generally comprehensible manner as follows ; the words must, 
however, be taken very strictly. 

1. The world i. e. the sphere of quantitability, of the 
changeable is not at all absolute in knowledge, nor is it abso 
lute knowledge itself, but it arises solely on the occasion of 
the realization of absolute knowledge as its immediate char 
acter, as its starting-point (and this whole second synthesis, 
in which absolute knowledge realizes itself, contains some 
thing new, grounded in that knowledge). Indeed the world is 
altogether nothing else than the in-itself empty and unsub 
stantial form of the beginning of consciousness itself, the firm 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 81 

background whereof is the eternal and unchangeable, or the 
Absolute Being. 

The world of the changeable is altogether not; it is the pure 
Nothing. (However paradoxical this may sound to unconse- 
crated ears, it is evident to him who but for a single mo- 
. ment considers it thoroughly ; and I cannot use expressions 
too strong. Whoever remains entangled in this form has not 
yet penetrated from appearance to Being; from supposing and 
guessing to knowledge. All the certainty such a person can 
have is, at the utmost, a conditional certainty-// space exists, 
it must contain something limited, conditioned by space; a 
certainty which, however, he must at least comprehend in the 
form of absolute, pure Thinking.) 

2. The imperishable does not enter the perishable, whereby 
it would cease to be the imperishable (the indifference of the 
Infinite and Finite of Spinoza, which we have already refuted) ; 
but the imperishable remains for itself and closed and com 
pleted within itself; equal to itself, and only to itself. Nor 
is the world perhaps a mirror, expression, revelation, symbol 
or whatever name has been given, from time to time, to this 
half- thought of the Eternal ; for the Eternal cannot mirror 
itself in broken rays ; but this world is picture and expression 
of the formal I say, formal Freedom, and is this for and in 
itself; is the described conflict of Being and Not-Being, the 
absolute, inner contradiction. Formal Freedom is altogether 
separated in the very first synthesis from Being ; is for itself, 
and goes its own way in the production of this synthesis. 

3. But knowledge lifts itself above itself and above this 
world, and only there, beyond this world, is it knowledge. 
The world, which is not wanted, joins knowledge without any 
cooperation on the part of knowledge. But beyond that imme- 
diateness, whereupon does knowledge repose there? Again 
not on absolute Being, but on a determinedness of the not 
formal, of course, for that is altogether undeterminable, but 
absolutely real Freedom through absolute Being. The High 
est, therefore, is a synthetical Thinking (even the seat of the 
highest substantiality), in which we meet absolute Being, not 
as for-itself) but as a determining, as absolute substance, 
which is already a form of knowledge, as Thinking and as 
absolute ground, which is the same. Hence even absolute 
knowledge knows only mediately of this absolute Being. 



82 New Exposition, of the Science of Knowledge. 

Now let the reader further remark the conception of this 
Freedom. It is eternally, unchangeably determined, even as 
and because that which determines it is absolute Unity. Even 
therefore in relation to it does the world proceed its own way. 
But again : a harmony of this determinedness is to arise in 
knowledge with the contemplation of quantitability. This 
determinedness therefore, and only it, must enter quantita 
bility, or rather must be perceivable through quantitability 
in order to fill up the hiatus between two very unlike compo 
nents of knowledge. Of this we shall speak in the following. 

(I first insert, however, a parallel of my system with that of 
Spinoza, interpreting Spinoza s as favorably as possible. He 
has an absolute substance as I have ; this can be described, 
like mine, by pure Thinking. That he arbitrarily separates it 
into two modifications, Extension and Thinking, I shall leave 
unnoticed. To him as well as to me I interpret here to his 
advantage, as he speaks not only from the standpoint of know 
ledge generally, but also from that of the knowing individual ; 
finite knowledge is, in so far as it contains truth and reality, 
accidence of that substance ; to him as to me it is an absolute 
accidence, unalterably determined through Being itself. He 
acknowledges therefore, as I do, the same highest absolute 
synthesis, that of absolute substantiality, and he also deter 
mines substance and accidence much as I do. But now in 
this same synthesis where indeed the difference must neces 
sarily be, or we should be perfectly agreeing with each 
other comes the point where the Science of Knowledge 
turns away from him, or, plainly spoken, where it can 
prove to him and to all others who philosophize in the 
same manner, that he has quite overlooked something ; i. e. 
the point of transition from the substance to the accidence. 
He does not even ask for such a transition ; hence, in reality, 
there is none ; substance and accidence are in reality not sep 
arated ; his substance is no substance, his accidence no acci 
dence ; he only calls the same thing now the one and now the 
other. In order to obtain a distinction he afterwards causes 
Being, as accidence, to break into infinite modifications 
another grave defect ; for how can he, in this infinity, which 
dissolves within itself, ever arrive at firm fixedness, a finished 
Whole? I will consequently improve his expression and say, 
into a closed or completed system of modifications. And now, 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 83 

leaving unnoticed everything else which might be objected, I 
will ask only : Is Being necessarily broken into these modifi 
cations, and does it exist in no other way? How, then, do 
you arrive at a Thinking of it as a Whole, and what truth has 
this your Thinking? Or is it in itself One, as you maintain? 
Whence, then, the breaking of it, and the opposition of a world 
of extension to a world of Thinking ? The short of the matter 
is, you realize, though unconsciously, what you deny in your 
whole system, formal Freedom ; Being and Not-Being : the 
ground-form of knowledge, in which lies the necessity of a 
separation and of an infinity for consciousness. The Science 
of Knowledge, however, posits this formal Freedom at once as 
the point of transition, and demonstrates the separation aris 
ing from it, not as that of absolute Being, but as the accom 
panying ground-form of the knowledge of absolute Being, or, 
which means the same, of absolute knowledge. The Science 
of Knowledge says : Absolute Being does indeed determine ; 
not unconditionally, however, but under the rule just describ 
ed ; and its accidence is not within it whereby it would lose 
its substantiality but without it, in the formaliter free. Thus 
only is substantiality separated from accidentally in a com 
prehensible manner, and each made possible. The existence 
of knowledge and only knowledge has existence, and all ex 
istence has its ground in knowledge depends simply upon 
knowledge ; not so, however, its original determinedness. 
Hence the accidence of absolute Being remains simple and 
unchangeable as absolute Being itself; and changeability is 
assigned to quite another source, to the formal Freedom of 
knowledge. 

Should, therefore, the Science of Knowledge be asked as 
to its character in regard to Unitism IV -/.a} -& and Dualism, 
the answer is : That Science is Unitism from an ideal point of 
view, in regard to knowledge as real knowledge knowing 
that the (determining) eternal One is the ground of all know 
ledge, of course beyond all knowledge ; and Dualism it is 
from a real point of view, in relation to knowledge as actual. 
Thus it has two principles, absolute Freedom and absolute 
Being ; and knows that the absolute One can never be attained 
reached in a real actual knowledge, but can be attained 
only in pure Thinking. In the balancing-point between these 



84 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

two views knowledge stands, and only thus is it knowledge ; 
in the consciousness of this Unattainable which it, never 
theless, always comprehends, but as unattainable does its 
essence as knowledge consist, its eternity, infinity, and in- 
completability. Only in so far as infinity is within it which 
Spinoza indeed designed is it; but only in so far as it rests 
with this infinity in the One does it not dissolve within 
itself from which Spinoza could not protect it but is it a 
world, a universe of knowledge, closed completed within 
infinity.) 

4. One point, about which I have asked the reader to remain 
undecided during the progress of our investigation, is now 
clear. Freedom must be thought from a point of view which 
has not yet been designated, but which will hereafter be 
found as ground of the determinedness of quantitability ; 
not, it is true, in a factical manner, but the real, eternal, and 
unchangeable Freedom, as determined through pure Being, 
must turn out to be beyond all consciousness ground of the 
factical view of consciousness. 

4. Deduction of Space. 

All consciousness begins with an already existing quantita 
bility, to which contemplation is confined. This state of con 
finedness must be in and for itself, must find itself as such, 
reflect upon itself as such, &c. This is a new reflection. 

First of all : it is generally clear, and a matter of course, 
that this fixedness of contemplation, like that of knowledge, 
must be in accordance with the groundform of knowledge, a 
For-itself. In the present case, moreover, it is to be expressly 
posited as a For-itself. In order to secure our teachings 
against misinterpretation, let us remark the following: A 
free, empty contemplation, according to the above, resigned 
itself to a state of confinedness. This, when regarded more 
closely, leads to nothing and explains nothing. If the contem 
plation is free, it is empty ; if it is confined, it is not for-itself. 
Both must therefore be thoroughly united in such a manner, 
that the contemplation is free in its very confinedness ; pass 
ing over, as it does, all the points of that confinedness at once 
with Freedom. Thus we receive a new, infinite quantitating 
of quant if ability itself. Nothing and not even the difficulty 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 85 

will, I v think, prevent the reader from at once strictly compre 
hending this point. 

The former proof was merely : If Thinking is to occur, con 
templation must also take place ; and from that proof we 
derived quanti lability, with which consciousness consequently 
commences. Now the difficult and almost incomprehensible 
point which remained, was this : shall this quantitability be a 
determined quantitability or not? Indeed it can scarcely be 
conceived, what, if we speak of pure quantity, a determined- 
ness of quantity might mean. (If anyone thinks he under 
stands it, he misconceives our entire investigation, does not 
view quantitability pure, but mixes a quote with it in order to 
attain a quantum. Quantitability in itself is nothing else 
than the pure in itself undetermined possibility of infinite 
quanta, which can receive their limitation only from the de- 
terminedness of the quale.) 

It is true, that afterwards, when we had applied to it an 
absolutely empty Freedom, we spoke of determinedness, and 
accepted it as a proved fact, but only as a limitation of Free 
dom to quantitability generally. In short, quantitability is 
not posited in contemplation as it is posited in Thinking i. e. 
not as a production of Freedom, but as something absolutely 
found or given beyond all consciousness ; and since Thinking 
is not without Contemplation, it is evident that quantitability 
must present within knowledge an entirely contradictory view. 
This, strictly taken, altogether only qualitative limitation to 
quantitability is here now itself contemplated, and thereby an 
infinite quantitating obtained. The view has indeed changed, 
having become more definite. 

The case stands now thus : Quantitating materialiter takes 
place with Freedom, and is contemplated as taking place with 
Freedom; formaliter it is tliougltt as something, to which 
knowledge is confined. 

After this general view, let us now enter into the branch- 
syntheses, and at first into that of Contemplation. Quantitat 
ing views itself as confined to itself; it quantitates, therefore, 
really and with Freedom ; and if only to be able to view its own 
confinedness, presupposes itself, in this free quantitating, as 
its own necessary condition. Both links are altogether one. 
We must first become acquainted with one of them ; let it be 
the presupposed. 



86 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

This is the permanent : , absolute contemplation ; hence ma- 
nifoldness, which holds itself in a resting light, eternally and 
ineradicably the same. "What, then, is it ? It is, if knowledge 
is posited, the resting, permanent Space. If we know this 
space, we also know the pointed-out contemplation. Let the 
reader consider the following thought, which seems to me to 
light up the old darkness like a flash of lightning. Space is 
to be infinitely divisible. Now, if this is to be so, how then 
comes knowledge ever to take hold of space ? Where has it 
finished the infinite division, and embraced the elements of 
space ? Or, how does space ever attain its inner solidity, so 
that it does not fall through itself, does not thin off into a 
fog and vanish ? If space is therefore, nevertheless, infinitely 
divisible, it is at least, from a certain point of view, also not 
so, or it could not be at all, and could not be this. Its mani 
fold no t that within it, for of that we know nothing yet must 
therefore mutually support itself, as it were, in order that 
space can support itself and attain solidity. Again, contem 
plation teaches everyone, at least, that we can perform no 
construction, which is always an agility within space, unless 
space rests and stands still. Whence this resting of space ? 
Again : No one can construct a line without something mixing 
with the line, in the course of construction, which he has not 
constructed, nor ever can construct ; which he, therefore, does 
not add to the line while drawing it, but which he has carried 
along by means of space before ever commencing to draw the 
line : it is the solidity of the line. (If the line is a running 
through an infinite number of points, the line becomes impos 
sible ; the points and the line itself fall to pieces. Neverthe 
less they would hang together within space, and are, in their 
infinite manifoldness, at the same time its continuity.) 

Whence, now, this solid, resting and permanent space ? It 
is the sufficiently described Contemplation (the For- and In- 
itself-Being of formal Freedom, which is a quantitability), 
which presupposes, however, itself as absolutely being to itself, 
according to the demonstrated law of reflection of conscious 
ness. It is the on-itself-reposing, firm glance of the intelli 
gence ; the resting, immanent light, the eternal eye in-itself 
and for-itself. 

How, then, is the second link of the synthesis related to 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 87 

this? It is a free taking hold of itself within this contem 
plation ; a constructing, remaking of the same, a loosening 
and again extending of space; but let it be well remem 
bered, a taking hold of what has already presupposed itself, 
since otherwise the first link would be lost, which must be 
guarded against in every reflection. Hence it is clear that the 
one cannot be at all without the other : no space without con 
struction of the same, although not it (space), but merely the 
consciousness of it, is thereby generated (ideal relation) ; no 
construction without presupposing space (real relation). All 
knowledge of this description rests, therefore, neither in the 
one nor the other, but in both of the links, as was shown in 
the instance of the line. The mere direction of the line is a 
result of the last link of the freedom of construction ; its con 
cretion is the result of the permanent space. The drawing 
of the line is evidently synthetical. 

We add the following remarks : Firstly, for this construct 
ing process space is infinitely divisible ; i. e. you can make an 
infinite number of points from which to construct within it. 
Again, space is evidently nothing but quantitability itself. 
The assumed determinedness is therefore and remains alto 
gether formally a limitation to quantitability itself. We re 
turn here to tlje same proposition expressed above : formal 
Freedom, as such, is the only ground of quantitability and of 
all the results thereof. Even space is only quantitability, and 
nothing enters it which might originate from the thing per se. 
Finally, the substantial, solid, and resting space, is, according 
to the above, the original light, before all actual knowledge, 
only thinkable and intelligible but not visible and not to be 
contemplated as produced through Freedom. The construc 
tion of space, according to the second link of the synthesis, is 
a taking hold of itself on the part of light, a self-penetration 
of light, ever from one point and realized within knowledge 
itself; a secondary condition of light, which, for the sake of 
distinguishing it, we shall term clearness, the act eriligJitening. 

COROLLARIA. This deduction and description of space is 
decisive for philosophy, physics, and for all sciences. Only 
the last mentioned constructed and constructive space, which 
in itself is not at all possible, and would dissolve into Noth- 





88 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

ingness were it not for the original in-itself-solid contempla 
tion, lias "been held to be the only space ; especially since 
Kant, whose system, in this respect, has done a bad service. 
(To him whose eyes have been opened there is nothing more 
funny than the ideas which modern philosophies promulgate 
about space.) Followed up, this view of the matter should 
have led to a formal Idealism. But people had a horror of 
that ; so they went to positing matter (substance) into this 
spoiled space without considering that, if they had matter 
beforehand, space would have come to them without any 
further exertion on their part ; or, that space without inner 
solidity (and this is the very ground of the famous matter or 
substance) dissolves into an infinite di visibility = Nothing. 

Then they were afraid that if natural philosophy should 
attempt the construction of a material body, the powers of 
attraction and repulsion within it might one day lose their bal 
ance, without ever beginning to think that these two ideas are 
nothing more than a double view in the reflection of one and 
the same balance, the firm repose, which space carries within 
it. 

\ 5. Deduction of the Groundform of Time. 

"We now proceed to an investigation which may lead us, to 
the second branch-link of our synthesis. In the eternal space 
the manifold of it was lying quietly and steadily aside of each 
other before and in one glance, which is a glance, and one 
and the same glance only in so far as everything lies thus qui 
etly and steadily together. 

Reflect now upon any particular part of this contemplation. 
Whereby is such part kept in its solidity and repose ? Evi 
dently by all others and all others by it. No one part is in 
the view unless all the others are in it ; the whole is deter 
mined by the parts, the parts by the whole, every part by 
every other part, and only in so far as it is thus is it the per 
manent contemplation which we have described. Nothing is, 
if all is not in the same standing unity of the view. It is the 
most perfect inner reciprocity and organization ; and thus 
organization reveals itself already in the pure contemplation 
of space. 

In the construction, on the contrary, we start from some one 
individual point, arid the parts (for instance, the parts of the 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 89 

bove constructed line) come to follow in a certain order of 
.accession, so that, this direction presupposed, you cannot 
arrive at the point B except from A, &c. But how have we 
been enabled to say what we have said just now ? Only in so 
far as we posited such facts, formally at our pleasure ; conse 
quently, only in so far as we merely thought, arid kept within 
the standpoint of construction. In the standing space beyond 
construction there are no points, no discretions, but it is the one 
concrete view just particularly described. Discretion, there 
fore so we will express ourselves for the sake of the strict 
ness of the investigation has its origin in the Thinking of the 
constructing, and in what results therefrom, the changing of 
the constructing into a Thinking. 

But wherein lies the ground of the determined law of suc 
cession ? Firstly, formaliter, in the Freedom of the direction, 
which is altogether undetermined and changeable, floating in 
each point between infinity. This Freedom, therefore, must 
be presupposed, if a succession is but to-be spoken of; and 
we thus arrive at the old proposition of Freedom as the ground 
of all quantitability here, however, in a stricter, more defin 
ite sense. If Freedom, however, is once presupposed, then 
the succession is determined by the co-existence of the mani 
fold in the standing contemplation or in space. The conscious 
ness i f the succession, therefore, like the previous conscious 
ness, rests neither in the point of the construction, nor in that 
of the contemplation, but in both and in the union of both. 

Now, while the lower, objective, Thinking or Constructing, 
always presupposing a determined direction grounded by its 
own Freedom within itself, is confined to the law of succession 
which contemplation furnishes, how is it tlwuglit f Evidently,. 
as confined originally and beyond all Thinking and knowl 
edge, in regard to every possible direction which it may give- 
to itself; not absolutely confined, but under the condition of 
this or that particular direction which it gives to itself. Hence,, 
as above, we presupposed an original necessary contemplation,, 
so here an original, necessary Thinking is presupposed, andl 
this itself is tfiought } for the designated point is surely a, 
thought. But as the designated contemplation was and re 
mained a mere quantitability, so this thought also is only 
quantitability, but a quanta tability infinitely determinate 
6 



90 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

through Freedom of the direction. (Think one series, a sec 
ond, a third, &c., and you have thought the separate deter 
mination of quantitability. But now you are to think no 
separate one, but simply all its determinations, and doing so 
you think a confinedness of Thinking.) 

I have characterized quantitability generally above as na 
ture, or as the material world. The law of succession, there 
fore of which we here speak, is evidently the law of nature; 
arid it is even now clear how Freedom is confined to it. Not 
only in so far as it must first be realized within itself in order 
to have a succession ; but further, in so far as, after it has this 
succession, none of the laws of this succession apply to Free 
dom, unless Freedom has chosen itself a direction, of which 
directions an infinite number are placed before it from each 
point. (Space is here an altogether adequate picture.) 

Even after the world is, and supposing that somebody were 
tied down within the world, unable to pass beyond it were to 
remain in the second link of the synthesis, in which case his 
knowledge would be the production only of the contemplation 
originated beyond all knowledge the world would still be to 
him not an absolute power. For even in the world infinite 
directions are possible, the choice of which depends upon him : 
hence his relation to the world, and the law of the world, by 
which he is bound, would always depend upon himself after all. 
The complaints about human infirmity, weakness, depend 
ence, &c,, can no more be refuted than the complaints about 
the weakness of human understanding. Whoever asserts them, 
will probably know and have experienced them ; we can trust 
his assurance. Only, we may beg him not to include us. 
Nevertheless it is often impossible to think ill enough about 
the immediate reality. However low we may draw its picture, 
experience nevertheless exceeds it. But he who thinks ill 
of mankind, according to its general faculty, blasphemes rea 
son and at the same time condemns himself. 

One more remark, which forces itself upon us and apper 
tains to the subject: The described objective Thinking each 
link of which is dependent upon another, which is not depend 
ent upon tao former (while in the conception of the resting 
space each link was dependent upon the other), where the 
dependence is therefore only one-sided, and does not move 



New Exposition of tlic Science of Knowledge. 91 

retrogressively carries at the same time the formal character 
of Time within it, the movements of which, as we well know, 
are related to each other in that manner. Nevertheless, I do 
not wish to be understood as having already deduced time. 
The succession, here pointed out, has moreover a characteristic 
which seems itself contradictory, that the discrete thoughts 
can nevertheless be also placed alongside of each other and 
surveyed in one glance. But we lack here still the solidity, the 
stoppage of the moments which we must have in time. \Ve 
may, therefore, have arrived at the highest ground of time, 
but on no account have we arrived at its reality itself in the 
appearance. It is, however, clear that, if we are to elevate 
ourselves above time and to explain it we must not be tied 
down to its moments, but must survey them at one glance, as 
we just now did, with our links of Thinking, according to the 
law of succession. 

We may, however, apprehend already what will be neces 
sary to obtain this solid and real time ; i. e. that its links 
must not be merely a Thinking, but, at the same time, such 
an organic, self-holding and supporting contemplation as we 
above described the contemplation of resting space to be. 
This, however, can be attained only after a disjunction of 
space from itself, after a most probably infinite multiplication 
of die same ; and devolves, therefore, upon a new reflection. 
This much, however, is even now clear, that time is not that 
perfect correlative of space, which it has generally been consid 
ered to be. Philosophers have distinguished them as outward 
and inward contemplation. This is mere one-sidedness ! For 
we should never get space outside of us if we had it not within 
ourselves. And are we not ourselves space ? The viewing of 
space as an outward contemplation originated from that curious 
immateriality which was to be secured to us when degraded 
matter was no longer good enough for us. (Time stands in the 
same line of reflections as the true, genuine space. It is true, 
however, that time, on account of its relation to Thinking and 
as the form of Thinking, is carried higher, above all space ; 
and this is the cause why the nature of time has been mis 
understood and why it has been opposed to space.) 

By the above we have made an important step toward ac 
tual knowledge. Everyone knows that all actual know- 



92 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

ledge, or knowledge of the actual, must be a particular know 
ledge within an undetermined manifold, and that its particu 
lar character, its Being generally, consists in this very relation 
to the manifold. But the manifold must moreover be sur- 
veyable ; must remain firm before the glance and support it. 
This supporting sphere we have given to Thinking by the law 
of succession in the eternally standing and resting space, 
which space, as we have described it, is precisely that which 
remains firm to the construction, and supports it, which does 
not dissolve by infinite division into nothing. But this char 
acteristic does not fill space. True, it is in itself not empty 
(for it is full of itself), but neither is it full of anything else ; 
in that respect it is, indeed, empty. It is nothing but the 
solid, same and in-itself-resting contemplation. 

It is evident that our next business must be to get some 
thing into this standing sphere which can be a particular 
something, whereby the in-itself everywhere same space (if 
anyone finds that this thought, in view of the manifoldness in 
space, is contradictory, I have no objection) can be distinguish 
ed from itself, and the links of one series of succession can be 
excluded from each other. If anyone supposes, starting from 
the idea of space, that this something will be matter, he is 
right. But it is highly probable, in view of the peculiar char 
acter of our system, that matter will have here quite a differ 
ent signification from the usual one. For is there not also a 
spirit world, quite as discrete as the other ? "We shall, there 
fore, probably have to proceed from the unity of these two 
worlds to their distinction, and prove that matter is necessa 
rily spiritual, and spirit necessarily material ; no matter with 
out life and soul no life except in matter. 

\ 6. Deduction of Matter. 

"We approach the designated investigation. 

Formal Freedom is posited. But altogether inseparable 
from it is a quantitating, purely as such. Formal Freedom 
cannot be posited, as a simple point, in and for itself, con 
templating itself; for in that case it would not be posited at 
all ; neither it nor anything would be. The point is merely 
its one-sided view in Thinking ; but here we have contempla 
tion. Necessarily, therefore, a quantitating is posited at the 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 93 

same time, but only in so far as it is inseparable from the 
positedness of Freedom. 

This quantitating, it is true, is in and for itself simple 
and one and the same ; but thus it is again unreal and unat 
tainable. In the reflection it is double : Concretion and Dis 
cretion in succession. Hence both are absolutely posited, and 
preposited to the ground-form of knowledge. We must, 
therefore, answer these questions : What is involved in the 
concretion generally, and especially in the form of formal 
Freedom in which it appears here ? What in the discretion 
to a succession, in the same respect? What, finally, in the 
absolute identity of both ? 

1. The concretion is, in regard to its substance, any particu 
lar space, even a concreting and self-supporting of manifold 
points which may be thought afterwards and arbitrarily. 
Without this possible manifold it is no concretion, as is imme 
diately evident. But it is, again, not merely the space which 
keeps itself in equilibrium and fixes its contemplation ; for then 
it would not be at the same time construction, and construc 
tion through Freedom. What, then, is it ? An in-itself space 
occupying manifold, in which points, penetrating eacli other 
in reciprocal concretion, can be posited infinitely, wJiicli com 
mence, continue, and give direction to any line with the most 
unbounded freedom. Agility is distributed through the whole, 
or can be so distributed ; so also is the solidity of space dis 
tributed throughout the whole ; and the agility, whenever it 
has determined itself or decided itself in a particular manner, 
is surrendered to this solidity but always according to its 
own law and so as to remain Freedom in it, as we have shown 
in the preceding section. The basis is that resting, standing, 
space : but with it the Freedom of concretion is inseparably 
united. 

This now is matter ; and hence matter is the fixed construct- 
ibility of space itself, and nothing else whatever. Matter is 
not space ; for space rests eternally and unshaken, and car 
ries all construction ; but it is in space ; it is the construction 
which is carried. Space and matter are the inseparable view 
of one and the same, of quantitability (from the standpoint of 
contemplation), as standing and general, and at the same time 
concrete and constructive. 



94 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

RESULTS. A. Matter is necessarily a manifold ; whenever it 
is taken hold of, it is taken hold of as such, and it cannot be 
taken hold of otherwise. 

B. It is infinitely divisible, without dissolving into nothing 
ness. It is carried by the abiding space in the background, 
which as such (as space) is not divided at all, but within 
which division takes place. 

C. It is necessarily and in itself organic. The ground of a 
motion is distributed through it, for it is the constructibility 
in space. It may be in rest, but it can put itself in motion 
simply from itself. 

2. If formal Freedom is posited in both, then a constructing 
is posited. But this is, however closely we may describe it, 
simply, a line-drawing; it produces a line, by no means a 
point. But the line presupposes a direction, which again is 
necessarily confined to an order of succession. By the posit 
ing of formal Freedom, therefore, there is necessarily posited 
and preposited, prior to all self-conscious Freedom, some suc 
cession of the manifold. 

Now, this original succession, seized in contemplation (not 
in Thinking, as above), results in Time. It is clear that the 
presupposed line is infinitely divisible. True, it is completed, 
and in regard to space a closed whole. But between every 
two points which stand in the relation of succession, I can put 
again other points which stand in the same relation. Hence, 
although the contemplation, of which we here speak, is evi 
dently unity of the glance, and although every time-moment 
is probably a Time-Whole, discrete and separated from all 
other time-moments ; yet, from another view, this time-mo 
ment is again an infinitely divisible moment of the one time ; 
and only through this infinity of floating does the time-mo 
ment receive its solidity. The characteristic conception, which 
was wanting heretofore, is now deduced. 

Again : through this very solidity does the contemplation 
seize itself as an objective, self-given, immanent light. For all 
light consists of a floating over infinite distinguishability, 
quantitability, which must be at the same time infinitely 
determinable and constructible. The light is not something 
simple, but the infinite reciprocity of Freedom with itself, the 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 05 

penetration of its unity, eternity, and primitiveness, by the 
manifoldness and iniinite determinability arising therefrom. 
This light must appear to itself at some point, must seize itself 
in real knowledge ; and this point of self-seizing is the de 
scribed contemplation in the synthesis of space, matter, and 
time. 

3. Both concretion as well as discretion are the position of 
formal Freedom, in which both are altogether united. The lat 
ter gives time, and hence actual knowledge ; the former, space 
and matter. But the former is also the basis and condition of 
the latter. Hence there is no light (no knowledge) in its es 
sential form except in matter, and, vice versa, no matter is (let 
it be well remarked for-itself) except in time and its light. 

But let us consider each of these points more closely. 

First of all, an important remark not yet dwelt upon : There 
is no knowledge and no life which does not necessarily last a 
time, and posit itself for itself in a time. Knowledge carries, 
by its very form, time within itself and brings it along ; a 
timeless knowledge for instance, an absolutely simple point 
within time is impossible. But time is altogether only a 
confined succession of matter in space. Hence no time 
is comprehended^ and since it must be comprehended if life 
and knowledge is to be no life and knowledge is, unless 
matter and space are comprehended. Matter can just as well 
be called a transformation of space into time, Freedom and 
knowledge; and thus time and space are regarded also in 
this central point as inseparably united. 

Life necessarily describes itself in matter. Vice versa, mat 
ter cannot be described except by the construction of a line. 
But this line needs a direction ; this direction a succession of 
points ; these a knowledge in which a manifold can be united, 
for otherwise the line would become a point. 

(If I had to do with somebody to whom I were compelled to 
prove the necessity of the idealistic view by one example, I 
should ask him : How can you ever attain a line except by 
keeping the points asunder, for else they fall together ; and 
at the same time taking them together and annulling their 
being asunder, for else they never join each other? But you, 
comprehend, undoubtedly, that this unity of the manifold- 



96 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

ness, this positing and annulling of a discretion, can "be 
only in knowledge ; and we have just shown that it is the 
ground-form of knowledge. Now you ought at the same time 
to comprehend that space and matter consist, in exactly the 
same way, in such a keeping asunder of the points, but in a 
unity ; and that they are, hence, possible only in knowledge 
and as knowledge, and that they are, indeed, the real form of 
knowledge itself. 

This is now, in truth, as clear and evident as an}^thing 
possibly can be ; it lies right before every one who opens his 
eyes, and ought not first to be proved and acquired, but 
should be known so well that one ought to feel ashamed to 
have to say it. Why, then, was it not seen ? Because every 
thing lies nearer to us than the seeing itself, in which we rest ; 
and because we have been stubbornly clinging to that objec- 
tivating which seeks outside of itself what lies only in us.) 

"We add two exhaustive remarks, casting light far around. 

a. The ground of all actual Being (of the world of appear 
ances) has been represented in the deepest and most exhaust 
ive manner, partly in regard to its formal, partly in regard to 
its material character. The former consists in this, that the 
world is independent of all knowledge which is recognized by 
knowledge itself as knowledge ; that it would be though the 
knowledge of it were not ; again, that it is not necessarily, 
but could just as well not be. We are especially particular 
about the first point, and it is a great error to suppose that 
transcendental idealism denies the empirical reality of the 
material world, &c.; it only points out in it the forms of know 
ledge, and annihilates it therefore as for-itself-existing and 
absolute. The ground of its existence is, in one word, this : 
that knowledge must necessarily presuppose itself for itself, so 
as to be able to describe its origin and Freedom. Formal 
Freedom posits itself as being. Now this formal Freedom, in 
its positedness before all conscious use of Freedom, and nothing 
else at all, is the material world. It is related as substance tc 
every knowledge reflecting itself as free which then is acci- 
dence ; hence it would be though no knowledge were. A1 
least, this must necessarily be the conviction of him who re 
mains in this synthesis. But everyone again who compre 
.hends it, comprehends j list what we said. (Kant calls it 9 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 97 

deception which we cannot get rid of. Such a phrase would 
merely prove that we had single light-rays, lucida intervalla, 
of the transcendental view, which vanish involuntarily. But 
whoever has this view in his own free power finds nowhere 
deception. He knows that it is necessarily thus from this 
standpoint, which is consequently correct; and that it is ne 
cessarily thus from the other, higher standpoint, which is 
consequently also correct ; but that the one absolute knowledge 
consists neither in the one nor in ijie other, but only in the 
knowledge of the relation of the ENTIRE system of knowledge 
to absolute Being.) 

b. Again : Of this resting and standing Being of the world, 
the two ground-qualities, spirit and matter, have been de 
duced from one central point as absolutely belonging to this 
Being, and as in themselves only a duplicity of the view of 
this one Being in knowledge. In so far as knowledge posits 
itself as being, it posits itself as matter ; in so far as it posits 
itself as bewg free, it posits itself as a succession in time, as 
a standing and resting intelligence, confined to itself. 



PART THIRD. 



Knowledge posits itself for itself as an organic Power of 
Activity, or as a system of Feelings and Impulses. 



PART THIRD. 



Knowledge posits itself for itself as an organic Power of 
Activity, or as a system of Feelings and Impulses. 



CONTENTS OF PART THIRD. 

\ 1. The determinedness of quantitating Freedom determines factical Knowledge 
only in part that is, so far as it is a general determinedness; but. in part, is 
determined by it that is, so far as factical Knowledge posits the order or se 
quence of that determinedness. Hence knowledge is both infinite and deter 
mined. 

\ 2. Knowledge in general to become factical Knowledge gathers itself into a 
concentration-point of reflection, infinitely repeatable, though everywhere the 
same; and hence, as a point or determinedness of Quantitability, a determined 
point of Time, Space, and Matter: a point of utterance of power. 

{ 3. Knowledge posits itself for itself therefore as an acting power or a tendency, 
and moreover as a system of acting powers, reciprocally determined and check 
ed, and each determined or checked utterance of which is called a. feeling. 

\ 4. The absolute power of Knowledge in manifesting itself as material feeling 
connects this feeling in perception with matter, and attributes it to matter as 
its cause. 

\ 5. The absolute power of Knowledge cannot be thought as manifesting itself in 
a material feeling without being contemplated therein, and hence extended 
into a direction of feeling, and thus apprehended as Impulse. 

INTRODUCTORY. 

It is not so important to exhaust the deductions which result 
from our last synthesis, as to seize the spirit of the whole by 
the right word in the right place. What follows in the sys 
tematic progress is clear enough to him who has the right 
insight ; to others the separate propositions also will appear 
dark. Hence we prepare the following by a more general re 
flection. 



102 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

1. Let us posit the universe as consisting of a system of 
single, for-themselves-closed Beings, thought in accordance 
with our investigation = synthesis of light and matter. 

2. This system is in itself organized; the Being of each 
is determined "by its reciprocity with all others. Now, if I 
bring into this system changeableness, I ask admitting such 
a system, and I not only admit but assert it is not this 
system, if it is to be the ultimate, a system which dissolves 
itself into nothingness ? Evidently. Each single separate is 
determined by the others ; where, then, does the original de- 
terminedness commence ? This is an eternal circle, with which 
we content ourselves only because we tire out by despair. It 
will not do forever to borrow Being from another source ; we 
must finally arrive at a Being which has it in its own power 
to be. 

3. Now, in this One all Beings have pr.rt. The immediate 
knowledge of the relation of each separate is that separate s 
absolute Being, its substantial root ; and this relation is not 
first produced b}^ the Being of the others, but itself and all the 
others become absolute being to it only through this relation. 
But this relation carries an original duplicity within itself : it 
is a relation to an ever-closed whole (the eternal One) for 
otherwise we would arrive at no standing, permanent relation ; 
and at no standing knowledge ; and, at the same time, it is a 
relation to an in-all-eternity not closable whole for otherwise 
we would arrive at no free knowledge. Hence, each eye, in 
the infinite light-ocean of knowledge, which has been opened 
to itself, carries at the same time its closed and completed 
Being, and in this Being it bears its eternity within itself. We 
comprehend always tlie Absolute, for outside of it there is noth 
ing comprehensible; but, at the same time, we comprehend that 
we shall never comprehend it completely, for between the Abso 
lute and Knowledge lies the infinite quantitability, according 
to whicJi the relation of each separate to the Whole and to the 
Universe is both in itself closed and completed, and infinitely 
changing WITHIN that completion. 

4. But now conies the highest question : how can knowledge 
arrive at this view and comprehension of a relation, tie, or 
order of quantitability, a view which lies beyond its whole 
inner nature? Answer: The being, the actuality of know- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 103 

ledge would be altogether impossible if the order were not 
also absolutely posited ; knowledge cannot realize itself except 
within that order and its thorough determinedness ; and this 
condition is posited simply because it is posited, beyond 
all factical knowledge and comprehension of the How? 
-Remember the synthesis of the absolute substantiality. 
According to the central point of that synthesis, formal 
Freedom, and with it knowledge, quantitating, &c., could 
be, and could not be, therein altogether independent of abso 
lute Being ; and this result must remain. But it was shown 
that if this Freedom has once come to be, it must materially 
be determined by the Absolute. Determined in what ? Doubt 
less in that which forms its nature, its root and substance, in 
the quantitating. How then ? Even as the words say, deter 
mined, i. e. confined to an original order and relation of the 
manifold, in which quantitating consists. Absolute formal 
Freedom is confined to this order, but on no account is this 
true of any further determinedness of Freedom witJiin that 
order. 

Finally: To what is formal Freedom confined? To order 
and relation generally ; on no account to this or that order, for 
then it would again not be formal Freedom, but would be 
determined in some inner respect. Knowledge seized itself in 
some one single glance (an individual=C, to whom we must, 
therefore, give a fixed relation to the universe). This, now, is 
that C s groundpoint, giving to him Ills relation to the universe 
unavoidably and unchangeably. Could not this knowledge, 
for this knowledge is only that, the groundpoint whereof is 
the individual C, but could not knowledge generally ignite 
itself equally well in other points ? Evidently ; and if it did, 
we should have here another order. Consequently, there is 
here in respect to the matter a reciprocity between absolute 
Being and knowledge, which, indeed, we had to arrive at. 

5. Now this point of commencement beyond all real know 
ledgethe factical, before all fact we cannot ascribe to that 
Freedom which we know in all knowledge. It falls into the 
incomprehensible. But how we, being posited by this incom 
prehensible reciprocity in to life and knowledge, and hence hi 
an altogether determined relation, can change this relatio 
very much, while it nevertheless remains the ever co-determin- 



104 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

ing basis, this we can see even now. The real is absolute law 
only for Freedom. 

To sum up, and in order to connect what we have just said 
with the most general conceptions of the synthesis : Knowledge 
is For -it self -Being of the originating ; this presupposes Not- 
Being, and, since this must be in knowledge, necessarily Being 
in knowledge as such. But this Being is nothing more than 
that whereby each knowledge that finds itself, finds itself 
determined through its nature. Now knowledge is again a 
quantitating ; its confinedness is, therefore, a conlinedness 
of the quantitating, altogether as such and altogether noth 
ing else. Hence the already deduced ground-form of all 
actual in knowledge : space, matter, time. But knowledge, 
in seizing itself actually, is also the limitation of quan 
titating. Hence, drawn down to this region, that confined- 
ness is the confinedness to such a fixed limitation in the 
deduced ground-forms of the actual. The determinedness of 
this limitation, however, depends itself upon Freedom ; hence, 
also, the determinedness of the confinedness. Absolute Being 
is in knowledge law ; knowledge can never be relieved of this 
law without losing itself; but how this law may appear to it, 
depends in all its possible contents, in all possible views, and 
degrees, upon its Freedom. The highest relation of both is, 
therefore, not causality but reciprocity. 

(I cannot deny myself here a continuation of the parallel of 
this system with that of Spinoza, for the sake of attaining the 
greatest clearness. According to Spinoza, i. e. where I inter 
preted his system most favorably, knowledge was, as with me, 
accidence of the absolute Being. He had really no connecting 
link between substance and accidence ; both fell together. I 
connected them by the conception of formal Freedom. This 
Freedom is in itself equally independent; it is determined 
only materialiter^ if it realizes itself. Now, in the same syn 
thesis we have discovered something additional and new : even 
the material determinedness is only formally unconditioned- 
knowledge cannot be at all without being confined; but on 
no account materially in regard to quantity and relation, 
for this again is the result of formal Freedom.) 

6. The knowledge arising from this synthesis, after we have 
considered all its links, is therefore infinite, but also abso- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 105 

lutely determined; a conception which appears to be a contra 
diction, but which here is easily comprehended, and which in 
every-day life we realize almost every moment in spite of the 
apparent contradiction. Knowledge can exist in infinite, 
never-to-be-determined ways ; but in whatever way it exists, 
it exists in a determined way and in the order of succession 
Conditioned thereby. (The reader will please call to mind the 
game of chess.) 

This, now, would give us the one, eternal, infinite Knowledge, 
the whole accidence of absolute Being. From Being arises 
neither the possibility nor the reality of knowledge, as Spi 
noza would have it ; but merely, in case of its reality, its gen 
eral determinedness. Now, this thus-to-be-comprehended 
knowledge is itself, in relation to the knowledge for-itself, 
substance. The knowledge produced by the position of for 
mal Freedom is therefore doubly accidence, partly of itself as 
knowledge, partly of absolute Being. We have hence here, 
in the second substantiality, explained in full the separation 
into a not infinite, which, applied to reality, would be con 
tradictorybut closed system of modifications of knowledge, 
which again are not modifications of knowledge in itself, but 
only of knowledge according to the groundpoints and succes 
sions of its seizing itself. Every such groundpoint is a for- 
maliter necessary, materialiter altogether free limitation to 
one point in substantial knowledge, determined by its relation 
to the whole of knowledge. To the whole, I say. But how has 
that now turned into a whole, which even this very moment 
was a never-to-be-cornpleted infinite ? And, as we undoubtedly 
are not inclined to take back our word, how does it remain, 
together with its totality, infinity f (This is another import 
ant, rarely remarked, much less solved difficulty, least of all 
solved by Spinoza, who, without further ado, causes to pro 
ceed from the eternal substance an infinite series of finite 
modifications, and, consequently, loses thus the conception of 
the universe, which presupposes completeness closedness.) 
A whole it evidently became by the separate knowledge seiz 
ing itself even as a separate, which, as the result of a deter 
mination through all others, can be only the result of a closed 
sum. An Infinite it remains at the same time if this deter- 
6* 



106 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

minedness is not one of determinedness, but of determinabil- 
ity, as we have also posited it; from which again there results, 
in the same respect, the infinite modiiicability of that closed 
whole. 

The actual universe is ever closed and complete, for other 
wise no closed part and no knowledge could be realized within 
it ; each would dissolve within itself. The inner substance of 
the universe, however, is the posited Freedom, and this is infi 
nite. The closed and completed universe carries, therefore, 
an infinity within itself; and only therein is it closed, that it 
carries and holds this infinity. 

\ \. The determinedness of quantitating Freedom determines facticnl Knowledge 
only in part that is, so far as it is a general determinedness; but, in part, is 
determined by it that is, so far as faetical Knowledge posits the order or se 
quence of that determinedness. Hence Knowledge is both infinite and deter 
mined. 

Now in this knowledge, which we have learned to know in 
its most comprehensive synthesis, of what is absolute Being 
the ground, and what does it carry within itself? Evidently, 
simply and purely the Being, the standing and reposing of 
knowledge, which keeps it from not dissolving within itself 
into an empty nothing : hence, the mere pure form of Being, 
and nothing else whatever. This, however, originates in it 
alone. 

In this synthesis alone, as the highest of knowledge, does 
absolute Being appear immediate; hence it is clear that noth 
ing more can be deduced from it in a lower synthesis. Abso 
lute Being is in knowledge only the form of Being, and remains 
so forever. That wliicli is known, depends altogether upon 
Freedom ; but that something is, and if it comes to this some 
thing that it is known (that it completely enters and is ab 
sorbed in knowledge) is grounded in absolute Being. Only the 
actual form of knowledge, the determinedness of the known, 
but not the matter of knowledge (which consists in Freedom) 
results from absolute Being. From it results only that such a 
matter (Freedom) is at all possible, that it can realize itself, 
can become (actual) knowledge, and thus seize itself in any 
particular determination. Thus Freedom as well as absolute 
Being are both, in their respective positions, altogether mutu- 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 107 

ally determined and united ; the former is completely secured 
in its highest significance, and all absolute incomprehen 
sibility (qualitas occulta) is totally eradicated from knowl 
edge. 

One incomprehensible, it is true, remains, as we have men 
tioned before, viz. : the absolute Freedom which precedes all 
actual knowledge. But this must not be confounded with the 
incomprehensible Being (the inscrutable will of God), for it is 
at the same time comprehended at every moment and correct 
ly, as sure as we know anything aj; all. Again : we understand 
very well that it cannot be comprehended in its primitiveness, 
and that we likewise do not need to comprehend it thus. For 
that comprehending itself in its eternity and infinity con 
sists precisely in infinitely continuing to comprehend : the 
very reason why it can never comprehend its own primitive- 
ness. 

Thus then is it, and thus is it necessarily comprehended by 
every intelligence which elevates itself in knowledge (even 
without the Science of Knowledge) to this view. To prove this 
in separate instances we have not time here ; all systems and 
religions, and even the views of common sense, are full of pro 
positions which result from it. 

But at the same time it has been sufficiently shown from all 
our previous reflections, that that knowledge (in the highest 
synthesis of absolute Being and infinite Freedom) can begin 
from out itself, can become actual knowledge, only by an 
actual contemplation (the contemplation in and for itself, well 
known to us already) which limits itself within the infinite con- 
tern plability to a fixed quantum. That such a contemplation 
must be presupposed, as originally prior to all conscious Free 
dom and what its results are, has also been shown sufficiently. 
As such, this contemplation is a point in the infinite sphere of 
knowledge, in which knowledge seizes itself ; hence a deter- 
minedness of quantitability, which in the contemplation is 
changed into the one space and matter, and the one time. This 
point is therefore, necessarily, altogether determined in regard 
to each of these instances ; but it can be thus determined only 
by its relation to the actual (no longer infinite or undetermin 
ed) whole ; hence the point is for itself only in so far as the 



108 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

whole is for it. This contemplation, therefore, is possible 
only in Thinking, in the free floating over that relation, and 
in the singling out of this one particular point in the whole 
from the universality of the latter. Thinking and contempla 
tion penetrate each other here again ; and their basis is Feel 
ing, as we called it formerly : the uniting of a determined- 
ness of Freedom and of absolute Being. In this Feeling we 
may, therefore, have discovered for a knowledge, with which 
we are not yet acquainted, however, the principle of individu 
ality. 

It is one of the points of concentration for the actual being 
of knowledge, and we take this point, of course, as a repre 
sentative of all possible others. That it has the form of Being, 
its existence, from absolute Being, is clear ; for otherwise no 
permanency of contemplation could take place at all. But its 
determined Being it has only from the reciprocity between its 
Freedom and the whole. 

What then now this is a new question is the character 
of actual Being ? Altogether only a relation of Freedom to 
Freedom according to a law. The Real (= R), which has now 
been found and which carries knowledge prior to actual know 
ledge, is, 1st, a concentration-point of all the time of that one 
individual, and it is comprehended as that which it is only in 
so far as this time is comprehended, which is, however, always 
comprehended and at the same time never. It is, 2d, a con 
centration-point of all actual individuals in this time-moment. 
Hence, of all the time of these, and of all hereafter possible 
individuals ; it is the universe of Freedom in one point and in 
all points. 

Only in so far as it remains such a concentration-point does 
it remain a real ; otherwise it would dissolve into a simple, 
i. e. into an abstract nothing. 

Is R then, now, something in itself, a permanent ? How can 
it be, since its ground-substance is Freedom, the nature of 
which is eternal change ! How then does a knowledge, never 
theless, repose on it ; for instance, that of the individual, viz., J ? 
Answer : In so far as J with his immanent freedom, according 
to the first synthesis though not in it reposes upon absolute 
Being (like all other individuals), can it repose on itself and 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 109 

occupy a relation towards that of the other individuals, and 
vice versa. How does J know that these numbers of individu 
als, of which he knows, rest with their knowledge in absolute 
knowledge ? Because otherwise he would not know of himself 
in such a manner as to know of them, but in another manner. 

The ultimate ground of each momentary condition of the 
world is now discovered ; it is the being and reposing of the 
totality of knowledge in the Absolute. It is true, that through 
it also the not always clearly perceived condition of each in 
dividual is determined, which again on its part determines the 
condition of the whole. But this ground and its result could 
be otherwise at every moment, and can become otherwise at 
every moment of the future. The highest law of that Being 
which carries laws is not a law of nature (law of a material 
being), but a law of Freedom, and is expressed in this formula : 
Everything is precisely as Freedom makes it, and does not 
become otherwise unless Freedom makes it otherwise. 

Let us remark, however, at this place, in order to prevent 
possible misunderstandings, that we have here explained only 
the form of the actual, empirical Being (or of the taking hold 
of itself of knowledge). We have proved that a material (a 
quantum and determined relation) must be within that form ; 
but concerning the ground of this determinedness we have 
been referred to absolute Freedom, or have said that this ori 
gin was incomprehensible. Now, let no one believe that here 
already we actually cause Freedom as separated and isola 
ted to act, thus making it a real Thing per se and an alto 
gether blind chance, in doing which we should again bring in 
the occult qualities, the real enemies of science. For this Free 
dom is in no knowledge, but is the Freedom presupposed prior 
to knowledge. At present we have, however, not yet arrived 
at any knowledge ; where, then, should this Freedom be ? 

At some future time and only then will our investigation 
be at an end Freedom will find itself in actual knowledge as 
Freedom. It is true this Freedom, thus finding itself, will have 
conditions of its own being, and amongst them a presupposed 
Freedom ; but it would find the presupposed Freedom differ 
ent if it found itself different. From the latter only do we 
infer back to the presupposed Freedom, which is only thus 
accessible to knowledge. (What you, for instance act, first 
7 



110 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

opens to you the field of knowledge, and hence of your origi 
nal character of Freedom.) 

Now it may nevertheless be, that even this character, taken 
unchangeably, admits of different views of darkness or clear 
ness, and hence degrees of power; and that in the highest 
degree each one is not limited, but limits himself with Freedom 
in knowledge. 

$ 2. Knowledge in general to become factical Knowledge gathers itself into a 
concentration-point of reflection, infinitely repeatable, though everywhere the 
same; and hence posits itself as a point ordeterminedness of Quantitability, a 
determined point of Time, Space, and Matter: a point of utterance of power. 

The result of the former paragraph may be expressed in 
the following proposition : It is absolutely necessary that the 
in-itself altogether one and the same knowledge should limit 
itself and gather itself together in a point of reflection (con 
centration) if it is ever to arrive at an actual knowledge ; but 
this point of reflection is infinitely repeatable everywhere, 
however, the same. Now, if we remember that this knowledge 
is at the same time a pure, and in all knowledge absolutely 
unchangeable Thinking, the necessity results after the pos 
sibility of knowledge has been ascertained from the deter- 
minedness of the standpoint that each individual must hold 
himself in this altogether unchangeable Thinking. In this 
Thinking, therefore, all outward distinctions of individuals 
vanish : all of them perceive the same in the same manner, 
gathered up into the one fundamental contemplation of quan- 
titability, with all other links involved in it, and carried by the 
one unchangeable Thinking of it. Only the inner difference 
remains ; and there is, perhaps, no more proper place in the 
system to explain this inwardness of individuality than here. 

I say, /, and thou sayest, I; both sayings mean altogether 
the same as far as \hsform is concerned; from both there fol 
lows altogether the same as far as the matter is concerned ; 
and if thou didst not hear and think mine /, nor I thine, this 
no further to be distinguished / might just as well be only 
once. How does it happen that we, nevertheless, can posit it 
twice, and must posit it so, and that we keep both apart as 
never to be mistaken the one for the other ? 

I answer, according to our former explanations, as follows : 

1. In all former knowledge a subjective and an objective 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. Ill 

were distinguishable. The reflection rested upon an object, 
which it pictured only formaliter ; and we know at present 
right well that this standing object originates everywhere 
in pure absolute Thinking, whereas its formalizing originates 
in the Thinking of the accidental, as also a Being. But in 
the absolute self-comprehension of knowledge there is no 
such distinction ; the subjective and objective fall immediate 
ly together, and are inseparably united ; and this is not, per 
haps, merely thouglit as we have thought it here, and must think 
it ; but it is, is absolutely, and this very Being is knowledge, as, 
vice versa, this knowledge is also again Being. It is the abso 
lute in-itself-reposing of knowledge, without contemplating a 
generating, a beginning, &c.; hence it is that in which and for 
which all generating and all Being is : knowledge in the form 
of absolute, pure Thinking, immediate feeling of existence, 
which flows through all particular knowledge, and carries 
the same, as itself is carried by absolute Being the highest 
and absolute synthesis of Thinking and contemplation. 

But in this immediately-felt self thine / is not to appear ; 
thy Ego I merely think, objectively, by loosening in Think 
ing my own self from me and putting it before me. I know 
very well that this signifies the same, and that thou loosenest 
in the same manner mine from thee; but this immediate 
ground of knowledge it never will and never can become for 
me, because I must rest permanently upon my standpoint in 
order to be I. It designates to me merely this form of absolute 
resting, and nothing else at all ; and I cannot appropriate thy 
Ego simply because I can never get rid of my resting. It is 
the eternal unchangeable That of knowledge and on no ac 
count some What by which all individuality is immediately 
determined. 

Hence everybody objectivates individuality, repeating it, 
and only through all individualities does he view the universe 
(in its one general contemplation wherein he stands) from his 
own point of reflection (of individuality). 

The Isolation demonstrated here, in consequence of which I 
place thee outside of me, only thinking, not feeling thee, well 
knowing that thou performest the same operation in the same 
way, may possibly be the innermost ground of all other iso 
lations and sequences of series, which we discovered above, 



112 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

but which here we have blotted out by the too general stand 
point of our investigation. 

2. The question which remained unanswered above and was 
posited as incomprehensible : What is the ground of the par 
ticular determinedness of the point of reflection (point of indi 
viduality) ? is now answered in the following manner : 

From the mere empty form of knowledge from the possi 
bility of a knowledge generally follows the determinedness 
or the limited seizing itself of knowledge in any simple point 
of reflection, but only the determidedness generally and in re 
gard to the form ; and from it follows also the material, as 
everywhere and altogether the same. There is no particular 
determinedness at all. 

And thus it may, perhaps, appear that the original particu 
lar determinations in space and in time, which we have never 
theless discovered in contemplation, are also merely formal 
and figurative, but nothing in themselves, nothing which would 
hold firm to the unchangeable Thinking ; and that if, finally, 
distinctions amongst these individuals should nevertheless be 
discovered, they can not be grounded in an original Freedom 
beyond all knowledge, but in a Freedom which is compre 
hended and understood as such. 

I 3. Knowledge posits itself for itself therefore as an acting power or a tendency, 
and moreover as a system of acting powers, reciprocally determined and check 
ed, and each determined or checked utterance of which is called a. feeling. 

The last result has removed an undecidedness of our former 
reflections, and at the same time we have obtained a further 
progress in the whole synthesis. 

The in-itself-resting original contemplation of knowledge 
found itself (1) outwardly as a constructing, line-drawing, in 
a construe tible space j (2) inwardly and for-itself from the one 
side as one and the same living matter, everywhere penetrated 
by life and liberty ; and (3) and from the other side as lasting 
a certain time, as passing through a manifoldness of points 
one-sidedly dependent upon each other: time. This was the 
form of the actually posited inward and outward contempla 
tion, its That, and was the immediate result of the positing 
of formal Freedom. But we could not account for the limita 
tion of the quantum in that contemplation ; the contemplation 
did not, therefore, appear, as in itself confined and limited, 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 113 

and it was only generally asserted that the contemplation 
must be confined to a necessary limitation ; this limitation we 
temporarily only pictured. 

Now this omission has been supplied ; through the absolute 
union of Thinking and contemplation we have demonstrated 
knowledge in the individuality-points, in which alone it can 
be actual as the absolutely finished, closed and completed 
result of a reciprocity within this inner manifoldness. It can 
not go beyond its own limit whenever it actually seizes itself, 
and hence also its contemplation is limited as necessarily its 
own, and receives thus the character of empirical reality. 

Again : what was designated above in the immediate For- 
itself-being as Feeling, becomes now in the contemplation 
which has been united in a synthesis with Thinking, and 
which is necessarily an original quantitating Construction ; 
and its point of commencement the very representative of 
the immediate point of self-seizing or feeling becomes on that 
very account absolute, immanent power. This power is the 
found Freedom of constructing absolutely in one point, and 
hence is for the construction its point of commencement. 
Power is distinguished from mere Freedom as determined 
Being from general constructing, and as the ground of another 
Being from the general ground of constructing ; it is the found 
(discovered) Freedom which seizes itself in such a point of 
individuality or of feeling, and hence in regard to the seizing 
organ the absolute synthesis of contemplation and feeling. 

We thus have discovered another link for the characteriza 
tion of empirical knowledge. 

1. The Ego is not all (for itself) without ascribing power to 
itself, for it is Freedom which seizes itself in a fixed point ; 
but Freedom is quantitating, and this, fixed in contemplation, 
is determined quantity. Hence it is impossible to posit power 
in self-contemplation without a manifestation of this power 
within this determined quantity, and as itself altogether deter 
mined. (We have here again the old synthesis, already known 
to us, of Thinking and contemplation, confinedness and de- 
terminedness, within a general sphere of quantitating.) 

2. This manifestation of power, whatever it may be, is alto 
gether originally and immediately found, and hence does not 
presuppose a prior Freedom in knowledge; nor is it at all an 



114 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

arbitrary Freedom. For the consciousness of the power is an 
inseparable component of the absolutely existing knowledge, 
from which again the contemplation of a manifestation of the 
power is inseparable. Hence as soon as knowledge seizes it 
self, this manifestation is already there. (Which manifesta 
tion may, perhaps, be an organic one in short, organic life 
itself.) And thus again, when we (i. e. the Science of Know 
ledge) elevate ourselves to Thinking, all individuals are equal- 
They are all power, in form ; not this or that power. They are 
the positedness of formal Freedom even as a ready-found 
Being and are nothing else at all which Freedom can be 
repeated in infinite points, and is everywhere the same. 

3. The determinedness of this Being, or of this power, is now 
altogether only for itself, i. e. in a knowledge existing for itself 
and confined to itself. But for this determinedness the power 
is determined not in itself, but only through its manifestations. 
The whole determined knowledge is therefore a knowledge 
not of power or powers, but of a system of manifestations of 
power. But these are determined only in their reciprocity 
with all others in the universe. By their relation to it, there 
fore, the power is determined in the same original manner. 

4. JSTow this determinedness is, even if we look only upon the 
contemplation, a something divisible according to time and 
space. The Ego, therefore, whenever it seizes itself as de 
termined power, encircles itself necessarily as living and as 
manifesting itself in a solid, lasting moment (it contemplates it 
self in the time-life), and also in space, as a quantum of every 
where and throughout animated and free matter (the body, 
the living matter which contemplates itself and is contempla 
ted as Ego in space). But this Ego, in the empirical know 
ledge of which we speak here, is altogether confined to itself 
and cannot go beyond itself ; hence it cannot also go beyond 
this contemplation of its time and materiality. However far 
perception may reach, this fundamental determinedness is its 
one, immovable basis. The body, thus seized in the original 
contemplation, remains the same, as sure as the Ego rests 
upon itself in all perception ; and all perception, as sure as it 
is carried back in contemplation to its principle, its point of 
commencement, is carried back to the body ; all feeling, con 
templation, perception of outwardness, is in reality only the 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 115 

self -feeling, self -contemplation of the change which has passed 
within the body. Moreover : the Ego cannot get out of its own 
time. This own time of the Ego now is it of which we speak 
here not the general time, not the life of the one universe 
and the passing of events within it ; a view to which the Ego 
can elevate itself only from its own time, and by abstracting 
from its own time. Now, it is very clear that this own-time is 
not perceived, but only thought ; it is evidently a conception. 
But in it is perceived whatever is perceived. The Ego is con 
fined to itself, and this absolute confinedness determines the 
character of empirical knowledge : is a proposition which now 
signifies, the Ego is confined to the identity of its body I say 
identity, for only from it, from the unchangeable point, can a 
body be at all comprehended and to the subjective, inner 
identity of its time, or of its time life. 

2 4. The absolute power of Knowledge in manifesting itself as material feeling 
connects this feeling in perception with matter, and attributes it to matter ;u 
its cause. 

A. Now, in regard to this individual time, it is important 
to explain the possibility of a single closed moment of percep 
tion within it, and the real significance and contents of this 
moment ; i. e. of a moment in the individual time, not of itself, 
for itself is not perceived, but thought. According to the ex 
planation of the system of knowledge through Thinking, the 
substance of this moment is reciprocity of the manifestation 
of my power with the power of the universe. But this mani 
festation is, in regard to its matter, Freedom; this Freedom is 
infinite, and if knowledge rested merely upon it, it would never 
become actual knowledge. In order to become such, it must 
tear itself away from it after the manner of Thinking, must 
seize the infinite Real picturing it, if I may say so within 
unity. This, we have seen, is the form of the law, according 
to which alone we can explain the occurrence of such a 
knowledge, completed (closed) within a moment. Hence, in 
order to make the application at once, the point of the single 
perception itself must involve a duplicity, the links of which 
are related to each other as Thinking is to contemplation, and 
between which, if we divide them in Thinking this is impor 
tant the same absolute hiatus lies, which can be filled up by 
no reflection, but which constitutes the ultimate, the unattain- 



116 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

able of knowledge, and which we have discovered everywhere 
"between Thinking and contemplation. By the first link, the 
Ego seizes itself; by the second, it goes out of itself into the 
world and seizes itself in the world ; but there is no Ego with 
out a world, and no world without an Ego. 

Now it is clear, and needs not to be recalled, that the Ego 
does not apply this law here with Freedom, since it is alto 
gether confined in itself; only we, from our super-actual stand 
point, explain it by that law which has been demonstrated in 
its universality. In the Ego itself it is thus, and if it were not 
thus there would be no knowledge ; this determinedness of 
knowledge is precisely the Being of knowledge itself in this 
moment, or in this, &c. Without this Being of knowledge even 
our questions about it would be without sense. 

This, for the present, merely to explain the possibility of 
such single moments. Next, it was important to deduce from 
some one point, as necessarily connected with it, others nay, 
an infinite succession of other points. If this is not done, 
knowledge is never explained from itself and comprehend 
ed in itself; an occult quality is always necessary, from which 
to derive a new time, after having used up the present moment. 

This, according to the foregoing, is easy, and explains again 
what we have just said. For in every moment the contempla 
tion floats over an infinite : but, in order to seize it in actual 
contemplation, it must determine it, must limit it in a closed 
moment ; actual contemplating and limiting is one. But this 
limiting is at the same time only a determining within the 
infinity. Thus Thinking is added to contemplation in an 
equally primitive manner ; and this law of eternal reciprocity 
between contemplating and Thinking, a limiting and a posit 
ing of infinity, results in a never-to-be-completed infinity of 
single time-moments, joined together in a line. The solidity 
of time is derived not from limitation and closedness, but from 
the infinity which has been absorbed into it. 

Originally there is a series of Thinking within the one mat 
ter of knowledge : within Freedom and quantitating. If this 
series of Thinking itself is thought, then the entire, infinite 
series is comprehended. But when it is contemplated actually, 
and hence realiter and limited, then you have empirical know 
ledge. The individualities also are such a line not, however, 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 117 

like the former one, reposing in contemplation, and produc 
tions of that original synthesis of contemplation and Thinking 
but the infinity of that synthesis, which on its part iinds its 
unity and basis in absolute Being, realizes and actualizes 
itself in those individualities. 

2. Let us now drop that which in these thus described mo 
ments of perception carries the form of contemplation, and let 
us consider the form of identity. How, then, do the discrete 
moments of time hang together ? Precisely in the thinking of 
time generally as the law of knowledge ; but, as a flowing 
infinity, one-sidedly dependent upon each other. The Ego 
therefore, in its own self-contemplation, is in the same 
original manner confined to their succession / this succession in 
its partial determinedness can be no further explained or 
demonstrated as necessary. The law says only that some 
succession is necessary. (The fundamental character of em 
pirical knowledge, or of pure perception in time-succession.) 
In every moment a further time is appropriated by Think 
ing and contemplation, and thus room is made in advance 
for concrete perception and a sphere prepared for it ; but it 
cannot be ascertained by deduction what will fill up this 
time. This will be known only when that time shall have 
come, for the progressive development of the existing Ego 
extends into it. An actual perception is something alto 
gether new for the perception itself, and can never be discov 
ered a priori. 

Hence so much is clear respecting the formal character of 
this knowledge : it is the altogether immediate knowledge, 
the knowledge which constitutes the time-being of him who 
knows : a Being which is simply knowledge, a knowledge 
which is simply Being ; which, therefore, in itself isolated and 
discrete, is in every way primitively determined, and can, 
therefore, be neither actually nor genetically explained ; in 
one word, that which language terms most properly the Feel 
ings (in the plural and xar ixv- ) re( i, green, &c. That these 
feelings are the result of the reciprocity between each indi 
vidual and the universe is what knowledge asserts when ex 
plaining itself. But how the forces of nature accomplish it, 
and in accordance with what rule and law they manifest them 
selves precisely in this manner, this no one will ever be 



118 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

able to say, and this is the very absolute hiatus already de- 
cribed. Nor shall any one ever desire to say it ; for, if he 
did, his knowledge would have been extinguished, and hence 
he would not say it. At the same time, it must not be under 
stood so, as if the forces of nature manifested themselves in 
these feelings ; both are nothing in themselves, and both are 
simply the relation of knowledge to absolute Being, which 
can never be comprehended in contemplation and facticity. 

3. One other chief characteristic : The discrete within 
time the series of actual feelings is, according to all we have 
previously said, a mere absolute knowledge, altogether as 
such. Again, it is an empirical unity ; it is my knowledge, 
connecting for me through time, and through nothing else : I 
am this my knowledge, and this my knowledge is I. There is 
no other I, no general I. The significance of this knowledge 
in Thinking (if thinking goes beyond it and explains it) is, 
that it is the knowledge of my Being in the universe. This it 
is to-day as it was yesterday, and it will be in all eternity in 
the same manner. What, then, is changed by the progress of 
my knowledge ? It progresses through a chain of links de 
pendent on each other one-sidedly : it is only formal ; hence 
it can be changed only in its form, not in its matter, which 
remains the same. But the pure form of knowledge in regard 
to quantitability is clearness. Hence by its progress it in 
creases in clearness, which it expands over the knowledge of 
the universe ; but this gradation is infinite. 

Contemplation externalizes however, and transfers upon an 
objective universe what lies concealed in the Ego in the 
ground-form of contemplation ; this is known from what we 
have said before. 

B. Having described the formal character of perception, 
let us now review the entire synthesis artistically. Its inner 
central point, the focus of knowledge, is, in form, a material 
feeling. This is in Thinking (on no account in the imme 
diate perception; hence, for the present, we only know of 
it, but itself knows nothing of it yet) a manifestation of the 
absolute power of the Ego. This power is the substance of 
the Ego, its own, inner nature, in which knowledge reposes 
forever; the manifestation is accidence, but only formaliter ; 
it can be, or not be ; but if it is, it is necessarily that mani- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 119 

festation which it is, for it is determined by its unchange 
able relation to the universe. 

a. Altogether the same synthetical form appears here which 
we met in the highest synthesis of substantiality : as the one 
knowledge is related to absolute Being, i. e. as its formal acci 
dence, thus individual knowledge is related to the Being of 
individuality, which itself is, as we know well enough, nothing 
but the Being of the one knowledge, finding itself actual in 
an infinite number of points of concentration. 

b. The power, I said, is the substance of the Ego; it is 
always, whether the manifestation is or is not ; not in itself, 
however, for, unless each of these links in the synthesis is, 
there is no knowledge ; but only after knowledge has devel 
oped itself, and thinks itself, is this power to be presupposed 
by every determined manifestation (which can and cannot be). 

c. The entire synthesis is produced in Thinking; hence 
only through Freedom. The actual knowledge can be, there 
fore, though this Thinking is not. Knowledge itself reposes 
in feeling, and this is thp first absolute point which must be 
if an actual knowledge is to be. 

The material feeling is for the knowledge which compresses 
itself into a moment and seizes itself within it (and which, 
in so far as it is quantitable, can progress infinitely in clear 
ness) a mere pure Being of the Ego in immediate feeling, of 
the universe in contemplation. 

Let this latter point be noted. True, it has been sufficiently 
demonstrated and explained by the foregoing, but its import 
ance deserves some additional remarks. "We know that in 
contemplation the contemplating intelligence loses itself: 
hence, in spite of the contemplation, there is in it no Ego at 
all ; and only in the feeling does it seize itself in the form of 
Thinking. Now consciousness rests neither in the one nor in 
the other, but in both. Hence, if the material feeling (red, 
sour, &c.) is viewed from the one side as affection of the Ego, 
and from the other side as quality of the Thing, this duplicity 
itself is already a result of the dividing reflection. In actual 
knowledge, which no reflection can reach, it is neither the 
one nor the other, but both ; t>oth, however, inseparable and 
still undistinguishable ; and in consequence of this absolute 
identity the distinguishing reflection must also posit both as 



120 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

inseparable. No subjective feeling, no objective quality, and 
vice versa. (To speak strictly, therefore, the internal is not 
transferred upon the object, as transcendental Idealism may 
have expressed itself in opposing dogmatism, nor does the 
objective come into the soul; but both are thoroughly one. 
The soul, taken objectively the feelings is nothing but the 
world itself ; and the world, with which we have to deal here, 
is nothing but the soul itself.) 

The contemplation, which we are now discussing, is a con 
structing of space=matter. Hence, the feeling, as quality, is 
melted together with the matter i. e. with a matter in the 
compact, ever-reposing space but excluded from the matter 
in which I live (from my body). For, the former 1 perceive ; my 
materiality, however, I do not perceive, but only think, as the 
terminus a quo of all perception. (Here again it appears why 
no individual can mistake anything outside of himself for him 
self, since the perceived matter is always outside of him.) But 
it is a constructing with a quantum of matter, since the infin 
ity must be compressed by the form of thinking into a unity. 
Thus matter is here the bearer of the quality, which is its 
accidence. 

(There are in knowledge a number of places where dogma 
tism can be altogether refuted and idealism plainly proved. 
This is one of them : Is matter to be altogether perceptible to 
the feelings, even inwardly? I evidently assume this. How, 
then, do I know it ? Not by particular perception ; hence by 
the law of perception generally. I must have penetrated mat 
ter in my knowledge at once with the thought of perceptibil 
ity, as its continual substratum. Matter, therefore, is a con- 
ception, and is based upon the Thinking of a relation.) 

This as a characteristic of contemplation in regard to space 
and matter ; now the same in regard to time. The power of 
the Ego manifests itself only in an absolutely determined 
time-succession, that is, as determined by the fundamental 
character of time, namely : to admit only a succession of mo 
ments which are dependent upon each other one-sidedly. 
Evidently each new moment is a new, previously not known, 
character of the determined power ; the power, as a determined 
power, is, therefore, seized by consciousness only in the pro 
gress of time, ever clearer and more and clearer. Entirely 






New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 121 

clear it would be recognized only through the completion of 
the infinite time, which in reality is impossible, but can here 
well be thought figuratively. The contents of all the moments 
of the lifetime is, therefore, determined by the fundamental 
character of this power, and their succession, by the enlight 
enment which knowledge gets of this character. Such a time 
lies therefore in sucli a being, which knows of itself in an im 
mediate manner. Another being, if it were possible, would 
give other time-contents and another time-succession. Only 
in pure Thinking is Being compressed into one point ; in em 
pirical knowledge it receives a time-character, which as. such 
is altogether and irrevocably determined. 

Hence in all possible time lies hidden the only possible true 
Being, which, however, has not yet become completely clear 
to itself, but has attained only a certain degree of clearness ; 
and this Being bears at every moment that degree of clearness 
which is possible (and hence necessary) from the character of 
the time passed before it, and the time awaiting it in an infi 
nite future. 

\ 5. The absolute power of Knowledge cannot be thought as manifesting itself in 
a material feeling without being contemplated therein, and hence extended 
into a direction of feeling, and thus apprehended as Impulse. 

The substance of the former reflection was, in its true sig 
nificance, a manifestation of power, considered as a point in 
time. Its picture is the construction of a line. From every 
point an infinite number of lines are possible, according to 
the infinity of possible directions, and the actual line depends 
altogether upon the direction, and is itself that direction act 
ualized. 

1. The Ego, which takes hold of itself, is a point within the 
everywhere extended space. It cannot manifest itself except 
in a direction. Now, this direction is everywhere and alto 
gether a determining of a point ; but the point is the picture 
of the Ego. The direction, therefore, is to be considered as 
necessarily grounded in the Ego, or the direction is itself the 
Ego of the contemplation. The Ego is contemplated only in 
it, and by means of it as its directing power. In this know 
ledge of the direction lies the focus of contemplation in our 
new synthesis. We must at present proceed to describe it 
(a) in regard to its substance, and (b) in regard to its form. 



122 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

a. So far as its substance is concerned it has altogether the 
form of a line within space, of the progressing from one point 
and through it to another point. Freedom, however, is in the 
whole line ; i. e. the possibility that in each point the direc 
tion, and hence the line, may cease or change into other in 
finite directions. A consciousness of infinite constructiMlity, 
and, with regard to the actually constructed, of the accidental- 
ity of the same. 

Z>. In regard to its form, the synthesis is a curious, and in its 
results, which will soon appear, very important compound of 
contemplation and Thinking. For if in each point the Free 
dom of direction, the taking hold of and continuing the line 
(for this is the intrinsic part of this contemplation) were 
thought, we should never arrive at a line. It is therefore ne 
cessary to assume a forgetting of self in the contemplation 
in order to be able to explain the concretion of the line ; but it is 
equally necessary to assume a self-comprehension in the con 
templation, a thinking within it, and a going beyond it, in 
order to give it the direction, without which it also would be 
no line. Hence both are necessarily united ; it is a contem 
plating Thinking, and a thinking contemplation. In the re 
flection it is divided, and then we have not the one if we have 
the other, although the being held together of both beyond the 
reflection forms the real character of that conception. 

(No direction, without a permanent manifold, which is not 
included in the direction at all ; and vice versa no manifold- 
ness for the Ego without direction. Thus here also real and 
ideal ground fall together and are one.) 

2. We shall now develop the synthesis in its further con 
nection. The Ego, of which we speak, is confined to itself 
is a Being. The taking hold of the direction is therefore in 
the same manner immediate and actual, as we have described 
the character of empirical knowledge to be. Every one calls 
this Acting, i. e. altogether in a physical point of view. The 
picture of it is a continued determining of the given construc 
tion of matter through Freedom, i. e. here through material 
force and motion. Further than this no material acting 
reaches, and the ground of it is hidden here : it is a separ 
ating and external reuniting of matter, but never an organiz 
ing of matter from within, which latter is the character of the 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 123 

original construction. Let it be well understood, I do not say 
that acting in itself takes place, for this is wrong, but that a 
knowledge of a real acting is the condition of all knowledge, 
and is in the present synthesis the lowest focus of all know 
ledge. 

3. The Ego is in the empirical standpoint altogether tied 
down to its Being ; but its Being, its discovered and discover 
able Being, is nothing else than the result of its reciprocity 
with the universe, or it is itself the universe in one of its origi 
nal points of penetration. A ground is posited in the Ego, 
means, therefore, the same as if we said : it is posited in the 
world. Indeed, only here does an Ego first enter knowledge; 
but this Ego is here nothing but the thought of the mere posit- 
edness of formal Freedom, of the That without any What ; it 
is an objective, empirical, by no means pure Thought; it is 
an altogether empty, formal Ego, without any reality as yet. 
Hence, what we said just now : that contemplation and Think 
ing are here united in a peculiar manner the Ego not posit 
ing itself in all points as giving the direction, but being swept 
along receives here a more extensive and highly important 
significance. Its Freedom is altogether only its thought; the 
direction is contained in its Being in the Universe. The exist 
ing, actual Ego (as it ought to be called, since it is an empiri 
cal, real acting) gives itself the direction, or this point of Being 
in the universe has the direction : both statements mean alto 
gether the same. Only the glance, the self-comprehension of 
knowledge, is matter of absolute Freedom, as has been ex 
haustively shown ; if this were not, there would be no direction 
either, and no manifestation of power, and it would be impos 
sible to speak any more about anything at all. But if this 
glance is, then the direction is there at the same time in its 
complete determinedness, and everything else which results 
therefrom. The manifestation of the original power, of which 
we have just spoken, unites, therefore, in an equally immedi 
ate manner with that glance ; and hence that glance is I be 
lieve it is called so the feeling of an impulse, and its sub 
stance also is unchangeably determined by the Universe. 
Impulse, or the substantial in relation to an accidence, it is 
only in so far as from its mere formal positedness, the for- 
maliter free knowledge, does not follow as yet (this may join 



124 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

it or not, and hence it is accidence) bat on no account as 
if it could proceed in this or in a contrary direction (to a or 
to ci), which would be contradictory, and is one of the ab 
surdities which have been ascribed to transcendental Ideal 
ism. Only in this opposition is it impulse ; united with the 
reflection (the formal knowledge), it becomes an empirical 
physical acting, as we have described it. 

Result. I act never, but in me acts the universe. But in 
reality this does not act either, and there is no acting ; I merely 
view as acting the doing of the universe, in the reflection of 
the same, as Ego. Hence, also, there is no real, empirical Free 
dom i. e. within the limits of the empirical. If we desire to 
attain Freedom, we must elevate ourselves to another region. 

(How greatly has the Science of Knowledge been misunder 
stood when it said, " We must start from a pure acting" a 
proposition which, in our present exposition, is still of the fu 
ture; and when this was supposed to mean the perishable 
acting which we carry on commonly gathering stones and 
scattering them.) 

4. Thus the universe, as the sphere of empirical knowledge, 
is still further determined, and we will at once make the 
application. This universe is a living system of impulses, 
which continues to develop itself in an infinite time in all the 
points, where it is seized by a knowledge according to a law 
contained within its own being, and which carries within it, it 
is true, the possibility of a knowledge, but on no account 
knowledge itself. (Here again we find a chief point of dis 
tinction, or rather a result from the one point which distin 
guishes the true idealism of the Science of Knowledge from 
Spinozistic* systems. In these latter systems empirical Being 
is assumed to carry knowledge within itself, as a necessary 
result, as a higher degree of it. But this is against the 
inner character of knowledge, which is an absolute originat 
ing, an originating from the substance of Freedom, not of Be 
ing; and shows the want of an intellectual contemplation of 
this knowledge. The same relation of knowledge to Being 
which has been discovered in absolute knowledge and Being 
i. e. that the former has only an accidental Being in relation 

* Alluding to Schelling s System. 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 125 

to the latter as yet, is its accidence, arising from the absolute 
(which, therefore, might also not be) realization of Freedom ; 
must everywhere and in every form remain the same. In em 
pirical knowledge, we make the material world itself absolute 
Being, and with perfect justice, but the philosophical, stand 
point is to be a higher one, and is to be the transcendental 
standpoint. 

5. We add the following remark: The impulse expresses 
the mere Being, without any knowledge as yet ; hence it is mere 
nature. The latter is expressed in a material body, in the form 
of space as form of body. It is organic manifestation. Only 
through Thinking does the point enter, and the form of con 
struction from it, the form of a line. Now it is true that this 
is the only possible immediate mode of acting of the intelli 
gences ; but it has its ground simply in the form of knowledge. 
This is, therefore, only another view of the organizing form of 
body, and both are one beyond the Factical. The mechanical 
(we will call it so to distinguish it from the other) and organic 
manifestations are in themselves not different, but they are 
merely a duplicity of view. There is no mechanical action 
except through organic (evermore organically renewing itself) 
power real ground; and again, no organization can be com 
prehended except through a picturing of the mechanism 
ideal ground. Both are related like contemplation and Think 
ing, and each is inseparable from the other, and is the each - 
other -presupposing, double -point -of -vie wing, the so-often- 
referred-to knowledge xar iSotfv. 



PART FOURTH. 



Knowledge posits itself for itself as an Absolutely De 
termined System of Moral Impulses, or 
as a Moral World. 



PART FOURTH. 



Knowledge posits itself for-its elf as an absolutely determined 
System of Moral Impulses ; or as a Moral World. 



CONTENTS OF PART FOURTH. 

\ 1. The perception of a Factical world is not possible without a further detern>- 
ineduess of that world, which is known as the Moral Law. 

\ 2. The perception of individual existence, and of a natural impulse, is not pos 
sible without the perception of individual Freedom. 

\ 3. The knowledge (not mere perception) of Freedom is not possible without a,. 
contact with other free beings. 

\ 4. Results. 

\ 5. Harmony of the Moral world and the Factical world in sensuous perception? 
in the form of an absolute immediately perceptible Being. 

\ 6. Harmony of the Moral world and the Factical world in knowledge in a deter- 
minedness of the system of moral impulses through the absolute form of a law. 

$ 7. The Science of Knowledge as the schematic representation of the whole Ego. 
and the absolute realization of its whole Freedom, in its form of absolute retlect- 
ibility of all the relations of the Ego. 



\ 1. The perception of a Factical world is not possible without a further determ- 
inedness of that world, which is known as the Moral Law. 

In the preceding part we have described and completed the 
conception of the material world ; a conception which, rightly 
understood and applied, must suffice everywhere. A natural 
philosophy could be erected upon it without any further pre 
liminaries. It is to be expected that its opposite reposes itt 
8 



128 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

Thinking, as itself does in contemplation, and that that oppo 
site will be the moral world, and that it will appear how both 
worlds are altogether one and the same, and that the moral 
world is the ground of the material world ; the manner in 
which it is thus the ground, being however incomprehensible. 
Hence we add at once an investigation into the transcendental 
ground of the material world. The question is this : In order 
to be able to think the moral world, we contemplate it in the 
material world ; (or, the material world is the contemplation 
of the thinking of the moral world ;) and this would be easily 
comprehended if both worlds appeared in all knowledge. But 
common experience teaches that this is is not so ; that, by far, 
the fewest individuals elevate themselves to pure thinking, 
and hence to the conception of a moral world, whilst never 
theless every one has the sense of perception of the material 
world ; and this is confirmed by the Science of Knowledge, 
.since it makes Thinking dependent upon the realization of 
Freedom within the already realized factical knowledge, and 
hence denies its actual necessity altogether. But how, then, 
do these individuals, who do not think, arrive at a knowledge 
of their world ? It is evident that the answering of this ques 
tion decides the whole fate of transcendental Idealism. 

1. According to our doctrine, confirmed as it has been in all 
our previous reflections, all possible knowledge has only itself 
for an object, and no other object but itself. It has also been 
shown that, as a result of the contents of the Science of Know 
ledge, the entire knowledge does not always and under every 
condition view itself; that, therefore, what in the Science of 
Knowledge is only a part, may, in a determined actuality, view 
itself as the entire knowledge, but that it may also go beyond 
itself ia a lower point of reflection to a higher one, though 
always remaining within itself. 

2. Hence there is a manifold of reflections of knowledge 
within knowledge, all of which are synthetically connected 
and form a system. This rnanifoldness, its connection and 
relation, has been explained from the inner laws of possibility 
of a knowledge, as such ; an inner, merely formal legislation 
da knowledge, based on the realizing or not-realizing itself of 
a formal Freedom ; when realizing itself, doing so without any 
further condition ; and when not, remaining in mere possibil- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 129 

ity (the possibility to realize itself whenever it chooses) : in it 
Thinking, Contemplation, Manifoldness, Time, Space yes, 
nearly everything which we have heretofore deduced is 
grounded. 

3. But with this merely formal legislation, knowledge, as an 
infinite quantitating, would dissolve into nothing. We should 
never arrive at a knowledge, and hence never either at the 
application of that legislation, if knowledge were not in some 
manner checked in that infinity, and checked immediately, as 
soon as knowledge is formed or realized ; on no account, how 
ever, within an already formed (realized) knowledge, for with 
out that primary condition also no knowledge is realized. 

4. The law, j ust uttered, does therefore no longer belong to 
the system of that legislation which relates to those manifold 
reflections within knowledge ; for this system presupposes 
already knowledge, so far as the Being thereof is concerned, 
and determines it only formaliter within this Being ; whereas 
the law referred to first makes this Being itself possible ; only 
possible, not yet real. Hence it is in reality the result of a 
reciprocity between the absolute actually becoming Being and 
an absolute Being, which, according to the Science of Know 
ledge, is purely thought in knowledge, and is to be presupposed 
prior to every knowledge, to the real as well as to the possible 
knowledge. This is to prepare the following ; for : 

5. This state within quantity is in a certain respect in 
which we shall shortly see always a determined state, 
amongst other possible states. There is consequent^ a law 
of determination, and the cause of it is evidently not within 
knowledge, in no possible significance of the word, but within 
absolute Being. This law of determination will appear in 
pure thinking as the moral law. But how does it appear 
where knowledge arrives at no pure thinking? This again 
is the question asked before. 

Now let us consider the following : 

a. Knowledge never penetrates and seizes itself, because it 
objectivates and dirempts itself by reflection. The diremp- 
tion of the highest reflection is into an absolute thinking and 
contemplation, while absolute knowledge beyond them is nei 
ther contemplation nor thinking, but the identity of both. 

b. In the contemplation, which is altogether inseparable 



130 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

from knowledge, the contemplation is therefore lost within it 
self, and does not at all comprehend itself. True, in thinking 
it comprehends itself; but then it is no longer contemplating, 
"but thinking. The infinity, and with it the realism of contem 
plation, which results from it, is done away with altogether, 
and in its place we obtain as its representative a totalizing 
picturing of the infinity. Let us, therefore, pay no attention 
to this thinking. 

c. The knowledge which comprehends itself, as we have just 
described it under a and 6, thinks the contemplation as an 
inseparable part of knowledge, and for that very reason as not 
comprehending itself. That knowledge, therefore, thinks and 
comprehends very well the absolute incomprehensibility and 
infinity as the condition of all knowledge, the form, the That 
of it. (This is important.) 

d. In this thus understood incomprehensibility = the ma 
terial world, viewed objectively, not formally, we cannot 
speak at all about determinedness or no n- deter mined ness. 
For all determinedness is founded on a comprehending and 
thinking; but here we neither comprehend nor think; the ob 
ject of this contemplation is posited as the absolute incom 
prehensibility itself. 

Conclusions. a. The expression "material world" involves, 
strictly taken, a contradiction. In this contemplation, there 
is in reality no universe and no totality, but only a floating, 
undetermined infinity, which is never comprehended. A uni 
verse exists only in thinking, but then it is already a moral 
universe. (This will enable us to judge certain theories re 
specting nature.) 

b. All questions about the best world, about the infinity of 
the possible worlds, &<?., dissolve, therefore, into nothing. A 
material world, in its completion and closedness, we can ob 
tain only after the completion of time, which is a contradic 
tion ; hence we can obtain it within no time. But the moral 
world, which is before all time and which is the ground of all 
time, is not the best, but is the only possible and altogether 
necessary world; i.e. the simply good. 

c. But there is within contemplation in every time-moment 
a determinelness of quality and (since thinking applies the 
infinity to it) a determinedness of quantity; let it be well 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 131 

remembered, for a simply objective and empirical thinking, 
finding itself as such at the realization of knowledge. This is 
the conception of an object of mere perception. Where is the 
ground of this determinedness ? We now stand right before 
our question. Evidently in an a priori, altogether incompre 
hensible, and only actually in the time-moments to be com 
prehended absolute law of the empirical time- thinking gene 
rally. 

It is an a priori incomprehensible law, we have said ; for, if 
it were comprehensible by a free picturing and gathering to 
gether of time, the Ego would not be limited to itself and no 
knowledge would ever be realized. Hence it is an altogether 
immediate determinedness through the absolute (only form 
ally thinkable) Being itself; the law of a time-succession, 
which lies altogether beyond all time. For every single mo 
ment carries, as we have already shown, all future moments 
conditionally within itself. 

Result. There is a law, which on no account forces a know 
ledge into being, but which, if a knowledge exists, absolutely 
forces its determinedness, and in consequence of which each 
individual sees in each moment a material, and materially 
thus constituted experience. The law is an immediate law of 
knowledge, and connects immediately with knowledge. That 
this is so, and that, if we are at all to attain a knowledge, this 
must be so, each one can understand ; but concerning the sub 
stance of the determinedness, and the manner in which know 
ledge itself originates and in which that law connects with 
knowledge, nothing can he comprehended, for this very non- 
comprehension is the condition of the realization of know 
ledge. All attempts to go beyond it are empty dreams, which 
no one understands, or can demonstrate as true. The moral 
significance of nature can well be understood, but not any 
other and higher significance of nature; for pure nature is 
nothing more and portents nothing more than what it is. 

Whoever says : there is a material world altogether consti 
tuted as I see, hear, feel and think it, utters simply his per 
ception, and is, so far, right. But when he says : this world 
affects me as in-itself-Being, produces sensations, representa 
tions, &c., within me, he no longer gives utterance to his per 
ception, but to an explanatory thought, in which there is not 



132 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

the least grain of sense, and says something which lies beyond 
the possibility of knowledge. He can say only : if I open my 
exterior senses, I find them thus determined. More he does 
not know ; but every one can comprehend that, if more could 
be known, there would be no knowledge at all. (These are 
the immanent, strict proofs of transcendental Idealism.) 

\ 2. The perception of individual existence, and of a natural impulse, is not pos 
sible without the perception of individual Freedom. 

As the first principle of the empirical, we have discovered : 
1. A law, applicable only to absolute Being (how, we know 
not yet, nor is thatthe question), connects itself immediately 
with a knowledge, if a knowledge is, in order to develop a 
succession of qualities, which for that knowledge is alto 
gether accidental and a priori incomprehensible. (The suc 
cession, as this fixed succession, does not lie within the law 
but within knowledge ; in the law lies only, that, since a suc 
cession must be, it must be qualitatively determined in such 
and such a manner.) As this law, if a knowledge is, realizes 
itself altogether in the same manner, we have taken only one 
empirical knowledge and one Ego as the representative of all 
empirical Egos. The Ego, therefore, which appears here, is the 
mere position of formal knowledge generally, that a knowledge 
is, and nothing else. 

2. For this Ego the appearance of nature at each moment, 
i. e. each of her conditions, regarded as a whole (for we may 
discover another kind of moments), is, in accordance with our 
previous reflections, impulse of course, an organic one, an im 
pulse of nature (natural impulse). 

The knowledge (feeling) of this impulse is, however, not 
possible without the realization of the same activity ; and 
since (especially empirical) activity is not a thing per se, but 
can be only a passing condition of knowledge, we say the Ego 
appears to itself immediately as acting. This acting alone 
at least, as far as we have come at present must be regarded 
as the immediate life of the Ego, from which everything else 
which we have heretofore met, and especially the will-less im 
pelling nature, is first understood. 

3. But this acting appears, as we have often said, in the form 
of aline ; not as an organizing, but as a mechanizing, as free 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 133 

motion, and hence within time. In so far the Ego in this act 
ing remains confined within nature, and attached to it; it is 
itself the highest phenomenon of nature. But in the present 
nature infinite directions are possible from every point. About 
these directions nature, thus viewed, can determine absolutely 
nothing; because in nature, in the law of her contemplation, 
there can be altogether no determination of these directions. 
Hence in this point, in the giving itself a direction, the Ego 
tears itself loose, by the formal primary law of its character, 
from Being, or nature lets it loose, which means the same 
thing. Here, the Being Free is absolute, formal law. 

4. Again : Even in so far as the intelligence gives itself up 
to the natural law of the concretion as it certainly must, if it 
is to arrive at a knowledge of itself it nevertheless thinks 
itself free in every point of this concretion ; and hence makes 
at the same time the succession of nature its own succession of 
time and motion.. 

But in the same manner again the intelligence connects the 
single points of its freedom beyond the concretion of nature, 
into a higher Thought - succession, independent of nature; 
and unites the single moments of its acts in the unity of a con 
ception of a DESIGN" which forms a junction with nature, but, in 
its own connection, lies beyond it. From this we derive the 
following important result : Even the natural impulse elevates 
the Ego immediately above the given concretion of nature, in 
which it finds itself as contemplating, to a totality of acting, 
to a plan, &c. ; because as acting it no longer merely contem 
plates itself, but also thinks. Hence the original self-contem 
plation of the Ego includes not only that it contemplates 
itself as free acting, giving direction, &c., but also that it 
should connect this acting, and hence posit independent de 
signs within nature. 

a. Through this reflection, the above assertion, " Each indi 
vidual Ego comprehends itself necessarily as lasting a certain 
time, and as moving freely," receives its real significance and 
application. The conception of acting and of positing designs 
as the real contents of that individual time and motion, is here 
added, and it becomes clear how the individual time and ex 
perience unlooses itself from the general knowledge, and how 



134 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

the individual Ego originates within this general ground-form 
of knowledge. 

b. The proposition : Unless I elevate myself to moral Free 
dom / do not act, but nature acts through me ; means now, 
regarded more closely, the following : I, although an individ 
ual and determining myself with free will, hence torn loose 
from and elevated above nature, have nevertheless immedi 
ately only a natural plan and design, which I prosecute, how 
ever, in the form and according to the law of a rational Being. 
The Freedom of the Ego in regard to nature is here still formal 
and empty. 

5. The result of the preceding may therefore be expressed 
in the following propositions : 

a. The Ego does not arrive at all to the perception of the 
dead, will-less, in all its time-determinations unchangeably 
determined nature, without finding itself as acting. 

Z>. The ground-law of this acting, that it assumes a line- 
direction, does not lie in nature, which does not extend so far 
at all, but it is an immanent, formal law of the Ego ; and the 
ground of it lies altogether in knowledge, as such. 

c. But the direction is a fixed one, and the Ego which repo 
ses in this standpoint necessarily ascribes to itself also the 
ground of the determinedness of this direction, since it cannot 
ascribe it to nature ; and since besides nature and the Ego, 
there is nothing here. 

d. But as there is still a something higher for us, and per 
haps for all knowledge, a going beyond its actual Being, in 
order to ascend to the transcendental cause of its possibility, 
which we have not yet attempted from this point, we shall 
not yet decide whether the Ego is also the transcendental 
ground of the direction, contenting ourselves with stating 
what we know. This, strictly, is only the following: The 
knowledge of which we now speak is perception; the Ego, 
therefore, perceives itself as ground of a fixed direction ; or, 
more strictly, the Ego perceives in the perception of its real 
acting, of which fixed direction it is the ground. 

6. Here we obtain at once an important result, which we can 
not pass by on account of the strictness of the system. On the 
one side, the result of our former deduction was : The percep- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 135 

tion of the material world is dependent upon the perception 
(self-realization) of Freedom ; the latter is the ideal ground of 
the former, for only through means of the latter do we arrive 
at all at a knowledge. On the other side, we have found above : 
that the perception of Freedom is dependent upon the percep 
tion of the material World ; the latter is the real ground of the 
former, for only the latter gives to Freedom the possibility of 
a real acting. The relation is the same as in contemplation 
between form of body and form of line, which also were mutu 
ally dependent upon each other ; or, higher, in the original 
synthesis of knowledge, as between the absolute form of con 
templation and the ground-form of Thinking. Hence, percep 
tion, xar iZoyjv, the absolute form and the extent of immediate 
knowledge, is neither perception of the dead world nor of the 
world of Freedom, but altogether of both in their inseparabil 
ity and in their immediate opposition as postulated through 
immediate reflection; its object, the universe, is also alto 
gether in itself the One ; but is in its appearance divided 
into a material and an intellectual world. (It appears how 
our investigation approaches its close. The whole factical 
knowledge, the material .world, has now been synthetized; 
it only remains to bring this world into a complete relation 
with its higher branch-member, the intellectual world, and 
our work is done. For with the separate subjects and objects, 
and their psychological appearances and diiferences, a Tran 
scendental Philosophy has nothing to do.) 

This perception of Freedom can easily be changed from an 
individual into a general one by this remark : My Freedom is 
to be the ground of a real acting. It has been shown, however, 
that I am not real except as in reciprocity with all other 
knowledges, and reposing upon the general one knowledge 
thus really actualizing one of the real possibilities of this 
knowledge within itself. Hence, whatever there is perceptible 
for me in me, has, in so far as it has been really actualized, 
acted, done entered into the sphere of the real (of percep 
tion), of all. Thus, in accordance with our premises, it is 
apparent of itself (what no former philosophy has thoroughly 
explained) how free Beings know of the productions of the 
Freedom of others : the actualized real Freedom is the deter 
mined realization of a possibility of the general perception, in 



136 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

which the Egos are not divided, but are rather one are only 
one perceiving Ego. 

I 3. The knowledge (not mere perception) of Freedom is not possible without a 
contact with other free beings. 

This connection of the general perception with Freedom and 
its self-realizations, and the principle of this relation, which 
we have touched upon only in passing, must be explained fur 
ther. We introduce the explanation by the following consid 
erations : 

1. I, the individual, apply, according to a former synthesis, 
the particular manifestation of my power to a general power, 
which I did not at all perceive, but merely thought there, and 
which I placed before me in the form of contemplation as a 
something of an organized body (we select this expression 
with care). This my manifestation of power is real and enters 
accordingly into the general perception, means evidently : it 
is traced back, with all that follows from it, to the general per 
ception, to the unity of a person, partly immediately posited in 
space, partly determining itself with Freedom. Now this per 
son is at iirst a whole of nature, absolutely encircling a par 
ticular time-moment, and thus arising in the general time, and 
for the general perception, from nothing : a link of the de 
scribed time-succession in nature ; but at the same time the 
commencement of the appearance of a rational being in time, 
of which an acting, extending necessarily beyond the nature- 
succession, catches back into nature ; finally, a determined 
body, at present only for the general perception of nature, 
but not as above, an undetermined somewhat of an organic 
body. 

2. This free acting, accomplished through the medium of the 
body, according to what law can it move ? Evidently accord 
ing to the same law through which, in our former reflections, 
knowledge of Freedom generally was produced : the law that 
it must be immediately thought and comprehended in percep 
tion as an acting, which can manifest itself only in the form 
of a line, and which, therefore, takes its direction not from na 
ture, but from out of itself. The chief point to be observed lies 
in the immediateness of this self-contemplation, which excludes 
everything like a deduction, comprehending from premises, 



New Exposition oftlie Science of Knowledge. 137 

&c., since this would destroy totally the character of the per 
ception, and hence the possibility of all knowledge. 

3. Let us also add the following passing remark, which is 
an important hint for the future. A certain time-moment in 
the general time, a space -moment of the universal matter, lies 
immediately in the succession of perception as filled with a 
body which can manifest itself absolutely altogether only as 
Freedom. The ground-principle of the contents of this succes 
sion, but on no account of its formal existence, was absolute 
Being. But, viewed as a principle of nature, absolute Being 
is altogether no principle of a view of Freedom ; hence it be 
comes here particularly, at the same time, principle of Free 
dom and thus the ground of that mixed perception of a nature 
and of a rational acting posited within it at the same time, 
which we have just described. This may become important. 

4. But what is on the part of the general perception and of 
any representative thereof (any individual Ego) the condi 
tion of contemplating other free subjects outside of itself, of 
the representative Ego? Evidently, since Freedom and its 
ground-law can be perceived only in an individuality-point, 
the condition is, that that Ego must lind the ground-law within 
itself in order to be able to find it also outside of itself: hence, 
expressed in general terms ; the condition is, that knowledge is 
not merely simply confined contemplation, but likewise reflec 
tion, knowledge of knowledge, i. e. of Freedom and the within- 
itself generation of knowledge. In the self-contemplation of 
our own Freedom, Freedom, xar ^^v, is known (direct, be 
cause it is the real substance of knowledge). 

5. Again let the nervus probandi be well noted which in 
my other writings has been very elaborately described, but 
which here, now that perception has been thoroughly deter 
mined, can be gathered into one word : since the individual 
Ego contemplates its Freedom only within universal Freedom, 
which constitutes a closed thinking, its Freedom is realiter 
only real within a contemplation of infinite Freedom, and as 
a particular limitation of this infinity. But Freedom as Free 
dom is limited only through other Freedom; and actually 
manifests Freedom only through other actually manifested 
Freedom. 

6. Hence it is the condition of a knowledge of knowledge, 



138 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

of self-perception as the principle of all other perception, that, 
besides the free manifestation of the individual, other free 
manifestations, and, by their means, other free substances, 
should be perceived. Keciprocity through actual manifesta 
tion of free acting is condition of all knowledge. Each one 
knows of his acting only in so far as he knows generally (a 
priori, through original thinking) of acting, of Freedom. 
Again : Each one knows of the acting of others, idealiter, only 
by means of his own acting from out of himself. Finally : 
each one knows of his acting only in so far as he knows of the 
acting of others, realiter ; for the character of his particular 
acting (and generally he himself) is in knowledge result of the 
knowledge of the acting of the totality. 

Hence no free Being arrives at a consciousness of himself 
without at the same time arriving at a consciousness of other 
Beings of the same land. No one, therefore, can view himself 
as the whole knowledge, but only as a single standpoint in 
the sphere of knowledge. The intelligence is within itself and 
in its most inner root, as existing, not One, but a manifold ; at 
the same time, however, a closed manifold, a system of rational 
Beings. 

(Nature thus we will call her hereafter exchisively in oppo 
sition to the intelligences is now placed before us as one and 
the same, coursing through infinite time and solid space, which 
she fills. If, as bearer of the free individuals and their 
actions, we must not split her further which it is not the 
object of the Science of Knowledge further to do she will 
always remain this One. In this very form she is the proper 
object of Speculative Physics, as a guide of Experimental 
Physics for to nothing else must the former present claims 
and must thus be received by that science. But in the world 
of intelligence there is absolute manifoldness, and this mani- 
foldness remains always on the standpoint of perception; for 
knowledge is for itself a quantitating. Only in the sphere of 
pure thinking there may also be discovered a formal on no 
account real unity even of this world.) 

I 4. Results. 

1. Each individual s knowledge of the manifestations of his 
Freedom is dependent upon his knowledge of the general 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 139 

Freedom - manifestation and upon the general knowledge 
thereof. It is, as we have learned already from other exam 
ples, a determined closed thinking within another just now 
discovered thinking of a determined whole. Hence it is it 
self determined thereby ; the Freedom in individual know 
ledge is result of the general Freedom, and therefore necessa 
rily determined by it ; there is no perceptible Freedom of a 
single individual. His character as well as the character of 
his acting proceeds from his reciprocity with the whole world 
of Freedom. 

2. In the general perception of each individual, nature does 
not appear any further than follows from his reciprocity with 
his perceived system of Freedom. For the Ego of each indi 
vidual, as this particular one, appears to him only in this reci 
procity and is determined by it; but nature he feels and 
perceives and characterizes only in the impulse thus directed 
towards his particular Ego. Hence, if the possibility of a 
manifestation of Freedom is presupposed, nature results 
without anything further from the self-contemplation of that 
Freedom ; is merely another view of Freedom ; is the sphere 
and the immediately at the same time posited object of Free 
dom ; and there is thus no further necessity at all for another 
absolute principle of the perception of nature. Hence nature, 
as manifestation of the Absolute, in which* light we viewed it 
above, (let no one be led astray by this remark; perhaps a 
disjunction takes place here within nature, only without our 
perceiving it,) is totally annihilated, and is now merely a form 
of the contemplation of our Freedom, the result of a formal 
law of knowledge. 

3. The impulse which is idealiter determined through the 
reciprocity of general Freedom and through knowledge, would 
thus be the only firm object remaining in the background, ex 
cept the undeterminable and in so far in-itself dissolving gene 
ral Freedom. This impulse would be the substante, but only 
in regard to that part of it which enters knowledge, and on no 
account determined in its real contents through knowledge ; 
and the manifestation of Freedom would be its accidence; but, 
let it be well remarked, simply a formal, in nowise a materializ 
ing accidence ; for only in so far as the impulse really impels, 
acts (apart from its body-form in which it appears in con tern- 



140 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

plation which falls away here), does it enter knowledge; 
hence, in so far as it is posited it impels necessarily. It is, 
therefore, accidence simply in so far as it enters the form of 
knowledge, in so far as it is a knowledge at all. Thus also 
the general Freedom is not realiter free, but only formaliter ; 
it acts ever according to all its empirical knowledge, and 
knows only of that according to which it acts. Only this know 
ledge itself seems still to be materialiter free, if there are 
impulses beyond real knowledge. (Of its formal Freedom, 
inner absoluteness, we do not speak now.) 

4. According to a former remark, knowledge, in obedience 
to a formal law, separates the plan, assigned to it by the nat 
ural impulse, into a succession of mutually determined, mani 
fold acts ; and only thus does it arrive at a knowledge of its 
real acting, and hence of its Freedom and of knowledge gener 
ally. But the links of this succession have significance only 
in the succession ; the next following links annihilate them. 
Hence the Ego expressly proposes to itself the perishable, as 
perishable and on account of its perishability, and makes this 
its object: a mere living from one moment to another without 
ever thinking on what will come next. But, still more, even 
every closed moment of nature itself (hence the impulse and 
plan of nature) lies within an unclosed contemplation, and 
thus carries within itself the ground of a future moment and 
thereby its own annihilation in that moment ; and is therefore 
also, an essentially perishable plan. Hence, all acts excited 
by the impulses of nature are necessarily directed upon the 
perishable ; for everything in nature is perishable. 

5. According to what we have said previously, nature devel 
ops herself according to a law which can have its ground only 
in absolute Being. Now even if we intended to restore this 
law to nature, in so far as nature appears in knowledge as 
real, as the bearer of knowledge, it would still be, for the 
standpoint of perception, merely a formaliter posited law ; 
but on no account one which could explain to us the connec 
tion which we can only perceive. Allowing this interpreta 
tion, about which we desire not to give an opinion at present 
whether it will be admitted or not, it would, to be sure, give 
to nature an apparent (because time is infinite and never com 
pleted) unity of plan, but of which each single plan would be 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 141 

merely a piece torn out, the relation of which to the whole 
would remain unknown to us. We should thus, in these acts, 
give ourselves up to a strange, concealed plan, unknown to 
us, which we should not know ourselves, and hence knowledge 
would not yet have penetrated into itself, since its origin and 
root would still remain in the dark. 

\ 5. Harmony of the Moral world and the Factical world in sensuous perception 
in the form of an absolute immediately perceptible Being. 

We have advanced to the universality of the perception of 
empirical Freedom, and have deduced from it nature itself 
and the universality of the perception of nature. Only one 
thing remained, which we could not deduce and of which we 
remained ignorant, a certain impulse directed upon Freedom, 
which we, however, called impulse of nature, although we, it 
is true, knew so much of it that it was not an impulse of dead 
nature. It seemed to appear plainly that nothing more could 
be explained from that sphere. The empirical world may have 
been traced on its own ground back to its highest cause, where 
it becomes lost to the empirical eye. 

1. Let us, therefore, commence from the other side, and from 
its highest point, which we know well enough already. Know 
ledge is an absolute origin from nothing, and this within an 
equally absolute For-itself. Looking at the latter, there is 
hence in knowledge a pure, absolute Being ; and as soon as it 
comprehends this same Being, i. e. the pure thought thereof, 
as is required here, it is, in this respect, itself pure absolute 
Being ; i. e. as knowledge. (By the last addition of the ab 
solute self-penetration of pure thinking, the proposition 
becomes a new one ; for pure thinking itself, as lost in the 
positing of objects, with the entire synthesis connected there 
with, has been sufficiently explained above.) 

Concerning this knowledge, its substance and its form, let 
the following suffice. As far as regards the substance, it is 
the absolute form of knowledge, of self-grasping itself; 
not as act, however, but as Being: in one word, the pure, 
absolute Ego. In its form it is unchangeable, eternal, imper 
ishable ; all of which, it is true, are but second-hand charac 
teristics. In itself it is unapproachable ; it is the absolute 
Being, the in-itself-reposing. Again, it bears, and should be 



142 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

thought as bearing, the here altogether predominating charac 
ter of perception ; i. e. formaliter. This is to be understood 
as follows : Knowledge recognizes itself as accidental. But 
how then, and according to what premises? How does it 
recognize the accidental, and how does it class knowledge, 
let us say, as a species under that genus f Altogether accord 
ing to no premises derived from experience such an assump 
tion would be an absurdity but simply immediately, primari 
ly. How does it think the absolute, in opposition to which it 
recognizes as only accidental? Likewise primarily. And how 
does it recognize in both these recognitions itself as absolute ? 
Likewise in a primary manner. It is simply thus, and more 
cannot be said about it ; knowledge cannot go beyond itself. 

2. Now, this thus described thinking is not possible with 
out an opposite quantitating contemplation, in accordance 
with the synthesis which has become so familiar to us. In 
this contemplation absolute knowledge, or the pure Ego, quan- 
titates itself; i. e. it repeats itself in a (scheme) picture. This 
contemplation as adjoining link of a thinking is the neces 
sarily closed contemplation of a system of rational Beings. 
Reason, therefore, in the immediate contemplation of itself 
places itself necessarily also outside of itself; the pure Ego is 
repeated in a closed number, and this results altogether from 
the thinking of its formal absoluteness. (Let it be well un 
derstood : it is no contradiction of the above that this system, 
as it enters sensuous perception, is infinite, i. e. actually unat 
tainable for this perception and not to be completed ; for be 
tween thinking and perception there enters here one of the 
ground-forms of quantitating infinite time. But it does fol 
low that in every moment wherein perception is to take place 
the Ego must be posited as closed for perception, although 
the infinite continuation of perception carries it in each future 
moment beyond its present. It does not,however,/0Zfow from 
any empirical premises, but is absolutely so, that the Ego 
the Egos beyond all perception, and as ground of the same, 
are closed in the pure idea of reason, or in God.) 

This is the ground-point of the intelligible world. Now to 
that of the opposite, the sensuous world. From the manifold- 
ness of the Egos contained in the contemplation of reason, 
we select one as a representative. This, in perception, is alto- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 143 

gether confined to itself as individual, and cannot, as in think 
ing, go beyond to the contemplation of a pure reason-world. 
But this confinedness is the ground of all perception, which, 
as being itself absolute contemplation, is the condition of the 
possibility of absolute thinking. As an individual, however, 
it is the thus or thus determined individual in the whole suc 
cession of individuals ; but since this succession and its total 
ity exists only in thinking, how is it then, or rather its result, 
before all thinking? And if, in the whole reason-world, no 
individual were to elevate himself to thinking which is pos 
sible since thinking depends upon Freedom how will it then 
be in perception ? According to the above, in its form, even as 
an empirically absolute and only perceptible, but no further 
explainable Being (which is thus, because it is thus and finds 
itself thus). We touch here again, only in another form, the 
impulse, which remains in the dark. 

But how, now, does this relation, which in pure thinking is 
recognized as determined through absolute Being, become 
here, where it is not recognized and can therefore not be the 
result of a recognition, nevertheless an immediately percepti 
ble Being ? 

Important as the question is, the answer is quite as simple. 
This question is the highest and most important which a phi 
losophy can propose to itself. It is the question after a har 
mony, and since the question concerning the harmony of 
things and knowledge (which presupposes a dualism), and 
the question concerning the harmony of the several free Be 
ings, which is based upon the idea of automatic Egos, have van 
ished into empty air because it was shown that those sepa 
rates could not but harmonize since they were in reality one 
and the same ; in the one direction, the same in the general 
perception ; and in the other direction, the same in the One ab 
solute Being, which posits itself in determined points of reflec 
tion within an infinite time-succession, according to the abso 
lutely quantitating ground-form of knowledge it is the ques 
tion after a harmony between the intelligible world and the 
world of appearances the material world ; (that is, where 
this exists, in the immediate-itself-grasping, factical ground- 
form of knowledge, which therefore appears even prior to the 
realization of Freedom of thinking of which it is the pre- 
9 



144 JVew Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

supposition, and where there is, on that account, not yet true 
individuality.) The answer is easy and immediately appa 
rent : 

The universal perception has for its ground-substance noth 
ing else than the relation of the perceiving individual to other 
individuals in a purely intelligible world; for only thus is 
that perception, and is a knowledge at all. Without this that 
perception would nowhere come to itself, but would dissolve 
in the infinite emptiness if, in that case, there would be any 
human understanding at all, to posit it for the mere sake of 
letting it dissolve. And this is so in consequence of its rela 
tion to absolute Being, which relation is in perception itself 
never recognized, but remains concealed to it for all eternity. 
This relation, considered in the previous paragraphs in the 
form of impulse, is the immanent root of the world of appear 
ances to every one who appears to himself. Now this percep 
tion brings its time, its space, its acting, its knowledge of the 
acting of others, and hence its knowledge of nature along with 
itself, and can therefore not go beyond its really egotistical 
and idealistical standpoint; its world, therefore, and since 
this applies to the universal perception the whole world of 
appearances is purely the mere formal law of an individual 
knowledge, hence the mere, pure Nothing; and instead of 
receiving from the region of pure thinking perhaps a sort of 
Being, the material world is, on the contrary, from that very 
region decisively and eternally buried in its Nothingness. 

\ 6. Harmon}?- of the Moral world and the Tactical world in knowledge in a deter- 
minedness of the system of moral impulses through the absolute form of a law. 

Now to the union of the groundpoints of both worlds witliin 
knowledge, for outside of knowledge they are united through 
the absolute Being. 

Empirical Being was to signify a particular, positive rela 
tion of the perceiving individual to an in so far perceived num 
ber of other individuals, according to a law of the intellectual 
world, which other individuals are, therefore, presupposed as 
differing in their primary Being. But in the contemplation of 
reason they do not (at present) differ at all in their essence, but 
are merely numerically different. Hence it would be necessary, 
for the possibility of perception, to presuppose another differ- 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 145 

ence of the individuals, not merely a numerical, but a real dif 
ference, lying beyond perception ; and this difference must ap 
pear in knowledge when it is to elevate itself to the thinking 
of perception, as having its ground in the intellectual world. 
It would be, what we are seeking for, our last problem, a con 
necting link between absolute thinking and absolute contem 
plation. This, now, is easily found, and has, indeed, already 
discovered itself to us, if the principle of perception is tlwuglit 
in the very same manner as we have just now thought it, i. e. as 
the result of my relation to the absolute sum of all individuals, 
but in such a manner that it appear at the same time in per 
ception. This last clause is decisive, and I wish to be under 
stood in respect to it. In point of fact, as we well know, think 
ing and contemplation never join together, not even in their 
highest point. Only through thinking are they understood as 
one and the same ; but in contemplation they remain divided 
by the infinite gulf of time. The true state is this : It is always 
only perception which is thought by that intellectual concep 
tion ; this perception is, it is true, beyond and imperceivably 
altogether one, and embraces in this oneness the relation of 
all individuals to each other; but I have never perceived tlie 
whole of my relation, awaiting, as I do, from the future further 
enlightenment. Hence the world of reason is never surveyed 
entire as a fact; its unity is only, but is not perceivable ; and 
it is not known except in Thinking ; in actuality it expects 
from that Being infinite enlightenment and progress. 

Formaliter there results from this, firstly, that it is per 
ception and the principle thereof which is thought. The in 
separable ground-form of perception as inner contemplation 
is time. With this contemplation there enters a something of 
discovered time, and if the real substance of the perception is 
an acting, there enters also a plan of this acting dividing 
itself into mediating acts and with the thought of this plan 
an infinite time, for each moment of that time falls within an 
infinite contemplation which demands future moments. 

Secondly, there results this, that a thinking takes place, 
and that it is the Ego which is thought as principle of the per 
ception. The character of the Ego in relation to knowledge 
and in that relation the Ego is to be thought here ; let this be 
well understood is absolute starting and causing to originate 



146 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

from nothingness; hence free manifestation in a time-suc 
cession ; and thns the Ego thinks itself whenever it elevates 
itself to the thinking of itself. There arises for the sphere 
of perception a succession of absolute creating from Nothing 
ness, realiter recognizable for each moment of perception. (I 
express a comprehensive statement in few words ; these words, 
however, are not to "be understood metaphorically, but lit 
erally.) 

Let us now gather together this infinite time with its deter 
minations into one through a conception ; we cannot abstract, 
in doing so, altogether from time ; for, if we did, we should lose 
the relation to perception, the determinedness of the individ 
ual, and we should again return to the merely numerical differ 
ence of the Egos in the pure contemplation of reason. The 
contents of that time is the determinedness of an acting of 
an individual as principle of perception independent of and 
preceding all perception. 

But what, moreover, is the ground-principle of this determ 
inedness ? In the idea, the absolutely closed sum of intelli 
gences; in perception, the sum of those intelligences that 
have entered knowledge and been recognized at a particular 
time. But the intelligences are posited in the contempla 
tion of reason as altogether harmonizing in their absolute self 
and world knowledge ; hence, also, as harmonizing in the per 
ception which is determined through this contemplation of 
reason through the uniting thinking. What everyone thinks 
absolutely of himself, he must be able to think that all who 
elevate themselves to absolute thinking, think likewise of him. 
The outward form of the described acting is, therefore, that 
everyone should do (I will express myself in this manner for 
brevity s sake), what all the intelligences embraced in the 
same system of perception, absolutely thinking, must think 
that he does, and what he must think, that they think it. It 
is an acting according to the system of the absolute harmony 
of all thinking, of its pure identity. (I believe we term this 
moral acting.) 

Finally, what was the ground of this idea of a closed system 
of mutually determined intelligences in the pure thinking of 
the contemplation of reason, and the thinking of perception 
determined thereby ? Absolute Being itself, constituting and 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 147 

carrying knowledge : hence an absolute mutual penetration 
of both. The deepest root of all knowledge is, therefore, the 
unattainable unity of pure thinking, and the above described 
thinking of the Ego as absolute principle within perception = 
the moral law as highest representative of all contemplation. 
Now, this is on no account this or that knowledge, but simply 
absolute knowledge as such. How this or that knowledge is 
attained within it, we shall soon explain from one point. Now, 
this absolute knowledge is attained only on condition of the 
absolute Being entering even knowledge itself; and as sure as 
this knowledge is, the absolute Being is within it. And thus 
absolute Being and knowledge are united ; the former enters 
the latter and is absorbed in the form of knowledge, by that 
very means making it absolute. Whoever has comprehended 
this, has mastered all truth, and to him there exists no longer 
an incomprehensible. 

Thus in ascending from the one side ; now let us determine 
the adjoining link of perception. The ground and central 
point of both links, of the material world and of the world of 
reason, is nothing else than the individual, determined through 
his reciprocity with the world of reason, as absolute principle 
of all perception. This individual &, for the eye of the merely 
sensual perception, firm and standing ; but it is also a devel 
opment of the absolute creative power of perception in a 
higher (reason-) time, starting from an absolute point of 
~b eg inning. 

(Only this point, as an apparently new addition, seems to 
require a proof, and this proof is easy. The knowledge of 
that power generally is dependent upon an absolute free 
thinking; hence appearing itself in consciousness as free. 
But this thinking again is dependent upon a contemplation, 
also appearing within consciousness (empirical knowledge 
generally) within an already ignited knowledge. Its begin 
ning, therefore, as an absolute point falls within an already 
progressing succession of the knowledge of time generally. 
And it is necessary that this higher determinedness should 
be perceived, if any particular moment within it is to be per 
ceived, which latter moment becomes then for the perceiving 
individual the beginning-point of a higher life.) 

The Ego, therefore, is for this thinking, not reposing and 



148 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

stationary, but absolutely progressing according to an eternal 
plan, which, in our thinking of God, is altogether closed, and 
recognized as such, though never perfectly perceived. But the 
Ego is also, in the same determinedness, absolute principle of 
general perception. Hence, by its progression, perception 
in its principle progresses also. That higher divine power in 
reason and Freedom (in absolute knowledge) is the eternal 
creative power of the material world. More expressive : The 
individual starts always from the perception of mere Being, 
for thereupon depends his knowledge generally, and particu 
larly the thinking of his moral determination ; and thus it is 
altogether a production of the often described reciprocity, but 
nothing at all in itself. But as he elevates himself to the 
thinking of his determination and becomes a something high 
er than all the world, an Eternal Being, what, then, does the 
world become to him ? A somewhat, in and upon which he 
elevates and erects what lies not in nature, but in the idea, 
and in the eternal, unchangeable idea which the closed sys 
tem of all reason realizes in the (now free and thinking) 
Egos, and which it must possess in each moment of an infinite 
perception. 

Let us take care not to carry the coarse materialistic ideas 
of a mechanical acting like those of an objective thing in it 
self, which we have already annihilated in the sphere of the 
empirical, over into the pure world of reason ! The individual 
develops in thinking his individual determination : but he 
appears to himself as principle of sensuous perception, in the 
existence of which he also always rests ; hence the determina 
tion of his power appears to himself here, according to our 
former conclusions, as actual acting. His pure thinking, there 
fore, becomes in perception, truly enough, an actual acting ; 
but here only for himself and his individual consciousness. To 
be sure, it thus becomes a material appearance and enters the 
sphere of the universal perception, also according to our 
former deductions. But the intellectual character of his act 
ing can be recognized only by those who by their thinking 
have elevated themselves into that system of reason, who con 
template themselves and the world in God. To the others it 
remains a mere material moving and acting, just as they act 
also. (It is the same with that intellectual character as with 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 149 

the theory of the eternal which we teach here. Those other 
persons also hear our words, formulas, chains of ideas, &c. 
But no one, whose inner life is not awakened, discovers their 
meaning.) 

What, then, is now and with this I give the promised last 
solution the mere, pure perception in its reality, without any 
thinking of the intellectual determinedness ? We have alrea 
dy said it above : simply the condition on the part of the ab 
solute, that knowledge is to appear at all in its empty, naked 
form. In thinking, the principle becomes principle of an alto 
gether new and progressive knowledge ; in the perception it 
is merely the connecting knowledge ; hence if it were not in 
regard to a possible progress of enlightenment altogether a 
mere nullity the darkest, most imperfect knowledge which 
can be, if a knowledge is at all to remain and not to vanish 
into nothingness. In this lowest and darkest point the know 
ledge of perception remains forever, and all its apparent work 
is nothing but an unwinding and eternal repetition of the 
same pure nothing according to the mere law of a formal 
knowledge. They who remain in such a standpoint and such 
a root have indeed no existence at all ; hence, also, do nothing, 
and are, therefore, in sum and substance, only appearances. 
The only thing, let it be well remarked, that still supports 
these appearances, relates them to and keeps them within 
God, is the mere possibility which lies beyond their know 
ledge, that they still CAN elevate themselves to the intellectual 
standpoint. The only thing, therefore, which may be said to 
I do not say the vicious, the evil, the bad, but the very best 
of men, as long as they remain in their immediateness for 
viewed from the standpoint of truth they are equally null to 
those who remain wrapped in sensuality, and do not elevate 
themselves to the ideas, is this : "It must not be quite impossi 
ble for you as yet to elevate yourselves to ideas, since God still 
tolerates you in the system of appearances." In short, this 
decree of God of the continuing possibility of a Being is the 
only and true ground of the continuation of the appearance 
of an intelligence ; if that is recalled, they vanish. It is the 
true moral ground of the whole world of appearances. 

If the question, therefore, is put: why does perception stand 
just in that point in which it stands, and in no other? This 



150 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

is the answer : materialiter perception stands in no point what 
ever ; it stands in its own point as required by its formal Be 
ing and remains standing in it forever. The real time has not 
yet at all commenced within it, and its own time never pro 
duces anything new and solid (as the circular course of na 
ture sufficiently demonstrates empirically) ; it is therefore, in 
reality, also no time at all, but a mere formal appearance 
(=0) awaiting a future filling up. Experience is never this 
or that experience, in an accidental and single manner, but 
always that experience which it must be according to that 
immanent law and the connection resulting therefrom. If per 
sons speak about the best world and the traces of the kind 
ness of God in this world, the reply is : The world is the very 
worst which can be, so far as it is in itself perfectly nothing. 
But on that very account the whole and only possible goodness 
of God is distributed over it, since from it and all its condi 
tions the intelligence can elevate itself to the resolve to make 
it better. Anything further even God cannot grant us ; for, 
even if he would, he cannot make us understand it unless we 
draw it from him ourselves. But that we can do infinitely. 
Glorification of pure truth within us ; and whoever wants any 
thing else and better knows not the Good, and will be filled 
with Badness in all his desires. 

\ 7. The Science of Knowledge as the schematic representation of the whole Ego 
and the absolute realization of its whole Freedom, in its form of absolute reflect- 
ibility of all the relations of the Ego. 

Knowledge has been regarded in its highest sphere as pure 
originating from nothing. But in that it was regarded as pos 
itive, as real originating, not as non-originating. That was 
the form. But in the substance of originating it is already 
expressed that it might also not be ; and hence the being of 
knowledge, when related to absolute Being, becomes acciden 
tal, a being which might also not be, an act of absolute Free 
dom. This accidentally of knowledge is yet to be described. 

It evidently is the last remaining problem which we have to 
realize in actual knowledge. The realization of the idea of 
Being and Not-Being at the same time, which was advanced 
in our first synthesis, is a thinking by means of a picturing 
of the form of Being itself. Like all thinking, this also is 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 151 

not without contemplation ; here, not without the contempla 
tion of knowledge, as having already realized itself. Now, 
this existence of knowledge, in its reality, is cancelled "by 
the thinking ; but, in order that it may be but cancelled, it 
must first be posited in thinking. (This is the highest pictur 
ing which has so often been mentioned, and the form of all 
other. Yet the thing is easy enough : only it has gone out of 
use by the common mode of thinking. Whoever says : A is 
not ; to him A is on that very account in his thinking. Now, 
in the above, knowledge is not negated generally, that it can 
not be ; but it is negated in regard to absolute Being ; i. e. it 
is thought, in its Being, as that which might also not be.) 
Now, this is Freedom, and here absolute Freedom, indifference 
in regard to the absolute, whole (not this or that) knowledge 
itself. 

a. Freedom, xar iSo/jv, is therefore only a thought, and only 
within him, of course, who is himself the result of Freedom. 

1). It is, negatively considered, nothing but the thought of 
the accidentality of absolute knowledge. Remark well the 
seeming contradiction : Knowledge is the absolute accidental 
or the accidental absolute, because it reaches into the quan 
tity and the absolute ground-form of the same, the infinite 
time-succession. Positively considered : that Freedom is the 
thought of the absoluteness of knowledge, of the self-creation 
of knowledge through the self-realizing of Freedom. The 
union of both views is the conception of Freedom in its ideal 
and real existence. 

c. This thought of the Freedom of knowledge is not without 
its Being, just as there is no thinking without contemplation; 
it is the same thorough connection as in all our former synthe 
ses. Now, this is Freedom, xar tfoxyv, and all other Freedom is 
merely a subordinate species ; hence there is no Freedom with 
out Being (limitation, necessity), and vice versa. Time is under 
the rule of this necessity ; only thinking is free. The intelli 
gence would be altogether free after time had run out ; but then 
it would be nothing would be an unreal (beingless) abstrac 
tion. Hence it remains true that knowledge in its substance 
is Freedom, but always Freedom limited in a determined 
manner (in determined points of reflection). 

2. The absolute formal character of knowledge is, that it is 



1 52 New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 

real originating; hence whenever knowledge is realized, it 
always arrives at a knowledge of Freedom. The lowest point 
in the principle of perception is feeling the mere anal 
ogy of thinking. (It would become a thought if that princi 
ple were to attain the described possibility of the higher 
Freedom.) Every individual at least feels himself free. (This 
feeling may be disputed by wrong thinking ; it may even be 
denied, though no sensible man has yet done so ; but still it 
remains ineradicable, and can be demonstrated also to every 
thinker who is not totally enwrapped in his particular sys 
tem.) 

But this feeling of freedom is not without a feeling of 
limitation. 

Hence, all Freedom is an abstraction from some particular 
reality a mere picturing of the same. 

3. In every lower degree of Freedom there is consequently 
contained for the individual a higher real Freedom, which he 
does not recognize himself, but which another individual can 
require him to recognize, and which for him is a limitation, 
concretion of himself. For instance, that lower degree of 
Freedom we have learned to know as the conception of some 
arbitrary sensuous end or purpose. Generally expressed, it 
is that Freedom which permits you to reflect or not to reflect 
upon the material object to which that end or design applies. 
(Here necessity and Freedom unite in one point.) Here 
knowledge posits itself as free, indifferent only in regard to 
this particular object; but it is confined in perception gen 
erally, though without remarking it. This is the condition of 
the sensual man. Everyone who stands higher can tell him 
that he has the power to elevate himself also above that state 
of bondage ; but he does not know it himself. 

But he also who knows of this other world may still ab 
stract from that world ; may not want to know at present, nor 
to consider, what this point in the succession of appearances 
signifies in its intelligible character. Such a person stands in 
the Freedom of reciprocal conditionedness ; he is kept in bond 
age and imprisoned by his laziness. It is impossible, how 
ever, that a person who has reflected to the end should not act 
in accordance with those reflections ; impossible that he should 
allow himself to be restrained from this acting by indolence. 



New Exposition of tlie Science of Knowledge. 153 

But even in this state of mind and in this spirit a person may 
be theoretically enchained, though he be practically free ; and 
this is the case when he does not explain his own state of 
mind to himself, when he allows it to remain an occult quality 
within him. (This is the condition of all mystics, saints, and 
religious persons, who are not enlightened in regard to their 
true principles ; who do what is right, but do not understand 
themselves in doing so. Even to these, a theory like the pres 
ent one can tell that they are not yet perfectly free, for even 
God, the Eternal, must not keep Freedom in subjection.) 

In the total abstraction from all material objects of know 
ledge, from the entire contemplation with all its laws, hence, 
in the absolute realization of Freedom and in the indifference 
of knowledge with regard to contemplation, nevertheless also 
in the limitation to the one, immanent, formal law of know 
ledge, and its succession and consequence, does logic consist 
and everything that calls itself philosophy, but is in reality 
only logic ; that which cannot go beyond the result of that 
standpoint : namely, finite human understanding. Its charac 
ter is, like that of logic, its highest product, always to remain 
within the conditioned, and never to elevate itself to an uncon 
ditioned, to an Absolute of Knowledge and of Being. 

In the abstraction from even this law, and from quantity in 
its primary form, hence also from all particular knowledge, 
does the Science of Knowledge consist. (It might be said, 
from another point of view, that this science consists and 
arises from a transcendentalizing of logic itself; for, if a logi 
cian were to ask himself, as I have frequently exemplified in 
the foregoing : how do I arrive at my assertions ? he would 
necessarily get into the Science of Knowledge, and, in this 
manner the science has really been found by Kant, the true 
discoverer of its principle.) The standpoint of the Science of 
Knowledge is in the elevation above all knowledge, in the 
pure thinking of absolute Being, and in the accidentally of 
knowledge; it, therefore, consists in the thinking of this 
thinking itself; it is a mere pure thinking of the pure think 
ing, or of reason, the immanence, the For-itself of this pure 
thinking. Hence its standpoint is the same as that which I 
described above as the standpoint of absolute Freedom. 

But this thinking (according to all our former reflections) 



154 New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 

is not possible, unless knowledge is nevertheless within the 
contemplation wherein it is only figuratively annihilated. 
And thus the last question which I have promised to answer 
is solved, and with that our investigation concluded: the 
question, how the Science of Knowledge, being forced to go 
beyond all knowledge, could do so ; whether, it being itself 
a knowledge, it did not always remain within knowledge and 
tied down to knowledge ; how, therefore, it could go beyond 
itself as knowledge ? It carries knowledge forever along in 
contemplation. Only in thinking it annihilates knowledge 
in order to reproduce it in the same. 

And thus the Science of Knowledge is distinguished from 
life. It generates the real life of contemplation figuratively 
(schematically) in thinking. It retains the character of 
thinking, the schematic paleness and emptiness ; and life re 
tains its own, the concrete fullness of contemplation. Nev 
ertheless both are altogether one, since only the unity of 
thinking and contemplation is the true knowledge which in 
reality is indeed unapproachable and separates into those two 
links, each of which excludes the other ; it is the highest 
central-point of the intelligence. 

The Science of Knowledge is absolutely factical from the 
standpoint of contemplation : the highest fact, that of know 
ledge (because it might also not be), is its basis ; and the Sci 
ence of Knowledge is deduction from the standpoint of think 
ing, which explains the highest fact from absolute Being and 
Freedom ; but it is both in necessary-union, connecting with 
the actuality, and going beyond it in Thinking to its abso 
lute ground. But what it thinks is in contemplation, though 
only immediate ; in Thinking this is linked together as neces 
sary. And it thinks that which is, for Being is necessary ; 
and that which it thinks is, because it thinks it ; for its think 
ing itself becomes the Being of knowledge. (The Science of 
Knowledge is no going beyond and explaining of knowledge 
from outside, hypothetical premises for whence should these 
premises be taken for the universal ?) 

The Science of Knowledge is theoretical and practical at 
the same time. Theoretical: in itself an empty, merely sche 
matic knowledge, without all body, substance, charm, &c. 
(And let it be well understood, all this it should despise.) 



New Exposition of the Science of Knowledge. 155 

Practical : knowledge is to become free in actuality ; this is 
part of its intellectual determination. Hence the Science of 
Knowledge is a duty to all those intelligences who in the suc 
cession of conditions have arrived at its possibility. But to 
this succession of conditions we arrive only through inner 
honesty, truthfulness, and uprightness. 

Hence the honest endeavor to distribute this science is itself 
the carrying out of an eternal and imperishable design ; for 
reason and its once acquired clear insight into itself is eter 
nal. But it must be distributed in that spirit which an eternal 
purpose demands, with absolute denial of all finite and per 
ishable ends. Not with the view that to-day or to-morrow this 
one or that one may comprehend it, for in that case only an 
egotistical object would be derived ; but let it be unreflect 
ingly thrown into the stream of time, merely in order that it be 
there. Let him who can, grasp and understand it ; let who 
ever does not comprehend it, mistake and abuse it ; all this, 
as nothing, must be indifferent to him who has grasped and 
been grasped by it. 



KANT S SYSTEM 



TRANSCENDENTALISM 



10 



KANT S SYSTEM OF TRANSCENDENTALISM. 



I. 

In our days the word Philosophy has ceased to have the 
meaning attached to it in the last century, as the name of an 
in-itself absolutely closed Science of Pure Reason, or Science 
of Knowledge. It is now again held to signify merely a more 
or less connected argumentation on any kind of matters and 
things, and embraces almost any class of writings wherein but 
the shadow of argument presents itself. Philosophy is no 
longer conceived to be a science of a priori universal princi 
ples ; but the crudest individual reflections of men like Herbert 
Spencer and Stuart Mill are classified under its name. Any 
author who collects the notions that may chance to run 
through his brain, or even those that have run through the 
brains of others, is now-a-days called a Philosopher. The 
sacred importance connected with that word in the times of 
Descartes, Spinoza, Leibnitz, Kant, and Fichte, has been lost 
to the present generation, which cannot conceive anything 
higher than infinite "fine reflections" and "beautiful thoughts," 
and stands aghast at the possibility of a science which pro 
poses to cut off all those infinite reflections and thoughts in 
their very root, by establishing a universally valid system of 
all reason. 

By the student of Kant, however, it must be borne in mind, 
that in his days the word Philosophy did stand for such a 
closed science, and not for infinite reflections. The neglect to 
remember this has been one of the reasons why Kant has been 
so woefully misunderstood. He does not intend to be a mere 
arguer and setter forth of opinions at least, not in his works 
of pure philosophy but the teacher of a specific science ; in 
deed, of the Science of all Sciences. There are two other rea 
sons why Kant has been so lamentably misrepresented, more 
particularly in English literature ; the first one being, that the 
English translations of his Critic of Pure Reason suffer from 
serious defects; and the second one, that only this Critic 



154 KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 

has been translated, whereas the other two Critics constitute 
equally important parts of Kant s system. Concerning the 
latter subject, however, Kant himself may deserve some cen 
sure in that he named his first Critic " The Critic of Pure 
Reason," thereby suggesting it to constitute the whole of his 
system, whereas he should have published his whole system 
under the general title: Critic of Pure Reason ; with the three 
subdivisions Critic of Theoretical Reason, Critic of Practical 
Reason, and Critic of the Power of Judgment. That he did 
not do this happened probably because the full conception of 
his system was not in Kant s mind when he set out upon his 
work; or because the word Reason was not taken by him at 
first as involving all the faculties of the Ego. For the Ego is 
not merely a power of theoretical cognition, which power 
alone is treated of in the Critic of Pure Reason ; it is also a 
power of practical acting or willing, and finally a power of 
relating its cognitions to its willing, or a power of judgment. 
But if the full conception of his work was not thus clear in 
Kant s mind at the outset, it certainly became so at the end, 
when he wrote his Preface to the Critic of the Power of Judg 
ment, wherein he not only develops thisj^iplicityjiijhe Ego, 
but moreover assigns its ground ; which ground is-, that every 
synthetic science must necessarily treat, 1st, of the Condition ; 
2d, of the Conditioned ; and 3d, of the Conception which re 
sults from the union of the Conditioned with its Condition. 

It is, however, to be remembered, that the latter part as con 
necting with the first two parts, need not be separately treated 
in an artistic representation of the whole Science of Reason, 
but may and perhaps with better effect be treated along 
with those first two parts. Kant, indeed, suggests this course 
to the future completor of his system, and Fichte, in dividing 
his Science of Knowledge, followed Kant s advice. In the Sci 
ence of Knowledge there are only two parts : the theoretical | 
(Critic of Pure Reason), and the practical (Critic of Practical \ 
Reason) ; the Critic of the Power of Judgment being divided, J 
in its fundamental principles, between the two parts. 

The great discovery which led Kant to undertake the im 
mense labor of gathering all the material for a complete sys 
tem of reason, and which initiates one of the most momen 
tous epochs in the development of our race, was this : that a 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 155 

Science of Philosophy could not be possible as a Science of 
so-called Metaphysics, but only as a Science of Reason or 
Knowledge ; and that hence the Science of Metaphysics, in so 
far as it pretended to furnish theoretical cognitions of super- 
sensuous objects, dwelt in an utter illusion ; the only super- 
sensuous cognitions possible be.ing cognitions of cognition 
itself. Hence his two problems were : 

1. To prove an absolute Science of Reason possible. 

2. To prove a Science of Metaphysics impossible. 

It was owing to this twofold, and, at first glance, apparently 
contradictory object of his labors, that Kant was so generally 
charged with doublesidedness and contradiction. His critics 
could not understand how the same man could be so zealous 
in pleading the a priori absoluteness of the categories, and so 
earnest in overthrowing all theoretical proofs of God, Free 
dom, and Immortality. The theological arguers grew wrathful 
becase he destroyed their proofs of those three principles ; 
while materialistic arguers were equally indignant because he 
demonstrated, that knowledge would not be at all possible 
unless we had absolute a priori knowledge. 

Probably every reader of the Critic of Pure Reason has, at 
the first reading, been struck by a difference even of tone 
between the first two books and the third book of that work. 
The cause of that difference arises precisely from the reason 
stated. In the first two books, wherein the two questions- 
How is a science of pure mathematics possible ? and, How is 
a science of pure physics possible? are investigated, the 
answer runs : they are absolutely possible ; for if we had not 
a priori contemplations of time and space wherein to place 
our sensations, and a priori conceptions of the forms of rela 
tions whereby to relate and connect those sensations, expe 
rience would be impossible. In forcibly insisting upon the 
absolute character of those contemplations, as well as of the 
forms of relation or categories, Kant appears as an unwaver 
ing idealist, who bases all knowledge upon the Ego, and shows 
that, unless it were so based, knowledge itself would be im 
possible. The very character of the proof required, namely, a 
positive character, gives to Kant s language, throughout these 
two books, an energy and vehemence of conviction which is 
strikingly in contrast with the style of the third book. 



156 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

In that third Ibook Kant answers the third of the three ques 
tions whereinto the fundamental question of a Science of Rea 
son How are synthetical cognitions a priori possible ? had 
"been shown to separate. That third question was : How is a 
Science of Metaphysics possible ? Now, as a Science of Meta 
physics meant, in Kant s time, a science of supersensuous 
objects that is, of God, Freedom, and Immortality and not 
a Science of Knowledge, Kant s proof in this book had to be 
negative, and moreover partly qualified, which naturally gave 
a less decided character to the style. That answer, it will be 
remembered, runs : precisely because we could have no expe 
rience (empirical knowledge) unless we had a priori absolute 
contemplations of time and space, and a priori absolute forms 
of relation whereby to connect the objects in those contem 
plations, can we have no experience of any objects not deter 
mined by those contemplations and categories. Hence theo 
retical cognition of God, Freedom, and Immortality, is a 
contradiction and impossible. In uncompromisingly insisting 
on this impossibility though suggesting another mode of 
cognition for those objects Kant appeared to many a rooted 
realist, if not materialist, who denied the possibility of any 
cognition not grounded in sensation. Now, it must be con 
fessed, that in so far as Kant, in his Critic of Pure Reason, 
had never touched upon the origin of the sensations in the 
Ego, the Ego throughout that Critic appeared to that extent 
dependent upon a foreign Other, which gave it the sensations ; 
which foreign Other the last named class of Kant s opponents 
concluded to be Matter ; but as Kant had been careful not to 
touch that question at all, as not belonging to the Critic of 
Theoretical Reason, there was no warrant for such an infer 
ence. 

The ground for the mistake has already been mentioned. 
The J>itic of Pm^ -"Reason . iTiYPstigfl-tftS mar^ly jjhft_jp^ywf>r of 
theoretical reason, or of cognition through the intellect. Hence 
the question where the intellect gets the sensations which it 
casts outside of itself, and objectivates in time and space, is 
not considered in it. These sensations are assumed as given ; 
and an investigation of theoretical reason shows merely that 
reason furnishes out of itself the forms under which it knows 
of these sensations. In short, the theoretical faculty appears 



KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 157 

to be legislative and absolute only in so far as it prescribes to 
itself the rules under which alone it can take knowledge of the j 
manifold in time and space ; that is, it is only formally abso 
lute ; but in so far as that manifold is not shown to be pro 
duced by the intelligence, the theoretical faculty appears 
dependent upon a Given, a foreign Other, a Non-Ego. In the 
merely theoretical part of a Science of Reason the Ego posits 
itself as only formally self-determined, and as actually lim 
ited by a Non-Ego. 

It is one of the most difficult problems in philosophy to 
make the full significance of this result clear to the student, or 
to show that the merely theoretical intellect cannot do other 
wise than posit itself as limited. It seems so contradictory 
that the intellect should posit itself (by an absolute free act) 
and yet posit itself as dependent. The solution is, that we call 
the theoretical faculty of the Ego that faculty which cognizes 
under the forms of time and space and the categories. Hence 
it comprehends only by means of the causality-relation ; and 
on that very account it can never rise to the conception of any 
first cause or origin, becoming self-contradictory and absurd 
when trying to do so.* 

Hence, even when thinking itself, the theoretical faculty can 
not think itself otherwise than as already determined ; and 
applying the causality relation to this determinedness, it ne 
cessarily posits an Other, a Non-Ego, as the ground thereof. 
At the same time the Ego can know of this its necessary pro 
cedure, can know that it does so and why it must do so, and 
through this knowledge, therefore, can rid itself of that depen 
dency. This, however, is only an ideal riddance, and furnishes 
only the conception of negative Freedom; while practically 
the Ego remains dependent. Every system, indeed, which 
views the Ego as merely a theoretical faculty, as merely a 
thinking power, must necessarily teach the dependency of the 

* It is astonishing th.it sensible men should still continue to search for the origin 
of the world, the origin of man, and the origin of language, as if those problems 
were not by their very nature removed from search; and it is still more astonish 
ing that this search should be kept up chiefly by men who scoff at transcendental 
philosophy. Transcendental philosophy has never been guilty of such a transcend 
ing of the limits of reason; nor, indeed, of such unwarranted metaphysical specu 
lations as crowd the writings of men like Comte, Mill, Herbert Spencer, Huxley, 
Yogt, Moleschott, and Bueclmer. 



158 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

Ego. Spinoza s system* is the most illustrious example, and 
is, indeed, the offspring of that view. Kant s Critic of Pure 
Keason, although it also shows that the Ego must think itself 
as dependent upon a Non-Ego, partly removes that dependen 
cy, as we have seen, by showing it to be simply the result of 
the Ego s own laws of thinking. Partly, but not wholly ; nor 
could the difficulty ever be wholly removed were the Ego a 
mere power of thinking. 

But the Ego is not only a power of theoretical cognition ; it 
is moreover a power of practical acting, and in so far an actual 
determining of the Non-Ego, provided this acting may be 
viewed as simply the self-determination of the Ego. Upon 
this question hinges, indeed, the whole sanctity and absolute 
ness of reason, and the possibility of a Science of Practical 
Reason. Should this question be answered in the affirmative, 
the Ego would no longer determine the Non-Ego merely ide 
ally, but likewise really although it might appear that the 
latter determining could never be completed in any time. 

As the Critic of Pure Reason had for its chief problem the 
question : How are synthetical cognitions a priori possible ? so 
the Critic of Practical Reason must propose to itself the ques 
tion : How are synthetical principles a priori possible ? Or, 
since practical principles involve in Kant s terminology two 
classes of rules, whereof he calls the one that announces a de 
termination of the will, which is valid only for the will of the 
subject, Maxims, and the other, which are recognized as valid 
for the will of all rational beings, Laws How are synthetical 
practical laws a priori possible ? 

Now it is clear that no practical law of rational activity can 



* Spinoza s system is merely the Theoretical Part of the Science of Knowledge ; 
and it is because his system lacks the Practical Part that it is one-sided. In his 
system the Ego, therefore, posi s itself as dependent upon an unknown Non-Ego, 
which Spinoza sometimes calls God, and at other times Nature or Substance. His 
system is the most logical development of that view, as Ficlite already observed; 
and every system which holds the Ego to be merely a power of thinking must lapse 
into Spinozism. There is in his system neither positive freedom, nor free design ; 
his Ethics is, indeed, the saddest book ever written; blind fatality rules every 
where. Jacobi, in his famous writings on Spinoza, took particular pains to show 
that all speculative reasoning must lead to Spinoza s results; and, in so far as he 
understood reason to signify merely the power of thinking, he was correct enough ; 
but Kant first, and Fichte after him, showed that the practical power of the Ego is 
even superior to the ground of its theoretical function. 



KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 159 

be objectively valid, i. e. valid for all rational beings, and can 
therefore be known to be the result of absolute self-determina 
tion, unless it is in the form of an Imperative (of a SJiall) ; that 
is, unless it is not the product of self-conscious reason as a 
general rule of action ; for such a rule applies merely to the 
subject which produces it in so far as it suits its own subjec 
tive inclinations : whereas Imperatives are characterized by an 
objective compulsion, and signify that the reason which utters 
them would without fail act them out if reason alone deter 
mined the will. But to be objectively valid, practical laws 
must be not only in the form of an Imperative ; this Impera 
tive must, moreover, be unconditioned or categorical. For if 
the Imperative addressed itself to the will not simply as 
will, but conditionally, or subject to the possibility whether 
the will can execute the Imperative or not : they would not 
be necessarily valid, bolt made dependent upon pathological 
facts. 

All those practical principles, therefore, which presuppose 
an object of desire as determining the will, can never rise to the 
dignity of objectively valid laws, being firstly empirical, and 
secondly valid only for the subject; and since ALL material 
practical principles do presuppose an object of desire as 
determining the will, or since they all rest upon self-love or 
pursuit of happiness, it is evident that practical laws or cate 
gorical Imperatives, if at all possible, must be purely formal 
laws ; that is, that they can involve only in form the ground 
of determination of the will. 

At this result Kant in his Critic of Practical Reason, pauses 
a while to demonstrate at length that all material practical 
rules of action presuppose an object of desire so determining 
the will, and hence are all based on selfishness ; and to indulge 
in a polemic against those who think that they can arrive at 
moral laws by discriminating in the character of the desire 
which determines the will in such cases. Kant shows, that 
whether this desire arises from an enjoyment which we expect 
to derive through the senses, or from one which we expect to 
obtain through the understanding, does not at all change (lie 
fact, that in all such cases we are merely impelled by a desire 
for pleasure. We may justly enough call some pleasures 
coarser and some finer; "but on that account to say that the 



160 KanVs System of Transcendentalism.* 

latter constitute a mode of determining the will otherwise than 
through the senses, when they presuppose for their possibility 
a capacity for such pleasures in us, is just as absurd as when 
ignoramuses, who like to dabble in metaphysics, think of mat 
ter so fine, so superfine, that they get dizzy in their poor heads, 
and then believe that so doing they have thought a spiritual, 
and yet also extended Being." 

The problem, therefore, is to discover a will which may be 
determinate by the mere form of a law. Now such a form 
of a law is clearly a pure thought of reason, and in no manner 
whatever an object of the senses or an appearance. Hence it 
is also not thought to be subject to any of the categories that 
apply to the world of appearances, and can in no manner 
be thought as determining the will in the same way as the 
law of causality is thought as determining objects in the world 
of nature. For under the law of causality the determining 
ground is always itself again thought as determined by a pre 
vious determining ground, and so on ad inftnitum. It is evi 
dent, therefore, that the will, which is to be discovered, must 
be thought if it is to be thought as determined solely by this 
form of a law as altogether independent of the world of 
causality which rules in nature. Such independence is called 
freedom, and a will which is determinable only by the form 
of a law will therefore show itself to be, if we succeed in find 
ing it, a free will. Can we, then, find a free will determined 
solely by the form of a law ? 

Now the important point here is to confess that the answer 
to this question cannot be demonstrated theoretically, just as 
little as you can demonstrate to anyone that he is an intelli 
gent being : each one must look into himself and find whether 
or not he discovers such a will there. Meanwhile Kant asserts 
that it is in every rational being, and that its determination 
through the form of a law is known in language as the Moral 
Law. But this can be shown: that if there does occur in 
rational consciousness such a fact as Moral Law, then that 
Moral Law is identical with freedom, i. e. with positive free 
dom, and in fact is nothing but the Absoluteness and Self- 
determination of Reason in general or of the Ego. For we can 
not obtain knowledge of positive freedom as distinguished 
from that negative freedom which is merely an independence 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 161 

of determinations of nature, and which certainly arises in 
immediate consciousness in any immediate manner, such 
immediate consciousness being able to express only negative 
freedom ; nor through external cognitions, since these are all 
subsumable under the conception of causality and mechanism ; 
and hence we should have no way of arriving at the concep 
tion of a positive freedom did there not occur within our con 
sciousness the phenomenon of a command Thou shalt? 
utterly opposed to and overthrowing the determinations of 
our nature. It is, therefore, only through the occurring of this 
phenomenon that human reason has ever been impelled to 
consider the conception of positive freedom ; and he who has 
but once experienced that the command, Thou shalt, or Thou 
shalt not, does utterly override all the impulses of his nature, 
has thereby become conscious of absolute freedom, and proved 
to himself that there does occur in the Ego a power of deter 
mining the Non-Ego, and hence has proved to himself the 
absoluteness and self-sufficiency of the Ego. Moral Law, 
therefore, or conscience, or the inner voice of God whatever 
it may be called is nothing but the manifestating and realiz 
ing itself of the absolute self-determination of the Ego ; and 
that absolute self-determination or self-sufficiency is nothing 
but the Moral Law or positive freedom. 

The first section of the Analytic of Practical Reason having 
thus shown that pure reason is practical, or can absolutely 
determine the will which proof it has furnished by the fact 
of the occurrence of the Moral Law in us, which is inseparable 
from, nay, identical with the consciousness of freedom that 
section seems utterly to overthrow the result of the Critic of 
Pure Reason, that we can have knowledge only of a world of 
internal perception, and that we are, in all our knowledge of 
it, determined by it. Hence this fact, which everyone can 
verify for himself, furnishes us the strange manifestation of a 
world determined by reason alone, existing together with a 
world determining reason : a moral world and a world of na 
ture ; a world of freedom and a world of mechanism ; a natura 
arclictypa and a natura ectypa ! 

Now this is certainly calculated to shock one at the first 
glance ; for what are we to place trust in ? The fact which 
asserts a Moral Law, but confesses the impossibility theoreti- 



162 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

cally to explain it, or the theoretical faculty which we accept 
as our guide in all other matters, but which declares itself im 
potent to explain a fact which forces itself upon us every 
moment of the day. 

This duplicity in human reason is developed quite at length 
by Kant in two appendices to the first section of the Analytic, 
headed " Concerning the Deduction of the Principles of Prac 
tical Reason" and "Concerning the right of Pure Reason 
in its practical function to an extension which is not permitted 
in its speculative function." 

The grounds of this duplicity we have already shown as in 
its very root the impossibility of the Ego in its theoretical 
function to do otherwise than apply the laws of that function 
(and hence the causality-relation) ; from which impossibility 
it results that the Ego cannot in reflection posit even itself 
free. The Ego can only be free ; but the moment it reflects 
upon its freedom, its freedom is again thought under the laws 
of reflection that is, under the causality-relation and hence 
as not freedom. 

By this insight the great difficulty in the way of demonstrat 
ing real freedom is removed. For when it has been shown, 
that the fact of an absolute impulse in reason to determine 
itself cannot be theoretically proved from the very nature of 
the case, no one can require anything more than to experience 
the fact in himself, and cannot ask for a theoretical proof 
without stultifying himself. The impulse would not be an 
absolute impulse, and hence the freedom would not be true 
freedom if it could be demonstrated. 

Thus the very impossibility of a theoretical proof turns out 
to be, after all, merely the result of the supremacy of the prac 
tical power. The Ego in its fundamental essence is not a 
thinking, but an acting power ; not theoretical, but moral ; not 
limited, but absolute ; and all its limitedness is simply the 
result of the theoretical faculty of the Ego, which requires that 
this acting shall become visible to itself. All limitedness is 
the result of reflection, of a making-clear-unto- itself. Original 
ly the whole activity of the Ego extends into the Infinite ; but 
because this activity is not to be a mere appearing of the Ego, 
but is to be such an appearing of the Ego for the Ego itself, 
it is reflected back, checked, and is a Non-Ego posited as the 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 163 

ground of that check. To ask that this duplicity of reason 
should be removed, is to ask that reason should cease to be 
reason ; for it cannot be reason unless it is an acting, and it 
cannot be an acting for itself unless its acting is checked and 
the check ascribed to something not itself. 

By showing, therefore, in consciousness the fact of a Moral 
Law, we obtain the practical certainty of freedom ; as by de 
monstrating that the Ego posits the causality-relation between 
itself and the Non-Ego, and thus mak^s itself dependent upon 
the latter merely by virtue of its own laws of thinking, we rise 
to the comprehension of its ideal freedom. 

The result of the investigation undertaken in the first 
section of the Critic of Practical Reason may, therefore, be 
popularly summed up as follows : There appears in all finite 
reason an impulse to act in a certain manner altogether inde 
pendent of any external purpose or motive, and merely for the 
sake of such acting, and this impulse is called the Moral Law. 
It is a determinedness of freedom : freedom determined by its 
own absoluteness, and may be put in a formula as follows : 

Act in such a manner that the maxim of your will can ~be 
valid always as the principle of a universal legislation. 

For this formula expresses the form of a law, and the only 
possible form of a law which can be thought as determining 
the will of all rational beings absolutely, and which has there 
fore the same validity for practical reason as the categories 
have for theoretical reason ; since to act so that the maxim of 
my will can be always valid as principle of a universal legis 
lation, means simply to act in obedience to an absolute form 
of a law, or an absolute impulse. 

In the second section of the Analytic of Practical Reason, 
"Concerning the Conception of an Object of Practical Reason," 
Kant renews the proof of the absolute fact of the Moral Law 
in all rational beings by showing that the conceptions of the 
only two possible objects of practical reason namely, the 
Good and the Bad* far from determining in our mind the 
Moral Law, rather are determined by it, and could not possi 
bly arise in our mind except through the conception of that 

* The German words das Gute and das Boese express much more unambigu 
ously the purely moral character of the two conceptions for which they stand. 



164 Rani s System of Transcendentalism. 

Law. For if the conception of Good, for instance, were not 
determined by the absolutely a priori Moral Law, it could 
arise only through comparison with a feeling (of pleasure or 
pain) in us, and hence the conception of Good could not "be in 
the nature of a universally valid law, but merely of a practi 
cal rule to promote our happiness ; a rule which would differ 
in every individual and change according to external circum 
stances, so that it could never be foreknown. 

The fact, therefore, that there are such conceptions as those 
of Good and Bad as distinctively moral conceptions, which 
have no reference to empirical feelings of pleasure and pain, 
gives additional proof to the a priori character of the Moral 
Law ; and these conceptions having been established as the 
only possible objects of practical reason, there remains merely 
the question : how the Moral Law as a law of freedom can 
possibly become applicable in a world which stands under the 
law of causality and mechanism. It will be noticed that the 
difficulty is of the same nature as one that occurrs in the 
Critic of Pure Reason, where we have pure a priori concep 
tions, and cannot at first see how they, as altogether super- 
sensuous can possibly become relatable to a manifold of em 
pirical objects ; a difficulty which is removed by showing that 
all sensations of empirical objects are after all given to reason 
(as schemes) in the two likewise a priori forms of contempla 
tion : time and space. 

But, in the present case, the objects of practical reason, the 
Good and the Bad, cannot be made relatable to the supersens- 
uous will by means of contemplation, since they do not enter 
the form of contemplation. Nevertheless precisely because, 
in the present case, it is a relation to a will and not to a 
power of cognition the application can be made possible. 
Not, however, by means of a scheme of sensuousness, but by 
a law. In short : the supersensuous will can apply the Moral 
Law in a world of mechanism by subsuming the conception of 
that law under that of the law of causality, which rules in the 
sensuous world, and thus by changing the formula of the 
Moral Law into the following : 

Act in such a manner tliat if that act should occur through 
a laid of nature you could look upon it as possible through 
your will. 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 165 

This formula Kant calls the Typus of the Moral Law the 
universality and absoluteness of the law of causality in the 
natural world typifying the universality and absoluteness of 
the Moral Law in the supersensuous world ; and this Typus 
is quite proper so long as we transfer merely the form of law 
fulness, and not its sensuous contemplations, from the world 
of nature to the Moral World. 

Having thus established in the first section of the Analytic 
the general principle of the Moral Law, in the second section 
the objects of that principle, and in the third the possibility of 
applying that principle to those objects in a sensuous world, 
Kant in the concluding section treats of the relation of prac 
tical reason to sensuousness, and of its necessary, a priori 
cognizable influence upon it. The beauty of Kant s style 
which has so unjustly been condemned as rough, intricate, 
heavy and unartistic, whereas it is generally of wonderful 
clearness and finish finds here occasion to develop his most 
heartfelt convictions, highest emotions, and noblest aspira 
tions ; giving proof, if any were needed, that the Critic of Prac 
tical Reason was written by him not as a concession to popu 
lar prejudice, but rather with more enthusiasm and interest 
than the Critic of Pure Reason. Characterizing the nature of 
that influence as reverence, Kant thus speaks of it: "Rev 
erence always relates to persons, never to things. The latter 
may inspire affection; and in the case of animals, as horses, 
dogs, &c., even love\ or fear, as in the sea, volcanoes, &c. ; but 

never reverence A man also may be the object of love, of 

fear, or of admiration, even to a high degree, and yet he may 

not be to me an object of reverence Fontenelle says : ; I 

bow down before a noble, but my spirit does not bow down ; 
and I add : but my spirit does bow down before a common 
citizen in whom I perceive honesty of character to a greater 
degree than I am conscious of possessing myself; and my 
spirit does so bow down whether I will or not, and however 
high I carry my head in order to show him my superior rank." 

"Far from being a feeling of enjoyment, reverence is rather 
a feeling to which we submit very unwillingly in respect to 
another person. We always try to discover something which 
might diminish this feeling in us, some kind of fault to hold 
us harmless against the humiliation which such an example 



166 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

inflicts upon us. Even the dead, particularly if their example 
appears to be beyond our reach, are not always secure against 
this criticism. Nay, the very Moral Law itself, in its solemn 
majesty, is exposed to this tendency in man to escape the 
reverence it compels. Or, why that constant desire to drag it 
down to the level of an ordinary inclination, and that persist 
ent endeavor to make it a favorite prescription for our own 
advantage and enjoyment, unless it is to escape that terrifying 
reverence which holds up to us so severely our own unworthi- 
ness? Yet again there is so little of disagreeableness in 
the feeling, that, if we have once thrown aside our self-merit 
and have admitted that reverence to practical influence upon 
us, we can never get satiated with the glory of this law ; and 
our soul seems to elevate itself in the same degree as it sees 
this holy law elevated above itself and its sinful nature." 

That this feeling of reverence is a priori cognizable Kant 
establishes by showing that the Moral Law is a restriction 
upon all our inclinations, our self-esteem included, by the con 
dition of obedience to that law ; and that hence it would be 
merely of a negative nature and humiliating for our sensu 
ous character were it not at the same time elevating for our 
moral nature. As such a positive influence, Kant calls rev 
erence the incentive of pure practical reason, which incen 
tive awakens gradually a moral interest, and finally leads to 
the establishing of moral maxims. 

The act which that Moral Law prompts Kant calls Duty. 
Being prompted purely by that law, exclusive of all motives 
of inclination, this Duty involves in its conception practical 
compulsion ; that is, a determination to act, however dis 
agreeable it may be to us. The feeling which arises from 
this consciousness of compulsion is not pathological, but alto 
gether practical, and hence as submission under a compulsory 
law, far from being accompanied by pleasure, is rather accom 
panied by aversion ; but at the same time, precisely because 
it is a compulsion of our own reason, independent of all ex 
ternal motives and incentives, does it also elevate us in our 
feeling, in which shape we call that feeling self-approval or 
self-reverence ; and it is of the greatest importance to remem 
ber that in finite rational beings the Moral Law always must 
assume this shape of compulsion, and that the Holiness of 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 167 

Will, which implies a perfect harmony between the Moral "Law 
and the Will, and hence no compulsion, can never be reached 
by us. Kant loses no occasion to insist that this conception 
of Duty must be held in its strict purity as an absolute com 
pulsion, and that it is both absurd and harmful, as leading to 
ScJiwaermerei* to teach that morality ought to be practised 
for the love of it. It is absurd to require love for a command, 
and it is harmful to mix up a pathological affection with the 
highest manifestation of reason, with that which has its ground 
in absolute freedom and independence from the mechanism of 
nature: duty for the mere sake of duty! "The venerable 
character of duty has nothing to do with the enjoyment of life ; 
it has its own peculiar law and its own peculiar tribunal. Nay, 
even if we should try ever so much to mix both together like 
medicines, in order to give the draught thus mixed to the sick 
soul, they yet will immediately separate of themselves ; and if 
they do not separate, then the former will not operate at all. 
But even if physical life should gain some strength by this 
mixture, moral life would die out beyond redemption." 

The second book of the Critic of Practical Reason treats of 
the Dialectic of Practical Reason, the first book, or the Ana 
lytic, having developed the principle of Practical Reason as 
well as the application of that principle in the empirical world. 
That application, or the object of that principle, was there 
shown to be the promotion of the Good. The dialectical princi 
ple of theoretical reason, therefore, which persists in connect 
ing the conception of the unconditioned to an object of reason 
raises this conception of the Good to that of the Highest Good. 
The Highest Good, however, is a conception which involves 
two distinct determinations, namely, that of virtue, or Doing 
the Good, and that of happiness, or Enjoying the Good, and 
hence a dialectical conflict of opposites. Now if the conception 
of the Highest Good were an analytical one that is to say, if 
the above two determinations were joined in it by a merely 
logical connection, then the dialectic in that conception could 
be easily solved by showing it to be a mere word-dispute ; 
and the famous opposition of the Epicureans and Stoics, 
whereof the former said, " To be conscious that our principles 
lead to happiness is virtue"; whereas the latter replied, " To 
be conscious of our virtue is happiness," would have been 



168 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

nothing more than such a word-dispute. For as they did not 
consider virtue and happiness to be two utterly distinct de 
terminations of the one conception of the Highest Good, 
their whole difference was one of words : the one calling the 
Highest Good virtue, and the other calling the Highest Good 
happiness.* 

But the conception of the Highest Good is a synthetical con 
ceptionthat is, a conception wherein two, lower, conceptions 
are really (and not merely logically) united ; and hence stand 
not in the relation of identity but in that of causality to each 
other. The Epicureans and Stoics, therefore, instead of assum 
ing that the endeavor to become virtuous and the endeavor to 
become happy were identical, ought to have regarded either 
the endeavor to become virtuous as of necessity (through caus 
ality) conferring happiness, or the endeavor to become happy 
as of necessity conferring virtue. For neither virtue alone 
nor happiness alone constitutes the Highest Good, but both in 
their real union constitute it. 

The antinomy which results from the fact that the concep 
tion of the Highest Good is such a synthetical conception, is 
this one: 

Either the desire for happiness is the motive impelling vir 
tue but this is not possible, because such a motive would not 

be moral, and hence could not impel virtue or virtue must be 
the producing cause of happiness ; but this is also impossible, 
since the practical connection of cause and effect in the sensu 
ous world depends not upon our obedience to the Moral Law, 
but upon our knowledge of nature and upon a physical power to 
use nature. Now, since the Moral Law impels us necessarily to 
promote the Highest Good not for the sake of the happiness 
to result therefrom, but for the sake of the unconditioned total 
ity of the object of the Moral Law, of the Good and since the 
Highest Good has shown itself to be impossible of realization, 
it follows that the Moral Law itself is impossible of realiza 
tion ; and hence that it is a mere creation of the imagination 
and essentially false. 

For this antinomy Kant offers the following solution : It is 

* Strange to say, even at this day most of our disputes are merely such word- 
disputes, and the result of mistaking analytical for synthetical conceptions. 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 169 

altogether true that the desire for happiness cannot impel 
virtue, but it is not equally true that virtue may not be the 
productive cause of happiness. True, it may not necessarily 
produce happiness as its necessary effect, but neither is there 
a reason why it should not. Hence only the first assertion of 
the antinomy is absolutely false, and the latter only condition 
ally false. And as it was discovered in the antinomies of Theo 
retical Reason that although the category of freedom could not 
be shown to be applicable in a world of natural mechanism, 
neither could it be shown to be inapplicable in such a world 
if that world were no longer regarded as a world of appear 
ances but as an intelligible world : so may it now be said that 
though it cannot be shown that virtue produces its propor 
tionate happiness in the world of nature by natural causes, it 
is at least quite possible that it may produce that happiness 
as its effect in so far as that world can also be viewed as an 
intelligible world wherein such a relation of causality between 
virtue and happiness may have been implanted by an intelli 
gible creator. Nay, this is all the more possible as the fact 
of the Moral Law shows that we not only may but must view 
nature in that two-fold manner, as both a world of appear 
ances and an intelligible world. 

It is, therefore, quite admissible because practically possi 
ble to desire the promotion of the Highest Good, the whole 
antinomy having vanished as all antinomies vanish when 
we remember that the world may be viewed as both an ap 
pearance and phenomenon, -that is, as a Non-Ego determining 
the Ego, and as a thing in itself and noumen-on, that is, as ab 
solutely determinable through the Ego and it being thus 
quite possible to think virtue and happiness as necessarily 
associated. It is clear that the higher of these two concep 
tions in the synthetical conception of the Highest Good must 
be virtue, and that hence virtue may produce happiness as its 
infallible effect. May; that is to say, there is no theoretical 
reason to prove why it should not, although, to be sure, there 
is also no theoretical reason to prove why it should. It is only 
practical reason which demands this necessary connection, and 
demands it for the sake of the Moral Law. That Moral Law 
we know to be a fact in us : hence, as sure as that fact is in us, 
is there in the intelligible world (i.e. in the supersensuous 



170 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

world, independent of time-connection, precisely that world 
which, manifests itself in us as the Moral Law) a necessary 
connection between virtue and happiness. 

Having thus shown that the requirement of the Highest 
Good is a necessary and thinkable one, Kant proceeds to con 
nect the dialectic conception of the unconditioned with the 
two determinations of the Highest Good: virtue, or morality, 
and happiness. It will appear that unconditioned morality 
presupposes Immortality, and unconditioned Happiness, as its 
necessary associate, God. For if the unconditioned Highest 
Good is to be attained through a will determinate by the 
Moral Law, that will must also be unconditionally conforma 
ble to the Moral Law. It must be not only a virtuous, but 
a lioly will. But in the Analytic it has been shown that no 
finite rational being can ever attain a perfectly holy will. 
Hence that requirement can be realized only in the thinking 
of an infinite progress towards the realization of that holi 
ness ; and hence such an infinite progress must be assumed as 
the real object of our will. Kant lays particular stress on the 
practical use of the insight into such a progress, as once for 
all doing away with the fantastic and lazy expectation of an 
undeserved beatitude which degrades the majestic conception 
of Holiness ; and in a foot-note insists that it is even a matter 
of infinite progress, and hence of continuous endeavor, to keep 
fixed in that progress after having once entered upon it, or, in 
theological language, that no amount of conversion and sanc- 
tification can secure perfectly against a relapse. 

From this infinite progress Kant argues the immortality of 
the soul, " because it is possible only under tlie presupposition 
of an infinitely continuing existence and personality of tlie 
same rational being; which is called the immortality of the 
soul. Hence the Highest Good, practically, is possible only 
under the presupposition of the immortality of the soul, and 
hence the latter, being inseparably united with the Moral Law, 
is a postulate of Practical Reason ; that is, it is a theoretical 
proposition, which, though not provable as such, is insepara 
bly connected with an a priori unconditionally valid practical 
law." 

It will be noticed that, however short and unsatisfactory 
this statement is, it touches the real source of immortality by 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 171 

connecting it with the will. It is because the will must be 
come holy that tlie same individual must continue to live. 
Those persons who attempt to prove immortality from an 
infinite progress in general culture, or in higher knowledge of 
God, &c., invariably open themselves to the following refuta 
tion : That culture and that higher knowledge can also be 
attained if there is no immortality, for succeeding generations 
will take up our culture and knowledge and develop them 
higher. But no future person can take up my will and un- 
fold and develop it. If my will is to become holier, it is I 
myself, the individual for I as individual am precisely my 
will who must continue to live. 

But the Highest Good is also not attained unless the hap 
piness proportionate to the virtue manifested is invariably 
secured. " Happiness," says Kant, " is the condition of a ra 
tional being in the world, to whom everything happens accord 
ing to his wish and will." Now, the Moral Law commands 
unconditionally and regardless of the effect its obedience will 
produce in nature ; hence finite rational beings, in so far as 
they are dependent upon nature and are not the creators of 
nature, cannot possibly order things so that things will happen 
in the world of nature according to their wish and will because 
they do their duty in the Moral World. Hence there must be 
postulated a supreme cause having a causality in nature 
equal to and harmonizing with the morality manifested, and 
since such a causality implies will, and such a distribution 
according to a plan, intelligence, there must be postulated 
a Being who by his will and intelligence is the cause of 
nature : God. As sure, therefore, as there is a Moral Law in 
us which requires the accomplishment of the Highest Good 
a requirement that is not possible unless a God is presupposed 
just so sure is it morally necessary to believe in a God. It 
is on account of this conception of God, Kant adds, that the 
Christian doctrine may be said to be the only one which 
establishes a full conception of the Highest Good ; and it is 
because the Greeks lacked this conception, that they were 
never able to solve the problem of the Highest Good. The 
Greeks never rose from the ideal of the Cynics natural sim 
plicity and that of the Epicureans prudence to any higher 
than that of the Stoics wisdom, whereas the Christians have the 



172 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

ideal of holiness. Nay, by apprehending correctly that syn 
thetical character of the Highest Good, and joining therefore 
to the conception of the highest morality that of the highest 
happiness, the Christian doctrine has further risen to the ap 
prehension of a Kingdom of God, which sliall come, "wherein 
nature and morals will be made to harmonize in a. harmony 
utterly foreign to each by itself, through a holy originator." 

Freedom, Immortality, and God, are, therefore, the three 
great cognitions which have been secured to reason by its w 
practical function as an activity ; and this result having been 
reached, it may be well to recapitulate the different kinds of 
proof whereby reason has throughout both Critics attained 
its various cognitions. 

Theoretical reason takes hold of a certain system of sensa 
tions given to it or of an Ego determined by a Non-Ego 
and proceeds to unite the manifold of those sensations into a 
unity for the purpose of perception. It appears that reason 
in thus uniting that manifold, or in making perception possi 
ble, can do so only in the forms of time and space, and in a 
certain triplicity of relation: the categories. Hence all the 
proof which theoretical reason furnishes for its cognitions run 
in this wise : If experience or sensuous consciousness is to be 
possible, then this or tliat must be. 

Hence, also, theoretical reason applies only to experience, 
or to the objects of the empirical world which appear in con 
sciousness; in short, to appearances, or phenomena. 

Practical reason, on the other hand, takes hold of no limit- 
edness, of no Ego determined by a Non-Ego; of no object, 
therefore, to which theoretical reason could apply. It, as the 
higher function and basis of the intelligence, rests altogether 
upon itself; and the only cognition, therefore, which it utters 
is the immediate one of its own absoluteness and self-determ 
ination, its positive freedom, or the Moral Law. Upon this 
freedom all knowledge rests; and, to state the matter con 
cisely : all reason is nothing but this absolute freedom ; theo 
retical reason being merely the result of its making msible 
itself unto itself. Hence higher than any fact or cognition of 
theoretical reason stands this absolute fact of the Moral Law 
in us. 

But this Moral Law, not in itself, but in its application to 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 173 

tJie empirical world, may and must again become the object of 
theoretical reason; from which fact arises the sigular phe 
nomenon that theoretical reason nevertheless applies its cate 
gories to the object of the Moral Law : the Highest Good. In 
this application theoretical reason postulates in an analogous ? 
manner as it does in its application to empirical objects : If 
the Moral Law is to be possible, then the immortality of the 
soul and a God must be assumed. 

There is, therefore, no distinction between the manner in 
which reason grounds its cognitions of immortality and a 
God and the manner in which it grounds its cognition of cause 
and effect, for instance. The mode of argument is in each 
the same. But because the former objects are grounded upon 
an absolute immediate fact, and the latter upon a media 
ted knowledge of an external object, we call the cogni 
tions of immortality and a God Faith, and only the latter 
cognitions we call knowledge. It is well to make this remark 
and call attention to this distinction in the character of the 
cognition to avoid word-disputes, and to cut off once for all 
idle and anthropomorphistical speculations concerning the 
Deity. 

The Critic of Practical Reason concludes with these 
memorable words : " Two things fill the soul with ever 
new and increasing admiration and reverence, the oftener 
and longer the mind busies itself with them: the starry 
heavens above me and the Moral Law within me" Both of 
these I need not hunt up, or suppose concealed in darkness 
or in the region of phantasms beyond my vision: I see 
them before me and connect them immediately with the 
consciousness of my existence. The former begins at the 
place which I assume in the external sensuous world, and ex 
tends the connection, wherein I move, into that immensity of 
worlds above worlds and systems of systems, wherein the eye 
loses itself; and, moreover, into unlimited times of their peri 
odic movement, of their beginning and duration. The second 
begins at my invisible self, my personality, and represents me- 
in a world which has true infinity, but is apprehensible only to 
reason, and wherewith (and thereby at the same time with those- 
other worlds) I recognize myself not as there in a merely acci 
dental but in a universal and necessary connection. The first 
beholding of a countless multitude of worlds annihilates, as it 



174 Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 

were, my importance as an animal creature, which must re 
turn the matter from which it was formed to its planet (a 
mere point in the universe), after having been endowed with 
life for a short time, no one knows how. But the second, on 
the other hand, elevates my worth as an intelligence infinite 
ly, through my personality, wherein the Moral Law reveals to 
me a life altogether independent of the world of animals, and 
even of the whole sensuous world, at least so far as may be 
presumed from the proper determination of my existence 
through this law, which is not limited by the conditions and 
limits of this life, but extends into the Infinite." 

Reason, as a practical faculty, posits itself as absolute. 
As a theoretical faculty it posits itself as limited. The syn 
thesis of this thesis and antithesis is, as we have seen : pre 
cisely because reason posits itself as an absolute acting for 
itself does reason posit itself as limited. It could not be an 
intelligence if its absolute activity were not checked. This 
checkedness of its absolute activity it cannot, of course, as 
cribe to itself, since the conception of itself is that of an infinite 
activity, and hence cannot include the contradiction thereof; 
therefore it ascribes the check to a Non-Ego. The immediate 
consciousness of the check is that original system of sensations 
upon which all theoretical cognition is based. These sensa 
tions the Ego throws out as not belonging to it, and thus objec- 
tivates them in space, taking them in again and bringing them 
to consciousness in time. It relates them to each other under 
the thought forms of quantity, quality and relation, and thus 
rises to a cognition of what it beholds as an external world. 
This cognition appears and must appear to it as altogether 
fixed and determined ; hence as without freedom or the possi 
bility of freedom. Nevertheless the Ego must become con 
scious of itself as absolute and positively not merely nega 
tively free, if it is to become conscious of itself as Ego. 
Hence there must be for the Ego another mode of viewing 
itself than as a merely theoretical function. This other mode 
is the manifestation of a practical power, of an absolutely 
self-determined activity. But the question arises : How can 
the Ego entertain these two diametrically opposed views ? 
How can it view the universe as a connected piece of mechan 
ism, and yet also view itself as an absolute free activity inter 
fering in it ? 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 175 

The answer to this question gives rise to the Critic of the 
Power of Judgment. 

It is evident that the Ego could not posit itself as Ego if 
this two-fold view of the universe were not possible ; and that 
hence there can be no rational being that does not in point 
of fact view the universe in this two-fold way. 

Each rational being, however much he may deny it, does 
view the universe as not only a system of externalized sensa 
tions whereof each one is dependent upon the other mechani 
cally and hence is necessarily what it is, but also as a system 
of sensations whereof each one might be otherwise than it is, 
or as a system of purposes or designs. In truth, the purely 
mechanical view of the universe is upheld only theoretically 
by philosophers (one-sided idealists) like Descartes, Sweden- 
borg, Spinoza, &c., whilst the pretended pure naturalists 
invariably apply the conception of design ; as, for instance, 
when arguing that because certain plants are produced some 
where, nature must have prepared such and such a soil, cli 
mate, &c., for them. 

It is therefore very true that we may, and indeed should, 
from a certain point of view, regard* the universe simply 

* " Not only does the quantity of force remain the same, however, but likewise 
the direction of that force, a point which Descartes had overlooked, and hence 
arises the third great principle of the 

41 Pre-established Harmony. For if, in nature, not only the sum offeree and its 
manifestation, but likewise the sum of its directions, must be viewed as always 
remaining the same, only the sum of motion increasing and decreasing in me 
chanical order, it follows that every movement in Nature, in so far as it has a 
direction, may be viewed as purely the result of a mechanical force; and since it 
will be possible to trace it thus to a mechanical source, it will be impossible to 
prove it to be originated by the self-conscious soul. If every movement of and 
through our body can thus be explained as the result of the universal mechanical 
law of motion, clearly u our body operates as if there were no soul in it and our 
soul as if there existed no body." Hence the possibility of a pure mathematical 
science of nature, without reference to a God or soul as a power in nature, and of 
an explanation of all possible phenomena upon mechanical principles. 

"But this would exclude all relations between the monads as such, that is, as con 
centration-points of the pure Ego. No Ego could ever become conscious of itself, 
if the movements of nature could be explained altogether by the law of mechanics. 
The Ego could not be for itself an Ego, and, since it is Ego only in so far as it is for 
itself, could not be at all. The question arises: How can the characteristic of in 
tention or the conception of an end find expression in movements which can be 
comprehended at the same time as purely mechanical? And the answer is: Abso 
lutely because they can. There is a harmony between the world of rational ends 
and the mechanical changes in nature which makes this possible ; and this har 
mony is absolute, has no external ground. When a rational being sees a piece of 



176 KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 

under the forms of theoretical cognition, that is to say, mathe 
matically under the forms of time, space, quantity, quality, 
and relation ; but it is equally true that this view is only a 
part-view, and leaves unnoticed a power in us which is quite 
as much a fact as the power of cognition, namely, the power 
of absolute acting. That power of absolute acting or the Moral 
Law in us once admitted and every rational being does admit 
it at least secretly to himself and we can no longer be satis 
fied to view the world under the forms of theoretical cognition 
alone, since these forms exclude real freedom, and hence do 
not permit the thinking of freedom together with that of the 
objective world. It is, therefore, through the union of the 
forms of theoretical cognition with the manifestations of free 
dom, and indeed as the only possible scheme whereby to 
make those manifestations intelligible to our reason, that there 
arises in us the conception of a World of Purposes, wherein 
each part is viewed as determined by the other no longer un 
der the causality relation, but under the relation of design ; 
and since this design may be viewed in a two-fold manner, as 
applicable either to the subject or to the object, there arise 
the two worlds of ^Esthetics and of Designs an art-world and 
a teleological world ; both of them being nothing more than 
the different modes of viewing the Moral World in the World 
of Natural Mechanism. On the other hand, the fact that we 
do view the world both aesthetically and teleologically proves 
our freedom. 

Reason views itself as absolute in the first manner that is, 
by judging upon the conformability of external objects to its 
own subjective requirements in all sesthetical judgments; 

material nature which has been moulded for the expression of rational end, that 
expression makes itself absolutely known to the beholder.* To ask how would be 
absurd; since, if you could assign a ground, you would be merely pushing a new 
link between reason and matter, without at all making the relation between reason 
and the new link clearer. Thus you might continue to ask for a further ground, and 
insert new links, without at all approaching nearer to the solution. On account 
of the absoluteness of this relation between mind and matter, Leibnitz usually 
terms it a harmony; and it is this harmony which shows how we must view^the 
existence of a world of the pure Ego within a world of pure mechanism. The 
world of mechanism "corresponds," as Swedenborg would express it, to the world 
of intelligence; or, in Fichte s terminology, the world of nature can be compre 
hended in its relation to the Ego only as a moral world." [Extract from article on 
Leibnitz in the North American Review for January, 18G9. 
* Compare Fichte s Science of Rights. 



Kant s System of Transcendentalism. 177 

since these are all absolute in character, appealing to neither 
mental nor emotional interest. It is only the agreeable and 
the good which excite our interest, the first an interest of a 
pathological and the second an interest of a practical charac 
ter. But the simply beautiful arouses interest neither in our 
heart nor head ; it neither delights us nor calls for our approv 
al: it simply pleases us, and it pleases for no other reason 
than because it is beautiful; and, moreover, although our 
judgment has no ground for claiming universality for it, we 
nevertheless do postulate this universality, and ask all other 
rational beings to conform to our judgment. This fact that all 
purely sesthetical judgments are of a thetical character and 
at the same time claim universality, prove them to be the 
products of the absolute character of the Ego, and hence in 
giving these judgments the Ego necessarily views itself as 
absolute and free, although it views not its pure moral nature 
but an objective world. 

The question, therefore, "How are synthetical judgments 
a priori possible?" which is at the head of the first section of 
the Critic of the Power of Judgment, The Analytic, is an 
swered thus : They are possible because the absoluteness of 
reason extends even to the objective world. Each individ 
ual, as having in himself the fulness of that reason, neces 
sarily presupposes in every other individual the same reason 
or the same " supersensuous substrate of humanity," as Kant 
calls it, and hence expects the same judgments ; of course, 
however, only so far as that reason is undetermined by indi 
vidual pathological or practical limitedness, and hence only 
in regard to objects of pure beauty. Even judgments touch 
ing the sublime have, therefore, not this element of universal 
ity ; for whereas reason views itself as absolute in all pure 
sesthetical judgments touching the beautiful simply because 
it pronounces them, thereby positing the object judged upon 
as adequate to itself and hence as absolute in form, reason 
views itself as absolute in all judgments touching the sublime 
in precisely the opposite manner ; the sublime being the name 
for that, to conceive which arouses in us a power of representa 
tion to which no sensuous representation can adequately 
correspond; and to become conscious of this is a subjective 
condition, which we cannot universally presuppose. The 
beautiful arouses in us pure pleasure, a sense of adequateness 



178 KaiiVs System of Transcendentalism. 

in the external world to our absoluteness, which we must 
presuppose in all ; whereas the sublime arouses a feeling of 
displeasure, or a sense of the inadequateness of sensuous 
imagination to the absolute requirements of pure reason an 
inadequateness which may be expressed both quantitatively 
in the mathematically sublime and qualitatively in the dy 
namical sublime which we cannot presuppose in all precise 
ly because it has a subjective presupposition. 

It lies not within the purpose of this essay to follow Kant 
through the latter part of the first section of the Critic of Judg 
ment, wherein he elaborates his views on the beautiful and 
sublime, and on art and art-matters. But it may be well to 
state that that part constitutes one of the most profound and 
elegant treatises upon Art-matters a fit companion to the 
works of Schiller, Lessing, AVinckelmann, and Herder ; and a 
treatise which shows us Kant as a man of the world, eminent 
ly susceptible to all the refinements of culture, genial, witty, 
appreciative, and unbiased. 

In the Dialectic of the sesthetical power of judgment, the 
peculiar absolute nature of all pure art-judgments is devel 
oped in the following antinomy : 

Thesis : A pure sesthetical judgment is not founded on con 
ception (reflection) ; for else it would be possible to decide 
upon it by reflective proof. 

Antithesis : But it must be founded on conception (reflection) ; 
for else it would be impossible to demand universal assent to it, 
and hence to enter into a dispute if that assent is withheld. 

This antinomy, however, is easily solved by joining both 
propositions together in the following 

Synthesis: It is true that a pure sesthetical judgment is 
founded on a conception ; but that conception is the undeter 
minable conception of the pure Ego, and hence admits of no 
proof or cognition. 

Thus through beauty do we behold freedom, and in art en 
ter the realm of absoluteness. Out of nothing does the artist 
create his work; the ideal is neither seen, heard, nor touched 
by him. He who painted the transfigured Christ, created out 
of himself and saw independently of his eyesight ; he who 
wrote the Seventh Symphony, created and heard independ 
ently of his hearing. In music this absolute creativeness of 
the pure Ego is most clearly apparent. The whole art of mu- 



KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 179 

sic is an absolute creation, a new world made by man. Of 
this freedom and absoluteness every member of rationality 
becomes conscious in pronouncing an sesthetical judgment; 
and it is because art and beauty thus develop within us the 
consciousness of freedom that the culture of our race is so 
prominently indebted to its artists. 

Reason views itself as absolute in the second manner that 
is, by judging upon the conformability of external objects to 
each other in all objective judgments expressing a purpose 
or design ; because in all such judgments it can view the ex 
ternal world as created for freedom, or as the production of 
that absolute Ego whereof itself is an individual representa 
tion. This view Kant develops in the second book of his Critic 
of the Power of Judgment, or in the Critic of the ideological 
as distinguished from the cesthetical power of judgment. 

In the first section of the second book treating of the Ana 
lytic of the teleological power of judgment, Kant gives the 
deduction of that power as having its ground in the impossi 
bility to comprehend the universe as simply a mathematical 
machine, reason being constantly compelled particularly in 
every case of organized life to connect the parts into a whole 
by the conception of a purpose. This compulsion is evidently 
grounded in our freedom, which thus endeavors to comprehend 
the whole universe as existing for a purpose namely, for the 
purpose of freedom itself freedom or reason being its own 
end, and in its own absoluteness being simply because it is. 

For it is true, that it is explainable why the Ego should be 
generally limited because the infinite activity of the Ego 
must be checked in order to be reflected back into it, through 
which procedure alone reflection can arise ; but it is abso 
lutely not explainable why the Ego should be limited in pre 
cisely the manner in which it is limited. In other words, the 
determinedness of that limitedness is unexplainable ; we can 
well understand why there should be a universe, but not why 
the universe should be constructed precisely as it is. To be 
sure, we can (like Spinoza) view the whole matter as a me 
chanical process, and as the necessary process of the repul 
sion and attraction of the atoms which fill up the universe; 
but it is also evident that this is an infinite process, which will 
never, therefore, explain fully ; and that to have a full com 
prehension we must have another mode of explanation. 



180 KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 

This mode of explanation must be one which has its abso 
lute ground, and hence one which rests upon the conception 
of freedom or of the Ego, since the Ego alone is absolutely 
grounded in itself. Such a conception lies in the conception 
of purposes. In asking for purposes reason necessarily pre 
supposes itself, and thus it comes that from the teleological 
point of view the universe is judged to be the production of a 
design. Hence this judgment has perfect validity, provided 
we remember its origin and hold it to be merely a necessary 
manner of viewing, or, as Kant terms it, the result of the pecu 
liar constitution of our reason, but not an actual historical 
fact. We are compelled to view the organized universe as the 
result of a design, and hence as accidental and not as neces 
sary ; at the same time we know that historically it could not 
have been made like a work of art after a preconceived pat 
tern. By comprehending the ground of this necessary proce 
dure on the part of our teleological reason, we at once under 
stand also its limitations. 

The second section of the second book treats of the Dialec 
tic that occurs in this procedure and finds concise expression 
for the difficulty just mentioned in the following antinomy : 

Thesis : All generation of material things and their forms 
must be judged as possible according to merely mechanical 
laws. 

Antithesis: Some products of material nature cannot be 
judged as possible according to merely mechanical laws. 

Which antinomy is solved in the following 

Synthesis : All products of material nature must be judged 
as if they were possible according to merely mechanical laws ; 
but at the same time they may well be thought under another 
form of relation, namely, that of design. This is not only al 
lowable, but a necessity grounded in reason ; nor can it lead 
to any misapprehension, provided we mistake not a neces 
sary procedure of our intellect for an objective historical fact. 

Such a mistake is made when the teleological view of the 
world is made the basis for a proof of the existence of a God 
as the maker and arranger of that system of purposes in the 
world which we ourselves have put into it. This proof, for the 
reason pointed out, can never have objective validity. We 
may well and must indeed view the universe as if it were cre 
ated after a preconceived plan the reason why we must do 



KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 181 

so has been pointed out, but we must also be careful not to 
place this law of the Ego in the shape of an objective cogni 
tion and attribute it to an independent Being endowed by us 
with personality. To do so is unwarranted, and establishes a 
transcendent dogmatism. Precisely, therefore, as the Critic 
of Pure Reason warned against applying categories of exist 
ence to anything which is not known to us empirically to 
God and as the Critic of Practical Reason warned against 
going any further than to say, that if we do acknowledge the 
fact of a Moral Law in us we must assume a God ; so does the 
Critic of the Power of Judgment conclude by warning against 
the unwarranted assertion, that because we must view the 
world as if it were created after a plan, therefore it must have 
been historically created by a God. 

It is this manner of keeping that which is a necessary mode 
of acting of our intelligence from being taken for an objective, 
i. e. empirical fact, which gives to Kant s system the name of 
transcendental idealism, and which is the key wherewith to 
unlock all the mysteries of the region of thought. Whoever 
has it in his full possession sees everywhere clearly ; for him 
there is nowhere darkness. The transcendental idealist 
cheerfully confesses that he can bring no theoretical proof to 
establish the existence of a God, of Freedom, and of Immor 
tality ; but he shows the absurdity of asking such proof by 
showing that the very nature of that proof is such that it 
reaches only to empirical objects. But the transcendental 
idealist shows directly through pointing out in men the oc 
currence of a Moral Law and indirectly through the fact of 
ses the tical and teleological j udgments that rational beings not 
only know themselves free, but must also judge themselves to 
be free. And it is important to remember that the proofs of 
God and Immortality are based upon that of Freedom. This 
explains why, as Kant says : we can have no cognition of God 
theoretically, as to what he ? s, but only practically, as to what 
he does. Or, as Fichte expresses it : the conception of God 
cannot be determined by categories of existence, but only by 
predicates of an activity. Or, as we stated at the commence 
ment of this article : a Science of Metaphysics as a science of 
theoretical cognitions of supersensuous objects is impossible 
precisely because all theoretical cognitions apply merely to 
empirical objects; but a Science of Knowledge itself is not 



182 KanVs System of Transcendentalism. 

only possible but even necessary, because upon it rests tlie 
possibility of any knowledge. We know of a God and of Im 
mortality because we know of Freedom, and we know of Free 
dom because if we did not know of Freedom we should not be 
able to know at all. 

In conclusion, it may be well to touch upon a peculiarity 
in Kant s representation of transcendental philosophy, which 
at first is apt to confuse the reader, namely, that he seems to 
distinguish between things as they are for us (phenomena) 
and things as they are for themselves ; as if there really were 
such a valid distinction, and as if it really were possible for 
us to assume that in the eyes of other beings things might be 
different from what they are to us. For it ought to be preemi 
nently clear that as rational beings we can speak and wish to 
speak of things only as they arc for us (i. e. for rational be 
ings), and that it is absurd and contradictory to presume that 
they might be different really. They are really for us only 
that which they appear to be to us, and can never be for us 
otherwise. A cow is for me a cow ; what it is in itself it is 
nonsense to speak of, since we can speak of it only in relation 
to something else, and since speaking is reasoning only in 
relation to reasoning. In itself i.e. unrelated to anything 
else the cow is nothing; and what it is to the ant, to the 
horse, to the moon, and to all the infinite sensuous objects in 
the world, it is preposterous to inquire. Hence we can speak 
of the cow and so of all things only in their relation to 
rational beings, and things are nothing but what they are to 
reason. There is, however, an ineradicable tendency in the 
mind to forget this (an illusion Kant calls it), and always to 
speak as if the world might be otherwise in itself than what it 
appears to be, and this tendency haunts even Kant s speech. 
The ground is that reason adds unconsciously but by virtue 
of a necessary law of reason to every phenomenon some 
thing which does not belong to the phenomenon namely, 
Being; and now assumes this Being to be given to the phe 
nomenon from some outside power merely because itself never 
becomes empirically conscious of having added that Being 
itself.* 

*,See article in Vol. It. of this Journal, "A Criticism of Philosophical Sys 
tems," particularly pp. 143-47. 






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