From Gewissheit to Infinity

Staffan Carlshamre

Stockholm University


The disposition of the Phenomenology is of a few basic structures repeated through various models: collections of collections of Chinese boxes. Diachronic stages are mirrored in synchronic moments, society

and the individual are mutually dependent images of each other, basic dialectical moves are repeated again and again on different levels. Most of these moves and structures are introduced in the Bewusstsein. In particular, it gives the first example of the movement from Gewissheit to Infinity, and I want to trace that movement, partly

basing myself on two external texts – one from Plato, that Hegel’s discussion ”translates”, and one from Nietzsche, that ”translates” Hegel's discussion. The aim is to see both why that movement leads to self-consciousness as its presupposition, i.e. to ”idealism”, and why self-consciousness “repeats”, though not in a temporal sense, the same movement.


Staffan Carlshamre is Professor of Philosophy at Stockholm University. His research has focused on the foundations of the human sciences, and questions of meaning and interpretation. He is the author of Language and Time: An Attempt to Arrest the Thought of Jacques Derrida, as well as the co-editor (with Anders Petterson) of Types of Interpretation in the Human Sciences.