Spinozist Pantheism and the Truth of "Sense Certainty": What the Eleusinian Mysteries Tell us about Hegel's Phenomenology
Abstract

Abstract:

In all phases of his career, Hegel makes reference to the Eleusinian Mysteries, most prominently in the unpublished early poem "Eleusis: To Hölderlin" and again in the Phenomenology's opening section, "Sense Certainty." This paper demonstrates the link in Hegel's thought between the Eleusis motif and his critical interpretation of Spinozism as a form of pantheism. Attention to this link leads opens a new perspective on the opening arguments of the Phenomenology and their place in the work as a whole. I argue that the influential approach to "Sense Certainty" in terms of singular demonstrative reference must be revised to accommodate Hegel's metaphysical premises.