§9. Insert: "Dialectic" and Phenomenology [43-45]

As something opposed to static juxtaposition (e.g., that found even in phenomenology), dialectic has its source in the same error committed by that which it wishes to remedy. It steps into an already constructed context, though there really is no context here, i.e., what is missing is the radical fundamental looking in the direction of and at the object of philosophy from out of which and on the basis of which even the how of what is understood emerges in its "unity." What develops unity is not an external framework of classification and the "character of process'' bound up with it, but the how of the respective [jeweiligen] understanding insofar as it has a direction which is decisive for each step along the way. Every category is an existential and is this as such, not merely in relation to other categories and on the basis of this relation.

Now to provide a fundamental orientation regarding dialectic insofar as an understanding of phenomenology is in question here. A formalistic answer which would have real relevance is impossible, just as any question of the relationship between these two can come up for discussion only if it is demanded by concrete research. Idle methodological programs ruin science.

Dialectic places itself in a position of superiority over phenomenology from two related points of view, both of which have to do with the dignity of the knowledge it purportedly attains.

1. Dialectic sees in phenomenology the stage of the most immediate immediacy of grasping. This immediacy can only become acquainted [bekannt] with something—knowing [Eikennen] remains beyond its reach, i.e., it does not attain the higher kind of immediacy, i.e., mediated immediacy. The best it can do is to define the appearance of Spirit in its first stage—the authentic being of Spirit in its self-knowing remains closed off to it.

2. Moreover: owing to its higher authentic possibility of knowledge, dialectic alone succeeds in penetrating the irrational, and if not completely, then nonetheless more so than in phenomenology—the irrational, something spoken of at the same time as the transcendent and the metaphysical.

It's true: phenomenology is the stage of immediate knowledge—if, that is, one grasps phenomenology from the point of view of dialectic. And the question is whether a primordial understanding of phenomenology can ever be gained in this manner. One already presupposes dialectic. Nothing can be decided on this level of posing questions.

This also needs to be said: In fact, there is in phenomenology a limit placed on knowing, or rather a possibility of doing this, one which is not always seized upon and perhaps not at all today. Be this as it may, the question is whether such a limit in the meaning of the basic tasks of philosophy is a defect on account of which phenomenology lags far behind dialectic's more lofty work of penetrating the