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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...
philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, ...

philosopher
. He is considered one of the most important figures in
German idealism German idealism was a philosophical movement that emerged in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It developed out of the work of Immanuel Kant in the 1780s and 1790s, and was closely linked both with Romanticism and the revolutionary ...
and one of the founding figures of
Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of ...
, with his influence extending to the entire range of contemporary philosophical issues, from
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality R ...

aesthetics
to
ontology Ontology is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Ph ...

ontology
and
politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions In psychology, decision-making (also spelled decision making and decisionmaking) is regarded as the Cognition, cognitive process resulting in the selection ...

politics
, both in the analytic and
continental Continental may refer to: Places * Continent * Continental, Arizona, a small community in Pima County, Arizona, US * Continental, Ohio, a small town in Putnam County, US Arts and entertainment * Continental (album), ''Continental'' (album), an alb ...
tradition. Hegel's principal achievement was his development of a distinctive articulation of
idealism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...

idealism
, sometimes termed ''
absolute idealism Absolute idealism is an ontology, ontologically monistic philosophy chiefly associated with G. W. F. Hegel and Friedrich Schelling, both of whom were German idealist philosophers in the 19th century. The label has also been attached to others such ...
'', in which the dualisms of, for instance, mind and nature and subject and
object Object may refer to: General meanings * Object (philosophy), a thing, being, or concept ** Entity, something that is tangible and within the grasp of the senses ** Object (abstract), an object which does not exist at any particular time or pl ...
are overcome. In contrast to
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethic ...

Immanuel Kant
, who believes that the subject imposes rational a priori pure concepts of understanding upon the sense-data of intuitions, Hegel believes that the pure concepts are grounded in reality itself. Pure concepts are not applied subjectively to sense-impressions, but rather things exist for their concept. The unity of concept and reality is the Idea. The idea itself is dynamic, active, self-determining, self-moving, and purposive. The idea properly exists as life. In life, the parts of the body are unified for the final cause of actualizing the living organism. Non-organic nature is also grounded in the concept, but is only “latent” and not fully self-determining.
Geist ''Geist'' () is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German la ...

Geist
, or Spirit is the highest form of life and the idea. Geist is the collective purposive agency and genus of man. Geist is equally substance and subject, meaning that geist is not only a living organic substance, but also a subject involved in complex normative and social spaces. Hegel is also known for his dialectical logic, which is mostly contained within his
Science of Logic ''Science of Logic'' (''SL''; german: Wissenschaft der Logik, ''WdL''), first published between 1812 and 1816, is the work in which Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a Ger ...
. In this book, Hegel creates a presuppositionless logic of pure thought, which begins with pure
being In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, ...

being
. In the logic, positions and ideas are examined and revealed to be immanently contradictory. The contradiction within the position and itself is sublated (In German, it is called ''Aufhebung''), in which a new position is posited which negates the previous position's contradiction. An example of sublation is the contradictory nature of pure indeterminate
being In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, ...

being
. Pure
being In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, ...

being
is revealed to be both equal to and different from nothing. This contradiction within
being In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, ...

being
is resolved with its sublation into becoming, in which nothing passes into being and being passes into nothing. However, becoming also reveals its own contradictions and is sublated into determinate being. The logic progresses along through contradictions and sublations until there are no more contradictions that can be sublated. This is the absolute, which for Hegel is the idea. Hegel influenced a wide variety of thinkers and writers. For example, theologian
Paul Tillich Paul Johannes Tillich (August 20, 1886 – October 22, 1965) was a German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and Lutheran Protestant Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Reformation, a ...
wrote that the historical dialectical thought of Hegel "has influenced world history more profoundly than any other structural analysis." In his work ''Systematic Theology'', Tillich referred to Hegel's work as "perfect
essentialism Essentialism is the view that objects have a set of attributes that are necessary to their identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group e ...
," later writing "
essentialism Essentialism is the view that objects have a set of attributes that are necessary to their identity Identity may refer to: Social sciences * Identity (social science), personhood or group affiliation in psychology and sociology Group e ...
was in Hegel's system fulfilled."
Karl Barth Karl Barth (; ; – ) was a Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland *Swiss people Places *Swiss, Missouri *Swiss, North Carolina *Swiss, West Virginia *Swiss, Wisconsin Other uses *Swiss-system tournament, in various gam ...
described Hegel as a "Protestant
Aquinas Thomas Aquinas (; it, Tommaso d'Aquino, lit=Thomas of Aquino; 1225 – 7 March 1274) was an Italian Dominican Order, Dominican friar, Philosophy, philosopher, Catholic priest, and Doctor of the Church. An immensely influential List of Cathol ...

Aquinas
" while
Maurice Merleau-Ponty Maurice Jean Jacques Merleau-Ponty (; 14 March 1908 – 3 May 1961) was a French phenomenological philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=phi ...

Maurice Merleau-Ponty
wrote that "all the great philosophical ideas of the past century—the philosophies of
Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (; 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) was a German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, M ...

Marx
and
Nietzsche Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (; or ; 15 October 1844 – 25 August 1900) was a German philosopher, cultural critic, composer, poet, writer, and philologist Philology is the study of language in oral and written historical sources; it is the ...

Nietzsche
,
phenomenology Phenomenology may refer to: * Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences * An empirical relationship or phenomenological model * Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and the ...
, German
existentialism Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophy, philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centres on the experience of thinking, feeling, and acting. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point ha ...
, and
psychoanalysis Psychoanalysis (from Greek language, Greek: + ) is a set of Theory, theories and Therapy, therapeutic techniques"What is psychoanalysis? Of course, one is supposed to answer that it is many things — a theory, a research method, a therapy, a bo ...

psychoanalysis
—had their beginnings in Hegel."
Michael Hardt Michael Hardt (born 1960) is an American political philosopher and literary theorist. Hardt is best known for his book ''Empire (Negri and Hardt book), Empire'', which was co-written with Antonio Negri. It has been praised by Slavoj Žižek as t ...
has highlighted that the roots of
post-structuralism Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism, the intellectual project that preceded it. Though post-structuralists all present different critiques ...
and its unifying basis lies, in large part, in a general opposition not to the philosophical tradition ''tout court'' but specifically to the "Hegelian tradition" dominating philosophy in the twentieth century prior to post-structuralism. Hegel's work has been considered the "completion of philosophy" G.W.F. Hegel
''Hegel and the Greeks''
Martin Heidegger (trans. Joan Staumbaugh), ''Identity and Difference'', New York: Harper & Row, 1969, p. 54-57.Martin Heidegger (trans. Richard Rojcewicz), ''Ponderings XII-XV: Black Notebooks 1939–1941'', Indiana University Press, 2017, p. 27. by multiple of the most influential thinkers in
existentialism Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophy, philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centres on the experience of thinking, feeling, and acting. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point ha ...
,
post-structuralism Post-structuralism is a term for philosophical and literary forms of theory that both build upon and reject ideas established by structuralism, the intellectual project that preceded it. Though post-structuralists all present different critiques ...
, and twentieth-century theology.Paul Tillich, ''Systematic Theology'', University of Chicago Press, 1963, p. 29.
Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (; ; born Jackie Élie Derrida; See also . July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004), born in Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers ...
wrote of Hegel in his work ''
Of Grammatology ''Of Grammatology'' (french: De la grammatologie) is a 1967 book by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida, in which the author discusses writers such as Claude Lévi-Strauss, Ferdinand de Saussure Ferdinand de Saussure (; ; 26 November 1857 ...
'' that "if there were a definition of
Différance is a French term coined by Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (; ; born Jackie Élie Derrida; See also . July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004), born in Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = ...
, it would be precisely the limit, the interruption, the destruction of the Hegelian dialectical synthesis wherever it operates."
Martin Heidegger Martin Heidegger (; ; 26 September 188926 May 1976) was a key German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...
observed in his 1969 work ''Identity and Difference'' and in his personal
Black Notebooks The ''Black Notebooks'' (german: Schwarze Hefte) are a set of notebooks written by German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889–1976) between 1931 and 1959. Originally a set of small notebooks with black covers in which Heidegger jotted observations ...
that Hegel's system in an important respect "consummates western philosophy" by completing the idea of the ''logos'', the self-grounding ground, in thinking through the identification of Being and beings, which is "the theme of logic", writing " is... incontestable that Hegel, faithful to tradition, sees the matter of thinking in beings as such and as a whole, in the movement of Being from its emptiness to its developed fullness."
Heidegger Martin Heidegger (; ; 26 September 188926 May 1976) was a key German philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, ...
in various places further stated Hegel's thinking to be "the most powerful thinking of modern times."


Life


Early years


Childhood

Hegel was born on 27 August 1770 in
Stuttgart Stuttgart (; Swabian: ; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') ...

Stuttgart
, capital of the
Duchy of Württemberg The Duchy of Württemberg (german: Herzogtum Württemberg) was a duchy located in the south-western part of the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic com ...
in southwestern Germany. Christened Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, he was known as Wilhelm to his close family. His father, Georg Ludwig, was ''Rentkammersekretär'' (secretary to the revenue office) at the court of Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg. Hegel's mother, Maria Magdalena Louisa (née Fromm), was the daughter of a lawyer at the High Court of Justice at the Württemberg court. She died of bilious fever (Gallenfieber) when Hegel was thirteen. Hegel and his father also caught the disease, but they narrowly survived. Hegel had a sister, Christiane Luise (1773–1832); and a brother, Georg Ludwig (1776–1812), who perished as an officer during Napoleon's 1812 Russian campaign. At the age of three, Hegel went to the German School. When he entered the Latin School two years later, he already knew the
first declensionThe first declension is a category of declension In linguistics, declension is the changing of the form of a word, generally to express its syntactic function in the sentence, by way of some inflection. The inflectional change of verbs is called Gr ...
, having been taught it by his mother. In 1776, he entered Stuttgart's ''
gymnasium illustreGymnasium illustre may refer to *Ernestine Gymnasium, Gotha *Eberhard-Ludwigs-Gymnasium, Stuttgart {{disambig ...
'' and during his adolescence read voraciously, copying lengthy extracts in his diary. Authors he read include the poet
Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock (; 2 July 1724 – 14 March 1803) was a German poet A poet is a person who creates poetry. Poets may describe themselves as such or be described as such by others. A poet may simply be a writer of poetry, or may ...

Friedrich Gottlieb Klopstock
and writers associated with the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
, such as
Christian Garve Christian Garve (7 January 1742 – 1 December 1798) was one of the best-known philosophers of the late Enlightenment along with Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, ; ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher an ...

Christian Garve
and
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (, ; 22 January 1729 – 15 February 1781) was a German writer, philosopher, dramatist A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes play (theatre), plays. Etymology The word "play" is from Middle English pleye, ...

Gotthold Ephraim Lessing
. His studies at the ''Gymnasium'' concluded with his ''
Abitur ''Abitur'' () is a qualification granted at the end of secondary education Secondary education covers two phases on the International Standard Classification of Education The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) is a sta ...
rede'' ("graduation speech") "Der verkümmerte Zustand der Künste und Wissenschaften unter den Türken" ("The abortive state of art and scholarship in Turkey").


Tübingen (1788–1793)

At the age of eighteen, Hegel entered the
Tübinger Stift The Tübinger Stift () is a hall of residence and teaching; it is owned and supported by the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Württemberg, and located in the university city of Tübingen Tübingen (, , Swabian: ''Dibenga'') is a traditional un ...
(a Protestant seminary attached to the
University of Tübingen The University of Tübingen, officially the Eberhard Karl University of Tübingen (german: Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen; la, Universitas Eberhardina Carolina), is a public university, public research university located in the city of Tüb ...
), where he had as roommates the poet and philosopher
Friedrich Hölderlin Johann Christian Friedrich Hölderlin (, ; ; 20 March 1770 – 7 June 1843) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * ...
and the future philosopher
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (; 27 January 1775 – 20 August 1854), later (after 1812) von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him be ...

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
. Sharing a dislike for what they regarded as the restrictive environment of the Seminary, the three became close friends and mutually influenced each other's ideas. All greatly admired Hellenic civilization and Hegel additionally steeped himself in
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
and Lessing during this time. They watched the unfolding of the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
with shared enthusiasm. Schelling and Hölderlin immersed themselves in theoretical debates on
Kantian philosophy Kantianism is the philosophy of Immanuel Kant, a Germans, German philosopher born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). The term ''Kantianism'' or ''Kantian'' is sometimes also used to describe contemporary positions in philosophy o ...
, from which Hegel remained aloof. Hegel, at this time, envisaged his future as that of a ''Popularphilosoph'', (a "man of letters") who serves to make the abstruse ideas of philosophers accessible to a wider public; his own felt need to engage critically with the central ideas of Kantianism did not come until 1800. Although the violence of the 1793
Reign of Terror The Reign of Terror, commonly called The Terror (french: link=no, la Terreur), was a period of the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in coup of 18 Br ...
dampened Hegel's hopes, he continued to identify with the moderate
Girondin The Girondins ( , ), or Girondists, were members of a loosely knit political faction during the French Revolution. From 1791 to 1793, the Girondins were active in the Legislative Assembly (France), Legislative Assembly and the National Convention. ...
faction and never lost his commitment to the principles of 1789, which he expressed by drinking a toast to the
storming of the Bastille The Storming of the Bastille (french: Prise de la Bastille ) was an event that occurred in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an est ...
every fourteenth of July.


Bern (1793–1796) and Frankfurt (1797–1801)

Having received his theological certificate ('' Konsistorialexamen'') from the Tübingen Seminary, Hegel became ''Hofmeister'' (house tutor) to an aristocratic family in
Bern ,german: Berner(in),french: Bernois(e), it, Bernese , neighboring_municipalities = Bremgarten bei Bern Bremgarten bei Bern is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corpor ...

Bern
(1793–1796). During this period, he composed the text which has become known as the ''
Life of Jesus Jesus; he, יֵשׁוּעַ, '' Yēšū́aʿ''; ar, عيسى, ʿĪsā ( 4 BC AD 30 / 33), also referred to as Jesus of Nazareth or Jesus Christ, was a first-century Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunc ...
'' and a book-length manuscript titled "The Positivity of the Christian Religion". His relations with his employers becoming strained, Hegel accepted an offer mediated by Hölderlin to take up a similar position with a wine merchant's family in
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian dialects, Hessian: , "Franks, Frank ford (crossing), ford on the Main (river), Main"; french: Francfort-sur-le-Main), is the most populous city in the States of Germany, German state of Hess ...

Frankfurt
in 1797. There, Hölderlin exerted an important influence on Hegel's thought. While in Frankfurt, Hegel composed the essay "Fragments on Religion and Love". In 1799, he wrote another essay entitled "The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate", unpublished during his lifetime. Also in 1797, the unpublished and unsigned manuscript of " The Oldest Systematic Program of German Idealism" was written. It was written in Hegel's hand, but may have been authored by Hegel, Schelling, Hölderlin, or an unknown fourth person.Kai Hammermeister, ''The German Aesthetic Tradition'', Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 76.


Career years


Jena, Bamberg and Nuremberg (1801–1816)

In 1801, Hegel came to
Jena Jena (; ) is a German city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Rou ...

Jena
at the encouragement of his old friend Schelling, who held the position of Extraordinary Professor at the
University of Jena The University of Jena, officially the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (german: Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, abbreviated FSU, shortened form ''Uni Jena'') is a public university, public research university located in Jena, Thuringia, ...
. Hegel secured a position at the University of Jena as a ''
Privatdozent ''Privatdozent'' (for men) or ''Privatdozentin'' (for women), abbreviated PD, P.D. or Priv.-Doz., is an academic title conferred at some European universities, especially in German-speaking countries, to someone who holds certain formal qualific ...
'' (unsalaried lecturer) after submitting the
inaugural dissertation File:Claude Bernard's thesis for his doctorate Wellcome M0011459.jpg, The cover of the thesis presented by Claude Bernard to obtain his Doctor of Medicine degree (1843) A doctorate (from Latin ''docere'', "to teach") or doctor's degree (from Lati ...
''De Orbitis Planetarum'', in which he briefly criticized arguments that assert—based on Bode's Law or other arbitrary choice of
mathematical series In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and ...
—there must exist a planet between
Mars Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second-smallest planet in the Solar System, being larger than only Mercury (planet), Mercury. In English, Mars carries the name of the Mars (mythology), Roman god of war and is often referred to ...

Mars
and
Jupiter Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the List of Solar System objects by size, largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass more than two and a half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined, but ...

Jupiter
.G.W.F. Hegel
''Philosophical Dissertation on the Orbits of the Planets''
Unbeknownst to Hegel,
Giuseppe Piazzi Giuseppe Piazzi ( , ; 16 July 1746 – 22 July 1826) was an Italian Catholic The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, wi ...

Giuseppe Piazzi
had discovered the
minor planet A minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit around the Sun (or more broadly, any star with a planetary system) that is neither a planet nor exclusively classified as a comet. Before 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ...
Ceres Ceres most commonly refers to: * Ceres (dwarf planet) Ceres (; minor-planet designation: 1 Ceres) is the smallest recognized dwarf planet, the closest dwarf planet to the Sun, and the List of notable asteroids, largest object in the main astero ...
within that orbit on 1 January 1801. Later in the year, Hegel's first book '' The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's Systems of Philosophy'' was completed. He lectured on "Logic and Metaphysics" and gave lectures with Schelling on an "Introduction to the Idea and Limits of True Philosophy" and facilitated a "philosophical disputorium". In 1802, Schelling and Hegel founded the journal ''Kritische Journal der Philosophie'' (''Critical Journal of Philosophy'') to which they contributed until the collaboration ended when Schelling left for
Würzburg Würzburg (; Main-Franconian Main-Franconian (german: Mainfränkisch) is group of Upper German dialects being part of the East Franconian German, East Franconian group. The name is derived from the river Main (river), Main which meets the rive ...

Würzburg
in 1803. In 1805, the university promoted Hegel to the position of Extraordinary Professor (unsalaried) after he wrote a letter to the poet and minister of culture
Johann Wolfgang Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of G ...

Johann Wolfgang Goethe
protesting the promotion of his philosophical adversary
Jakob Friedrich Fries Jakob Friedrich Fries (; 23 August 1773 – 10 August 1843) was a German post-Kantian Terry Pinkard, ''German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism'', Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 199–212. philosopher A philosopher is someon ...

Jakob Friedrich Fries
ahead of him. Hegel attempted to enlist the help of the poet and translator Johann Heinrich Voß to obtain a post at the renascent
University of Heidelberg } Heidelberg University, officially the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, (german: Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg; la, Universitas Ruperto Carola Heidelbergensis) is a public university, public research university in Heidelberg, B ...
, but he failed. To his chagrin, Fries was, in the same year, made Ordinary Professor (salaried). With his finances drying up quickly, Hegel was under great pressure to deliver his book, the long-promised introduction to his philosophical system. Hegel was putting the finishing touches to it, ''
The Phenomenology of Spirit ''The Phenomenology of Spirit'' (german: Phänomenologie des Geistes) is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German people, German philosopher. He is considered one of th ...
'', as Napoleon engaged Prussian troops on 14 October 1806 in the
Battle of Jena A battle is an occurrence of combat in warfare between opposing military units of any number or size. A war usually consists of multiple battles. In general, a battle is a military engagement that is well defined in duration, area, and force ...

Battle of Jena
on a plateau outside the city. On the day before the battle, Napoleon entered the city of Jena. Hegel recounted his impressions in a letter to his friend
Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer Friedrich Philipp Immanuel Niethammer (6 March 1766 – 1 April 1848), later Ritter von Niethammer, was a German theologian Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine Divinity or the divine are things that are either rela ...

Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer
:
I saw the Emperor—this world-soul 'Weltseele''.html"_;"title="Weltseele.html"_;"title="'Weltseele">'Weltseele''">Weltseele.html"_;"title="'Weltseele">'Weltseele''riding_out_of_the_city_on_reconnaissance._It_is_indeed_a_wonderful_sensation_to_see_such_an_individual,_who,_concentrated_here_at_a_single_point,_astride_a_horse,_reaches_out_over_the_world_and_masters_it.
Pinkard_(2000)_notes_that_Hegel's_comment_to_Niethammer_"is_all_the_more_striking_since_he_had_already_composed_the_crucial_section_of_the_''Phenomenology''_in_which_he_remarked_that_the_French_Revolution.html" "title="Weltseele">'Weltseele''.html" ;"title="Weltseele.html" ;"title="'Weltseele">'Weltseele''">Weltseele.html" ;"title="'Weltseele">'Weltseele''riding out of the city on reconnaissance. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrated here at a single point, astride a horse, reaches out over the world and masters it. Pinkard (2000) notes that Hegel's comment to Niethammer "is all the more striking since he had already composed the crucial section of the ''Phenomenology'' in which he remarked that the French Revolution">Revolution In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, suc ...
had now officially passed to another land (Germany) that would complete 'in thought' what the Revolution had only partially accomplished in practice". Although Napoleon chose not to close down Jena as he had other universities, the city was devastated and students deserted it in droves, making Hegel's financial prospects even worse. The following February marked the birth of Hegel's illegitimate son, Georg Ludwig Friedrich Fischer (1807–1831), as the result of an affair with Hegel's landlady Christiana Burkhardt née Fischer (who had been abandoned by her husband). In March 1807, Hegel moved to Bamberg, where Niethammer had declined and passed on to Hegel an offer to become editor of a newspaper, the '. Unable to find more suitable employment, Hegel reluctantly accepted. Ludwig Fischer and his mother (whom Hegel may have offered to marry following the death of her husband) stayed behind in Jena. In November 1808, Hegel was again through Niethammer, appointed headmaster of a ''gymnasium'' in
Nuremberg Nuremberg ( ; german: link=no, Nürnberg ; in the local East Franconian dialect: ''Nämberch'' ) is the second-largest city of the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Bavaria after its capital Munich, and its 518,370 (2019) inhabitants ...

Nuremberg
, a post he held until 1816. While in Nuremberg, Hegel adapted his recently published ''Phenomenology of Spirit'' for use in the classroom. Part of his remit was to teach a class called "Introduction to Knowledge of the Universal Coherence of the Sciences", Hegel developed the idea of an encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences, falling into three parts: logic, philosophy of nature and philosophy of spirit. In 1811, Hegel married Marie Helena Susanna von Tucher (1791–1855), the eldest daughter of a Senator. This period saw the publication of his second major work, the ''Science of Logic'' (''Wissenschaft der Logik''; 3 vols., 1812, 1813 and 1816), and the birth of his two legitimate sons, Karl Friedrich Wilhelm (1813–1901) and Immanuel Thomas Christian (1814–1891).


Heidelberg and Berlin (1816–1831)

Having received offers of a post from the Universities of
Erlangen Erlangen (; East Franconian East Franconian (german: Ostfränkisch), usually referred to as Franconian (') in German, is a dialect which is spoken in Franconia Franconia (german: Franken; in the Franconian dialect: ''Franggn'' rɑŋgŋ ...
,
Berlin Berlin (; ) is the Capital city, capital and List of cities in Germany by population, largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,769,495 inhabitants, as of 31 December 2019 makes it the List of cities in the European Union by ...
and
Heidelberg Heidelberg () is a university town in the German state The Federal Republic of Germany, as a federal state, consists of sixteen partly sovereign federated states (german: Land (state), plural (states); commonly informally / federated s ...

Heidelberg
, Hegel chose Heidelberg, where he moved in 1816. Soon after, his illegitimate son Ludwig Fischer (now ten years old) joined the Hegel household in April 1817, having spent time in an orphanage after the death of his mother Christiana Burkhardt. In 1817, Hegel published ''The Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline'' as a summary of his philosophy for students attending his lectures at Heidelberg. In 1818, Hegel accepted the renewed offer of the chair of philosophy at the University of Berlin, which had remained vacant since
Johann Gottlieb Fichte Johann Gottlieb Fichte (; ; 19 May 1762 – 29 January 1814) was a German philosopher who became a founding figure of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kan ...

Johann Gottlieb Fichte
's death in 1814. Here, Hegel published his ''Philosophy of Right'' (1821). Hegel devoted himself primarily to delivering lectures; his lectures on aesthetics, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of history and the history of philosophy were published posthumously from students' notes. His fame spread and his lectures attracted students from all over Germany and beyond. In 1819–1827, he made two trips to
Weimar Weimar (; la, Vimaria or Vinaria) is a city in the federal state of Thuringia, Germany. It is located in Central Germany (cultural area), Central Germany between Erfurt in the west and Jena in the east, approximately southwest of Leipzig, nor ...

Weimar
, where he met Goethe, and to
Brussels Brussels (french: Bruxelles or ; nl, Brussel ), officially the Brussels-Capital Region (All text and all but one graphic show the English name as Brussels-Capital Region.) (french: link=no, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale; nl, link=no, Brusse ...

Brussels
, the
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,
Leipzig Leipzig (, ; Upper Saxon: ) is the most populous city in the Germany, German States of Germany, state of Saxony. With a population of 605,407 inhabitants as of 2021 (1.1 million residents in the larger urban zone), it surpasses the Saxon c ...

Leipzig
,
Vienna Vienna ( ; german: Wien ; bar, Wean, label=Bavarian language, Austro-Bavarian ) is the Capital city, national capital, largest city, and one of States of Austria, nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's List of cities and towns in Austria, mos ...

Vienna
,
Prague Prague ( ; cs, Praha ; german: Prag, ; la, Praga) is the capital and largest city A city is a large human settlement In geography, statistics and archaeology, a settlement, locality or populated place is a community in which people ...

Prague
, and
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
.Ludwig Siep, ''Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit'', Cambridge University Press, 2014, p. xxi. Hegel was appointed University
Rector Rector (Latin for the member of a vessel's crew who steers) may refer to: Style or title *Rector (ecclesiastical), a cleric who functions as an administrative leader in some Christian denominations *Rector (academia), a senior official in an educ ...
of the university in October 1829, but his term ended in September 1830. Hegel was deeply disturbed by the riots for reform in Berlin in that year. In 1831
Frederick William III Frederick William III (german: Friedrich Wilhelm III.; 3 August 1770 – 7 June 1840) was king of Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duc ...

Frederick William III
decorated him with the
Order of the Red Eagle The Order of the Red Eagle (german: Roter Adlerorden) was an Order (distinction), order of chivalry of the Kingdom of Prussia. It was awarded to both military personnel and civilians, to recognize valor in combat, excellence in military leadership, ...

Order of the Red Eagle
, 3rd Class for his service to the Prussian state. In August 1831, a
cholera Cholera is an infection An infection is the invasion of an organism's body by , their multiplication, and the reaction of tissues to the infectious agents and the s they produce. An infectious disease, also known as a transmissible disea ...

cholera
epidemic An epidemic (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approx ...
reached Berlin and Hegel left the city, taking up lodgings in
Kreuzberg Kreuzberg () is a district of Berlin, Germany. It is part of the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg borough located south of Berlin-Mitte, Mitte. During the Cold War era, it was one of the poorest areas of West Berlin, but since German reunification in ...

Kreuzberg
. Now in a weak state of health, Hegel seldom went out. As the new semester began in October, Hegel returned to Berlin in the mistaken belief that the epidemic had largely subsided. By 14 November, Hegel was dead. The physicians pronounced the cause of death as cholera, but it is likely he died from another gastrointestinal disease. His last words are said to have been, "There was only one man who ever understood me, and even he didn't understand me." He was buried on 16 November. In accordance with his wishes, Hegel was buried in the Dorotheenstadt cemetery next to Fichte and Karl Wilhelm Ferdinand Solger. Hegel's illegitimate son, Ludwig Fischer, had died shortly before while serving with the Dutch army in Jakarta, Batavia and the news of his death never reached his father. Early the following year, Hegel's sister Christiane committed suicide by drowning. Hegel's remaining two sons—Karl von Hegel, Karl, who became a historian; and , who followed a theological path—lived long and safeguarded their father's Nachlaß, manuscripts and letters, and produced editions of his works.


Philosophical work


Logic and metaphysics

During the era of
German idealism German idealism was a philosophical movement that emerged in Germany in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It developed out of the work of Immanuel Kant in the 1780s and 1790s, and was closely linked both with Romanticism and the revolutionary ...
, every standard work on logic consisted of three divisions: doctrines of concept, judgment, and inference. Doctrines of concept address the systematic, hierarchical relations of the most general classes of things. Doctrines of judgment investigate Copula (linguistics), relations of subject and predicate. And doctrines of inference lay out the forms of syllogisms originally found in Aristotelian term logic.
Indeed, "logic" in the field of nineteenth-century continental philosophy takes on a range of meanings from "metaphysics" to "theory of science," from "critical epistemology" to "first philosophy." And debates about the nature of logic were intertwined with competition to inherit the mantle of Kant and with it the future direction of German philosophy. Each new logic book staked a new claim in a century-long expansionist turf war among philosophical trends.
With the possible exception of the study of inference, what was called "logic" in nineteenth-century Europe bears little resemblance to what logicians study today. Logic, especially the doctrine of the concept, was metaphysics. It was the search for a fundamental ontological structure within the relations of the most basic predicates (quantity, time, place etc.), a practice that goes back to the Pythagorean Table of Opposites, Plato's ''Sophist (dialogue), Sophist'', Aristotle's ''Categories (Aristotle), Categories''. This research program took on new meaning with the 1781 publication of Kant's ''Critique of Pure Reason''. Kant derived his own Category (Kant), table of categories––what he called the twelve pure, ancestral concepts of the understanding that structure all experience irrespective of content––from a standard Term logic, term-logical table of judgments, noting also that
...the true ancestral concepts...also have their equally pure derivative concepts, which could by no means be passed over in a complete system of transcendental philosophy, but with the mere mention of which I can be satisfied in a merely critical essay.
Hegel's ''Science of Logic'' is a notable contribution to the philosophical study of category metaphysics in its post-Kantian form. Hegel takes up the project that Kant suggested is necessary but did not complete, namely "to take note of and, as far as possible, completely catalog" the derivative concepts of the pure understanding and "completely illustrate its family tree." The affinity between Hegel and Kant's logics (Speculative reason, speculative and Transcendental idealism, transcendental respectively) is reflected in their vocabulary. Kant spoke of ''Entstehen'' (coming-to-be) and ''Vergehen'' (ceasing-to-be), the same two terms that Hegel used to refer to the two compositional elements of ''Werden'' (becoming). And although the ''Logic'''s table of contents minimally resembles Kant's table of categories, the four headings of Kant's table (quantity, quality, relation, and modality) do not play, in Hegel's dialectic, the organizational role that Kant had in mind for them. Indeed, Hegel faulted Kant for copying the table of judgments from the "modern compendiums of logic" whose subject matter is, Hegel said, in need of "total reconstruction." So how ''are'' the concepts derived? Hegel wrote that
...profounder insight into the antinomial, or more truly into the dialectical nature of reason demonstrates ''any'' Concept [''Begriff''] whatsoever to be a unity of opposed elements [''Momente''] to which, therefore, the form of antinomial assertions could be given.
In other words, every concept thus contains a contradiction that is itself the determination of another concept. All concepts are thus interrelated through a process of concretization (the introduction of new terms) that Hegel calls self-determination or freedom. The fully concrete system of logic (what Hegel calls the "diamond net" of concepts) thus grows out of a single, abstract seed concept––just as a tree grows from an actual seed. For this reason, Hegel's ''Logic'' begins with "Being, pure Being"––which is the abstract idea of God ("and ''God'' has the absolutely undisputed right that the beginning be made with him")––from which issue the further determinations of becoming, determinate being, something, infinity, and so on. This process culminates in what Hegel calls the Absolute Idea, which is "being, imperishable life, self-knowing truth, and is all truth" and outside of which there is only "error, confusion, opinion, endeavor, caprice and transitoriness." This process of self-concretization has been the subject of much philosophical controversy and interest. Scholars such as Clark Butler hold that a good portion of the ''Logic'' is formalizable, proceeding deductively via Proof by contradiction, indirect proof. Others, such as Hans-Georg Gadamer, theorize that Hegel's course in the ''Logic'' is determined primarily by the associations of ordinary words in the German language. Both of these interpretations are in a way equally true, because form and content are unified in logic according to Hegel. Hegel also understood the course of his logic to be reflected in history:
...different stages of the logical Idea assume the shape of successive systems, each based on a particular definition of the Absolute. As the logical Idea is seen to unfold itself in a process from the abstract to the concrete, so in the history of philosophy the earliest systems are the most abstract, and thus at the same time the poorest...
The concepts developed in the ''Science of'' ''Logic'' are thus also to be found in Hegel's Lectures on the History of Philosophy. For example: Parmenides took pure being to be the absolute; Gorgias replaced it with pure nothing; Heraclitus replaced both being and nothing with becoming (which is a unity of two contraries: coming-to-be and ceasing-to-be). Hegel understood the history of philosophy to be a transhistorical Socratic method, socratic argument concerning the identity of Absolute (philosophy), the Absolute. That history should resemble this dialectic indicated to Hegel that history is something ''rational''.


Things-in-themselves

For both Hegel and Kant, "we arrive at the concept of the thing in itself by removing, or abstracting from, everything in our experiences of objects of which we can become conscious."
If we abstract 'Ding' [''thing''] from 'Ding an sich' [''thing in itself''], we get one of Hegel's standard phrases: 'an sich.' [''in itself'']....A child, in Hegel's example, is thus 'in itself' the adult it will become: to know what a 'child' is means to know that it is, in some respects, a vacancy which will only gain content after it has grown out of childhood.
The "thing as it is in itself" is indeed knowable: it is the indeterminate, "futural" aspect of the thing we experience—it is what we will come to know. In other words, although the thing-in-itself is at any given moment thoroughly unknown, it nevertheless remains that part of the thing about which it is possible to learn more. At the same time, this should not be construed as a merely epistemological claim (having to do only with our understanding of the thing); the in-itself may be equally taken in the ''ontological'' sense, namely as the undeveloped (for example, the seed is the in-itself of the plant).


Life

Karen Ng writes that "there is a central, recurring rhetorical device that Hegel returns to again and again throughout his philosophical system: that of describing the activity of reason and thought in terms of the dynamic activity and development of organic life." Hegel went so far as to include the concept of life as a category in his ''Science of'' ''Logic'', likely inspired by Aristotle's emphasis on teleology, as well as Kant's treatment of ''Naturzweck'' (natural purposiveness) in the ''Critique of Judgment''. Within this work, the category of life is conceived to be the absolute idea in the form of the subjective concept; an illustrative contrast may be seen in contrasting this with how the category of cognition is thought as being the absolute idea in the form of the judgement. The speculative identity of mind and nature suggests that reason and history progress in the direction of the Absolute (philosophy), Absolute by traversing various stages of relative immaturity, just like a sapling or a child, overcoming necessary setbacks and obstacles along the way (see Hegel#Progress, Progress below). The structure of Hegel's ''Logic'' appears to exhibit self-similarity, with sub-sections, in their treatment of more specific subject matter, resembling the treatment of the whole. Hegel's concept of ''Aufheben, Aufhebung'', by which parts are preserved and repurposed within the whole, anticipates the concept of emergence in contemporary systems theory and evolutionary biology. Hegel's system is often presented in the form of a Sierpiński triangle due to his tendency to Trichotomy (philosophy), group concepts by triads. However, Hegel himself describes the system as a "circle of circles:"
...the science presents itself as a circle that winds around itself, where the mediation winds the end back to the beginning which is the simple ground; the circle is thus a circle of circles, for each single member ensouled by the method is reflected into itself so that, in returning to the beginning it is at the same time the beginning of a new member.


Freedom

Hegel's thinking can be understood as a constructive development within the broad tradition that includes Schelling, Fichte, Aristotle, and
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethic ...

Immanuel Kant
. To this list, one could add Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Spinoza, Goethe, and
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Jean-Jacques Rousseau (, , ; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a Republic of Geneva, Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment throughout Europe, as w ...

Jean-Jacques Rousseau
. Rousseau, Kant, and Fichte. It was Rousseau who determined that norms are only followed insofar as the subject accepts the norms as theirs. Kant imported Rousseau's ideas of individual autonomy into his considerations of moral and Noumenon, noumenal freedom. Fichte added a social element into Kant's moral philosophy in which the freedom of the absolute ego is limited by the "summons" of another consciousness. Hegel agreed with this premise, but did not agree that freedom was limited by another consciousness. Instead, true freedom was achieved through the intersubjective relations between different self-legislating normative subjects. Freedom is a relationship between the self and others, and the stance by which we view our actions as "our own". This mutual recognition of one another as rational normative agents is freedom. In his discussion of "Spirit" in his ''Encyclopedia'', Hegel praises Aristotle's ''On the Soul'' as "by far the most admirable, perhaps even the sole, work of philosophical value on this topic". In his ''The Phenomenology of Spirit, Phenomenology of Spirit'' and his ''
Science of Logic ''Science of Logic'' (''SL''; german: Wissenschaft der Logik, ''WdL''), first published between 1812 and 1816, is the work in which Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a Ger ...
'', Hegel's concern with Kantian topics such as freedom and morality and with their ontological implications is pervasive. Rather than simply rejecting Kant's dualism of freedom versus nature, Hegel aims to subsume it within "true infinity", the "Concept" (or "Notion (philosophy), Notion": ''Begriff''), "Spirit" and "ethical life" in such a way that the Kantian duality is rendered intelligible, rather than remaining a brute "given". The reason why this subsumption takes place in a series of concepts is that Hegel's method in his ''Science of Logic'' and his ''Encyclopedia'' is to begin with basic concepts like "Being" and "Nothing" and to develop these through a long sequence of elaborations, including those already mentioned. In this manner, a solution that is reached in principle in the account of "true infinity" in the ''Science of Logics chapter on "Quality" is repeated in new guises at later stages, all the way to "Spirit" and "ethical life" in the third volume of the ''Encyclopedia''. In this way, Hegel defended the truth in Kantian dualism against reductive or eliminative programs like materialism and empiricism. Like Plato, with his dualism of soul versus bodily appetites, Kant pursued the mind's ability to question its felt inclinations or appetites and to come up with a standard of "duty" (or, in Plato's case, "good") which transcends bodily restrictiveness. Hegel preserved this essential Platonic and Kantian concern in the form of infinity going beyond the finite (a process that Hegel in fact related to "freedom" and the "ought"),See ''Science of Logic'', trans. Miller [Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities, 1989] the universal going beyond the particular (in the Concept) and Spirit going beyond Nature. Hegel rendered these dualities intelligible by (ultimately) his argument in the "Quality" chapter of the "Science of Logic". The finite has to become infinite in order to achieve reality. The idea of the absolute excludes multiplicity so the subjective and objective must achieve synthesis to become whole. This is because, as Hegel suggested by his introduction of the concept of "reality", what determines itself—rather than depending on its relations to other things for its essential character—is more fully "real" (following the Latin etymology of "real", more "thing-like") than what does not. Finite things do not determine themselves because, as "finite" things, their essential character is determined by their boundaries over against other finite things, so in order to become "real" they must go beyond their finitude ("finitude is only as a transcending of itself"). The result of this argument is that finite and infinite—particular and universal, nature and freedom—do not face one another as independent realities, but instead the latter, in each case, is the self-transcending of the former. Rather than stress the singularity of each factor that complements and conflicts with the others, the relationship between finite and infinite (and particular and universal, and nature and freedom) becomes intelligible as a progressively developing and self-perfecting whole.


Progress

The mystical writings of Jakob Böhme had a strong effect on Hegel. Böhme had written that the Fall of Man was a necessary stage in the evolution of the universe. This evolution was the result of God's desire for complete self-awareness. Hegel was fascinated by the works of Kant, Rousseau and
Johann Wolfgang Goethe Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (28 August 1749 – 22 March 1832) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of G ...

Johann Wolfgang Goethe
and by the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
. Modern philosophy, culture and society seemed to Hegel fraught with contradictions and tensions, such as those between the subject and object of knowledge, mind and nature, Philosophy of self, self and Other (philosophy), Other, freedom and authority, knowledge and faith, or the
Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * Age of Enlightenment, period in Western intellectual history from the late 17th to late 18th century, centered in France but also encompassing: ** Midlands Enlightenment ...
and Romanticism. Hegel's main philosophical project was to take these contradictions and tensions and interpret them as part of a comprehensive, evolving, rational unity that in different contexts he called "the absolute Idea" (''
Science of Logic ''Science of Logic'' (''SL''; german: Wissenschaft der Logik, ''WdL''), first published between 1812 and 1816, is the work in which Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a Ger ...
'', sections 1781–1783) or "absolute knowledge" (''Phenomenology of Spirit'', "(DD) Absolute Knowledge"). According to Hegel, this unity evolved through and manifested itself in contradiction and negation. Contradiction and negation have the dynamic quality that every point in each domain of reality—consciousness, history, philosophy, art, nature and society—leads to further development until a rationality, rational unity is reached that preserves the contradictions as phases and sub-parts by lifting them up (''Aufheben, Aufhebung'') to a higher unity. This mind comprehends all of these phases and sub-parts as steps in its own process of comprehension. It is rational because the same, underlying, logical, developmental order underlies every domain of reality and self-conscious rational thought, although only in the later stages of development does it come to full self-consciousness. Reason, or the idea, comes to completion in the philosophical comprehension of individual existing human minds, which emerge from nature, and through their own understanding bring this developmental process to an understanding of itself. Hegel's thought is revolutionary in that it is a philosophy of absolute negation—as long as absolute negation is at the center, systematization remains open, making it possible for human beings to become subjects. "Mind" and "Spirit" are the common English translations of Hegel's use of the German "
Geist ''Geist'' () is a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German la ...

Geist
", which combines the meaning of spirit—as in god, ghost, or mind—with an intentional force. In Hegel's draft manuscripts written during his time at the University of Jena, his notion of "Geist" was tightly bound to the notion of "Aether (classical element), Aether", from which he also derived the concepts of space and time, but in his later works (after Jena) he did not explicitly use his old notion of "Aether".


Civil society

Hegel distinguished between civil society and state in his ''Elements of the Philosophy of Right''. In this work, civil society (Hegel used the term "''bürgerliche Gesellschaft''" though it is now referred to as ''Zivilgesellschaft'' in German to emphasize a more inclusive community) was a stage in the dialectical, dialectical relationship between Hegel's perceived opposites, the macro-community of the State (polity), state and the micro-community of the family. Broadly speaking, the term was split, like Hegel's followers, to the political left and political right. On the left, it became the foundation for Karl Marx's civil society as an base and superstructure, economic base; to the right, it became a description for all non-state (and the state is the peak of the objective spirit) aspects of society, including culture, society and politics. This liberal distinction between political society and civil society was used by Alexis de Tocqueville. In fact, Hegel's distinctions as to what he meant by civil society are often unclear. While it appears that he felt that a civil society, such as the one in which he lived, was an inevitable step in the dialectic, he allowed for the crushing of other "lesser," not fully realized civil societies as they were not fully conscious of their lack of progress. It was perfectly legitimate in Hegel's eyes for a conqueror, such as Napoleon, to come and destroy that which was not fully realized.


State

Hegel's State is the final culmination of the embodiment of freedom or right (''Rechte'') in the ''Elements of the Philosophy of Right.'' The State subsumes family and civil society and fulfills them. All three together are called "ethical life" (''Sittlichkeit''). The State involves three "wikt:moment#Noun, moments". In a Hegelian State, citizens both know their place and choose their place. They both know their obligations and choose to fulfill them. An individual's "supreme duty is to be a member of the state" (''Elements of the Philosophy of Right'', section 258). The individual has "substantial freedom in the state". The State is "objective spirit" so "it is only through being a member of the state that the individual himself has objectivity, truth, and ethical life" (section 258). Every member loves the State with genuine patriotism, but has transcended simple "team spirit" by reflectively endorsing their citizenship.


Heraclitus

According to Hegel, "Heraclitus is the one who first declared the nature of the infinite and first grasped nature as in itself infinite, that is, its essence as process. The origin of philosophy is to be dated from Heraclitus. His is the persistent Idea that is the same in all philosophers up to the present day, as it was the Idea of Plato and Aristotle". For Hegel, Heraclitus's great achievements were to have understood the nature of the infinite, which for Hegel includes understanding the inherent contradictoriness and negativity of reality; and to have grasped that reality is becoming or process and that "being" and "nothingness" are empty abstractions. According to Hegel, Heraclitus's "obscurity" comes from his being a true (in Hegel's terms "speculative") philosopher who grasped the ultimate philosophical truth and therefore expressed himself in a way that goes beyond the abstract and limited nature of common sense and is difficult to grasp by those who operate within common sense. Hegel asserted that, in Heraclitus, he had an antecedent for his logic: "[...] there is no proposition of Heraclitus which I have not adopted in my logic". Hegel cites a number of fragments of Heraclitus in his ''Lectures on the History of Philosophy''. One to which he attributes great significance is the fragment he translates as "Being is not more than Non-being", which he interprets to mean the following:
''Sein und Nichts sei dasselbe''
Being and non-being are the same.
Heraclitus did not form any abstract nouns from his ordinary use of "to be" and "to become" and seemed to oppose any identity A to any other identity B, C and so on, which is not-A. However, Hegel interprets not-A as not existing at all, not nothing at all, which cannot be conceived, but an indeterminate or "pure"
being In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, ...

being
without particularity or specificity. Pure being and pure non-being or nothingness are, for Hegel, abstractions from the reality of becoming and this is also how he interprets Heraclitus. For Hegel, the inner movement of reality is the process of God thinking as manifested in the evolution of the universe of nature and thought; Hegel argued that, when fully understood, reality is being Idealism, thought by God as manifested in a person's comprehension of this process. Since human thought is the image and fulfillment of God's thought, God can be understood by an analysis of thought and reality. Just as humans continually correct their concept of reality through a dialectic, dialectical process, God becomes more fully manifested through the dialectical process of becoming. For his god, Hegel does not take the logos of Heraclitus but refers to the nous of Anaxagoras, although he may well have regarded them the same as he continues to refer to god's plan, which is identical to God. Whatever the nous thinks at any time is actual Substance theory, substance and is identical to limited being, but more remains in the substrate of non-being, which is identical to pure or unlimited thought. The universe as becoming is a combination of being and non-being. The particular is never complete in itself, but in its quest to find completion continually transforms into more comprehensive, complex, self-relating particulars. The essential nature of being-for-itself is that it is free "in itself;" it does not depend on anything else for its being. The limitations represent fetters, which it must constantly cast off as it becomes freer and more self-determining. Although Hegel began his philosophizing with commentary on the Christian religion and often expresses the view that he is a Christian, his ideas are not acceptable to some Christians even though he has had a major influence on 19th- and 20th-century theology.


Religion

As a graduate of a Protestant seminary, Hegel's theological concerns were reflected in many of his writings and lectures. For instance, in his "The Philosophy of History", Hegel argued the Protestant cause in the Thirty Years War was part of the struggle against absolutism and advanced the cause of human freedom. His thoughts on the person of Jesus, Jesus Christ stood out from the theologies of the Enlightenment. In his posthumously published ''Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, Part 3'', Hegel is particularly interested in demonstrations of God's existence and the ontological proof. He espouses that "God is not an abstraction but a concrete God [...] God, considered in terms of his eternal Idea, has to generate the Son, has to distinguish himself from himself; he is the process of differentiating, namely, love and Spirit". This means that Jesus, as the Son of God, is posited by God over and against himself as other. Hegel sees relational and metaphysical unities between Jesus and God the Father. To Hegel, Jesus is both divine and human. Hegel further attests that God (as Jesus) not only died, but "[...] rather, a reversal takes place: God, that is to say, maintains himself in the process, and the latter is only the death of death. God rises again to life, and thus things are reversed". The philosopher Walter Kaufmann (philosopher), Walter Kaufmann argued that there was sharp criticism of traditional Christianity in Hegel's early theological writings. Kaufmann also pointed out that Hegel's references to God or to the divine and spirit drew on classical Greek as well as Christian connotations of the terms. Kaufmann wrote:
Aside to his beloved Greeks, Hegel saw before him the example of Spinoza and, in his own time, the poetry of Goethe, Schiller, and Hölderlin, who also liked to speak of gods and the divine. So he, too, sometimes spoke of God and, more often, of the divine; and because he occasionally took pleasure in insisting that he was really closer to this or that Christian tradition than some of the theologians of his time, he has sometimes been understood to have been a Christian.
Hegel seemed to have an ambivalent relationship with Magic (supernatural), magic, myth and Paganism. He formulated an early philosophical example of a disenchantment narrative, arguing that Judaism was responsible both for realizing the existence of ''Geist'' and, by extension, for separating nature from ideas of spiritual and magical forces and challenging polytheism. However, Hegel's manuscript " The Oldest Systematic Program of German Idealism" suggests that Hegel was concerned about the perceived decline in myth and enchantment in his age, and he therefore called for a "new myth" to fill the cultural vacuum. Hegel continued to develop his thoughts on religion both in terms of how it was to be given a 'wissenschaftlich', or "theoretically rigorous," account in the context of his own "system," and how a fully modern religion could be understood.


Works

In addition to some articles published early in his career and during his Berlin period, Hegel published four major works during his lifetime: # ''
The Phenomenology of Spirit ''The Phenomenology of Spirit'' (german: Phänomenologie des Geistes) is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German people, German philosopher. He is considered one of th ...
'' (or ''The Phenomenology of Mind''), his account of the evolution of consciousness from sense-perception to absolute knowledge, published in 1807. # ''
Science of Logic ''Science of Logic'' (''SL''; german: Wissenschaft der Logik, ''WdL''), first published between 1812 and 1816, is the work in which Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a Ger ...
'', the logical and metaphysics, metaphysical core of his philosophy, in three volumes (1812, 1813 and 1816, respectively), with a revised first volume published in 1831. # ''Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences'', a summary of his entire philosophical system, which was originally published in 1816 and revised in 1827 and 1830. # ''Elements of the Philosophy of Right'', his political philosophy, published in 1820.


Posthumous works

During the last ten years of his life, Hegel did not publish another book but thoroughly revised the ''Encyclopedia'' (second edition, 1827; third, 1830). In his political philosophy, he criticized Karl Ludwig von Haller's reactionary work, which claimed that laws were not necessary. A number of other works on the philosophy of history, Philosophy of religion, religion,
aesthetics Aesthetics, or esthetics (), is a branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality R ...

aesthetics
and the history of philosophy were compiled from the lecture notes of his students and published posthumously. *
full text at
Internet Archive) (see also Lectures on the History of Philosophy) Hegel's posthumous works have had remarkable influence on subsequent works on religion, aesthetics, and history because of the comprehensive accounts of the subject matters considered within the lectures, with Heidegger for example in ''Poetry, Language, Thought'' characterizing Hegel's ''Lectures on Aesthetics'' as the "most comprehensive reflection on the nature of art that the West possesses—comprehensive because it stems from metaphysics."


Legacy

There are views of Hegel's thought as the summit of early 19th-century German philosophical
idealism In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, l ...

idealism
. It profoundly impacted many future philosophical schools, including those opposed to Hegel's specific dialectical idealism, such as
existentialism Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophy, philosophical inquiry that explores the problem of human existence and centres on the experience of thinking, feeling, and acting. In the view of the existentialist, the individual's starting point ha ...
, the historical materialism of Marx, historism and British idealism, British Idealism. Hegel's influence was immense in philosophy and other sciences. Throughout the 19th century, many chairs of philosophy around Europe were held by Hegelians and Søren Kierkegaard, Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels—among many others—were deeply influenced by, but also strongly opposed to many of Hegel's central philosophical themes. Scholars continue to point out Hegelian influences in a range of theoretical and/or learned works, such as Carl von Clausewitz's book on strategic thought, ''On War'' (1831). After less than a generation, Hegel's philosophy was banned by the Prussian right-wing and was firmly rejected by the left-wing in multiple official writings. After the period of Bruno Bauer, Hegel's influence waned until the philosophy of British Idealism and the 20th-century Hegelian Western Marxism that began with György Lukács. In the United States, Hegel's influence is evident in pragmatism. The more recent movement of communitarianism has a strong Hegelian influence. American economists Murray Rothbard and Karl Popper regard Hegel's ideals as having inspired modern totalitarian political leaders and movements with what they describe as his "worship" of the state.


Reading Hegel

Some of Hegel's writing was intended for those with advanced knowledge of philosophy, although his ''Encyclopedia'' was intended as a textbook in a university course (education), course. Nevertheless, Hegel assumed that his readers are well-versed in
Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of ...
. Especially crucial are Aristotle,
Immanuel Kant Immanuel Kant (, , ; 22 April 1724 – 12 February 1804) was a German Philosophy, philosopher and one of the central Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment thinkers. Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethic ...

Immanuel Kant
and Kant's immediate successors, most prominently
Johann Gottlieb Fichte Johann Gottlieb Fichte (; ; 19 May 1762 – 29 January 1814) was a German philosopher who became a founding figure of the philosophical movement known as German idealism, which developed from the theoretical and ethical writings of Immanuel Kan ...

Johann Gottlieb Fichte
and
Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (; 27 January 1775 – 20 August 1854), later (after 1812) von Schelling, was a German philosopher. Standard histories of philosophy make him the midpoint in the development of German idealism, situating him be ...

Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling
. Those without this background would be advised to begin with one of the many general introductions to his thought. As is always the case, difficulties are magnified for those reading him in translation. In fact, Hegel himself argued, in his ''Science of Logic'', that German was particularly conducive to philosophical thought. According to Walter Kaufmann, the basic idea of Hegel's works, especially the ''Phenomenology of Spirit'', is that a philosopher should not "confine him or herself to views that have been held but penetrate these to the human reality they reflect". In other words, it is not enough to consider propositions, or even the content of consciousness; "it is worthwhile to ask in every instance what kind of spirit would entertain such propositions, hold such views, and have such a consciousness. Every outlook in other words, is to be studied not merely as an academic possibility but as an existential reality". Kaufmann has argued that as unlikely as it may sound, it is not the case that Hegel was unable to write clearly, but that Hegel felt that "he must and should not write in the way in which he was gifted".


Left and right Hegelianism

Some historians have spoken of Hegel's influence as represented by two opposing camps. The Right Hegelians, the allegedly direct disciples of Hegel at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, advocated a Protestant orthodoxy and the political conservatism of the post-Napoleon I of France, Napoleon Restoration period. Today this faction continues among conservative Protestants, such as the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, which was founded by missionaries from Germany when the Hegelian Right was active. The Young Hegelians, Left Hegelians, also known as the Young Hegelians, interpreted Hegel in a revolutionary sense, leading to an advocation of atheism in religion and liberal democracy in politics. Recent studies have questioned this paradigm. No Hegelians of the period ever referred to themselves as "Right Hegelians", which was a term of insult originated by David Strauss, a self-styled Left Hegelian. Critiques of Hegel offered by the Left Hegelians radically diverted Hegel's thinking into new directions and eventually came to form a large part of the literature on and about Hegel.''The Universal Mind: The Evolution of Machine Intelligence and Human Psychology'', by Xiphias Press The Left Hegelians also influenced Marxism, which has in turn inspired global movements, from the Russian Revolution (1917), Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution (1949), Chinese Revolution and myriad of practices up until the present moment. Twentieth-century interpretations of Hegel were mostly shaped by British idealism, logical positivism, Marxism and Fascism. According to Benedetto Croce, the Italian Fascist Giovanni Gentile "holds the honor of having been the most rigorous neo-Hegelian in the entire history of Western philosophy and the dishonor of having been the official philosopher of Fascism in Italy". Since the fall of the Soviet Union, a new wave of Hegel scholarship has arisen in the West without the preconceptions of the prior schools of thought. and Otto Pöggeler in Germany as well as Peter Hodgson and Howard Kainz in the United States are notable for their recent contributions to post-Soviet Union thinking about Hegel.


Triads

In accounts of Hegelianism formed prior to the Hegel renaissance, Hegel's dialectic was often characterized as a three-step process, "thesis, antithesis, synthesis"; a "thesis" (e.g. the
French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) was a period of radical political and societal change in France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its ...

French Revolution
) would cause the creation of its "antithesis" (e.g. the
Reign of Terror The Reign of Terror, commonly called The Terror (french: link=no, la Terreur), was a period of the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) refers to the period that began with the Estates General of 1789 and ended in coup of 18 Br ...
that followed) and would result in a "synthesis" (e.g. the constitutional state of free citizens). However, Hegel used this classification only once and he attributed the terminology to Kant. The terminology was largely developed earlier by Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Fichte. It was spread by Heinrich Moritz Chalybäus in accounts of Hegelian philosophy and, since then, the terms have been used for this type of framework. The "thesis–antithesis–synthesis" approach erroneously gives the sense that things or ideas are contradicted or opposed by things that come from outside them. To the contrary, the fundamental notion of Hegel's dialectic is that things or ideas have internal contradictions. For Hegel, analysis or comprehension of a thing or idea reveals that underneath its apparently simple identity or unity is an underlying inner contradiction. This contradiction leads to the dissolution of the thing or idea in the simple form in which it presented to a higher-level, more complex thing or idea that more adequately incorporates the contradiction. The triadic form that appears in many places in Hegel (e.g. being–nothingness–becoming, immediate–mediate–concrete and abstract–negative–concrete) is about this movement from inner contradiction to higher-level integration or unification. For Hegel, reason is "speculative" – not "dialectical". Believing that the traditional description of Hegel's philosophy in terms of thesis–antithesis–synthesis was mistaken, a few scholars like Raya Dunayevskaya have attempted to discard the triadic approach. According to their argument, although Hegel referred to "the two elemental considerations: first, the idea of freedom as the absolute and final aim; secondly, the means for realising it, i.e. the subjective side of knowledge and will, with its life, movement, and activity" (thesis and antithesis), he did not use "synthesis", but instead spoke of the "Whole": "We then recognised the State as the moral Whole and the Reality of Freedom, and consequently as the objective unity of these two elements". Furthermore, in Hegel's language the "dialectical" aspect or "moment" of thought and reality, by which things or thoughts turn into their opposites or have their inner contradictions brought to the surface, what he called ''Aufheben, Aufhebung'', is only preliminary to the "speculative" (and not "synthesizing") aspect or "moment", which grasps the unity of these opposites or contradiction. It is now widely agreed that explaining Hegel's philosophy in terms of thesis–antithesis–synthesis is inaccurate. Nevertheless, this interpretation survives in a number of scholarly works.


Renaissance

In the last half of the 20th century, Hegel's philosophy underwent a major renaissance. This was due to (a) the rediscovery and re-evaluation of Hegel as a possible philosophical progenitor of Marxism by philosophically oriented Marxists; (b) a resurgence of Hegel's historical perspective; and (c) an increasing recognition of the importance of his dialectical method. György Lukács' ''History and Class Consciousness'' (1923) helped to reintroduce Hegel into the Marxist canon. This sparked a renewed interest in Hegel reflected in the work of Herbert Marcuse, Theodor W. Adorno, Ernst Bloch, Raya Dunayevskaya, Alexandre Kojève and Gotthard Günther among others. In ''Reason and Revolution'' (1941), Herbert Marcuse made the case for Hegel as a revolutionary and criticized Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse's thesis that Hegel was a totalitarian. The Hegel renaissance also highlighted the significance of Hegel's early works (i.e. those written before ''
The Phenomenology of Spirit ''The Phenomenology of Spirit'' (german: Phänomenologie des Geistes) is Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; ; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German people, German philosopher. He is considered one of th ...
''). The direct and indirect influence of Kojève's lectures and writings (on ''The Phenomenology of Spirit'' in particular) mean that it is not possible to understand most French philosophers from Jean-Paul Sartre to
Jacques Derrida Jacques Derrida (; ; born Jackie Élie Derrida; See also . July 15, 1930 – October 9, 2004), born in Algeria ) , image_map = Algeria (centered orthographic projection).svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = , capital = Algiers ...
without understanding Hegel. American neoconservative political science, political theorist Francis Fukuyama's controversial book ''The End of History and the Last Man'' (1992) was heavily influenced by Kojève. The Swiss theologian Hans Küng has also advanced contemporary Hegelian scholarship. Beginning in the 1960s, Anglo-American Hegel scholarship has challenged the traditional interpretation of Hegel as offering a metaphysical system: this has also been the approach of Z. A. Pelczynski and Shlomo Avineri. This view, sometimes referred to as the "non-metaphysical option", has influenced many major English-language studies of Hegel. Late 20th-century literature in Western Theology that is friendly to Hegel includes works by such writers as Walter Kaufmann (philosopher), Walter Kaufmann (1966), Dale M. Schlitt (1984), Theodore Geraets (1985), Philip M. Merklinger (1991), Stephen Rocker (1995) and Cyril O'Regan (1995). Two prominent American philosophers, John McDowell and Robert Brandom (sometimes referred to as the "University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Hegelians"), have produced philosophical works with a marked Hegelian influence. Each is avowedly influenced by the late Wilfred Sellars, also of Pittsburgh, who referred to his ''Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind'' (1956) as a series of "incipient ''Méditations Hegeliennes''" (in homage to Edmund Husserl's 1931 ''Cartesian Meditations, Méditations cartésiennes''). In a separate Canadian context, James Doull's philosophy is deeply Hegelian. Beginning in the 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union, a fresh reading of Hegel took place in the West. For these scholars, fairly well represented by the Hegel Society of America and in cooperation with German scholars such as Otto Pöggeler and Walter Jaeschke, Hegel's works should be read without preconceptions. Marx plays little-to-no role in these new readings. American philosophers associated with this movement include Lawrence Stepelevich, Rudolf Siebert, Richard Dien Winfield, Randall Jackwak, and Theodore Geraets.


Criticism

Criticism of Hegel has been widespread in the 19th and the 20th centuries. A diverse range of individuals including Arthur Schopenhauer, Karl Marx, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, Franz Rosenzweig, Eric Voegelin and A. J. Ayer have challenged Hegelian philosophy from a variety of perspectives. Among the first to take a critical view of Hegel's system was the 19th-century German group known as the Young Hegelians, which included Feuerbach, Marx, Engels and their followers. In Britain, the Hegelian British idealism school (members of which included Francis Herbert Bradley, Bernard Bosanquet (philosopher), Bernard Bosanquet and in the United States Josiah Royce) was challenged and rejected by analytic philosophers Moore and Russell. In particular, Russell considered "almost all" of Hegel's doctrines to be false. Regarding Hegel's interpretation of history, Russell commented: "Like other historical theories, it required, if it was to be made plausible, some distortion of facts and considerable ignorance". Logical positivism, Logical positivists such as Ayer and the Vienna Circle criticized both Hegelian philosophy and its supporters, such as Bradley. Hegel's contemporary Schopenhauer was particularly critical and wrote of Hegel's philosophy as "a pseudo-philosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking". Hegel was described by Schopenhauer as a "clumsy charlatan". Kierkegaard criticized Hegel's "absolute knowledge" unity. The physicist and philosopher Ludwig Boltzmann also criticized the obscure complexity of Hegel's works, referring to Hegel's writing as an "unclear thoughtless flow of words". In a similar vein, Robert Pippin notes that some view Hegel as having "the ugliest prose style in the history of the German language". Russell wrote in ''A History of Western Philosophy'' (1945) that Hegel was "the hardest to understand of all the great philosophers". Karl Popper quoted Schopenhauer as stating, "Should you ever intend to dull the wits of a young man and to incapacitate his brains for any kind of thought whatever, then you cannot do better than give Hegel to read...A guardian fearing that his ward might become too intelligent for his schemes might prevent this misfortune by innocently suggesting the reading of Hegel." Karl Popper wrote that "there is so much philosophical writing (especially in the Hegelian school) which may justly be criticised as meaningless verbiage". Popper also makes the claim in the second volume of ''The Open Society and Its Enemies'' (1945) that Hegel's system formed a thinly veiled justification for the Absolute monarchy, absolute rule of
Frederick William III Frederick William III (german: Friedrich Wilhelm III.; 3 August 1770 – 7 June 1840) was king of Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian: ''Prūsa'' or ''Prūsija'' was a historically prominent Germans, German state that originated in 1525 with Duc ...

Frederick William III
and that Hegel's idea of the ultimate goal of history was to reach a sovereign state, state approximating that of 1830s Prussia. Popper further proposed that Hegel's philosophy served not only as an inspiration for communism, communist and fascism, fascist totalitarian governments of the 20th century, whose dialectics allow for any belief to be construed as rational simply if it could be said to exist. Kaufmann and Shlomo Avineri have criticized Popper's theories about Hegel. Isaiah Berlin listed Hegel as one of the six architects of modern authoritarianism who undermined liberal democracy, along with Rousseau, Claude Adrien Helvétius, Fichte, Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon, Saint-Simon and Joseph de Maistre. Voegelin argued that Hegel should be understood not as a philosopher, but as a "sorcerer", i.e. as a mysticism, mystic and Hermeticism, hermetic thinker. This concept of Hegel as a hermetic thinker was elaborated by Glenn Alexander Magee, who argued that interpreting Hegel's body of work as an expression of mysticism and hermetic ideas leads to a more accurate understanding of Hegel."I do not argue that merely that we ''can'' understand Hegel as a Hermetic thinker, just as we can understand him as a German or a Swabian or an idealist thinker. Instead, I argue that we ''must'' understand Hegel as a Hermetic thinker, if we are to truly understand him at all." Magee 2001, p. 2.


Selected works


Published during Hegel's lifetime

* ''Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie'', 1801 :'' The Difference Between Fichte's and Schelling's Systems of Philosophy'', tr. H. S. Harris and Walter Cerf, 1977 * ''Phenomenology of Spirit, Phänomenologie des Geistes'', 1807
''Phenomenology of Mind''
tr. James Black Baillie, J. B. Baillie, 1910; 2nd ed. 1931 :''Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit'', tr. A. V. Miller, 1977 :''Phenomenology of Spirit'', tr. Terry Pinkard, 2018 * ''Science of Logic, Wissenschaft der Logik'', 1812, 1813, 1816, "Doctrine of Being" revised 1831 :''Science of Logic'', tr. W. H. Johnston and L. G. Struthers, 2 vols., 1929; tr. A. V. Miller, 1969; tr. George di Giovanni, 2010 * ''Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften'', 1817; 2nd ed. 1827; 3rd ed. 1830 (''Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences'') :(Pt. I:) ''The Logic of Hegel'', tr. William Wallace (Scottish philosopher), William Wallace, 1874, 2nd ed. 1892; tr. T. F. Geraets, W. A. Suchting and H. S. Harris, 1991; tr. Klaus Brinkmann and Daniel O. Dahlstrom 2010 :(Pt. II:) ''Hegel's Philosophy of Nature'', tr. A. V. Miller, 1970 :(Pt. III:) ''Hegel's Philosophy of Mind'', tr. William Wallace, 1894; rev. by A. V. Miller, 1971; rev. 2007 by M. J. Inwood * ''Elements of the Philosophy of Right, Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts'', 1821 :''Elements of the Philosophy of Right'', tr. T. M. Knox, 1942; tr. :de:Hugh Barr Nisbet, H. B. Nisbet, ed. Allen W. Wood, 1991


Published posthumously

* ''Lectures on Aesthetics'' * ''Lectures on the Philosophy of History'' (also translated as ''Lectures on the Philosophy of World History''), 1837 * ''Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion'' * ''Lectures on the History of Philosophy'' * ''Lectures on Logic'', 1831


See also

* Dialectical idealism * "God is dead" * Hegel-Archiv * Political consciousness * Process theology * Pure thought * Rudy Rucker, the great-great-great-grandson of Hegel


Notes


Explanatory notes


Citations


Sources

* * Frederick C. Beiser, Beiser, Frederick C. (ed.), 1993. ''The Cambridge Companion to Hegel''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . * Beiser, Frederick C., 2005. ''Hegel''. New York: Routledge. * Burbidge, John, 2006. ''The Logic of Hegel's Logic: An Introduction''. Broadview Press. * J. N. Findlay, Findlay, J. N., 1958. ''Hegel: A Re-examination''. New York: Oxford University Press. * * Francke, Kuno, Howard, William Guild, Schiller, Friedrich, 1913–1914 * Gentile, Andrea, 2018. ''Bewusstsein, Anschauung und das Unendliche bei Fichte, Schelling und Hegel. Über den unbedingten Grundsatz der Erkenntnis'', Freiburg, München: Verlag Karl Alber, * * Harris, H. S., 1995. ''Hegel: Phenomenology and System''. Indianapolis: Hackett. * Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich, 1895. ''Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Religion''. London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co. Eng. tr. E.B. Speirs and J. Burdon Sanderson as ''Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion'', New York: Humanities Press, 1974. . * Houlgate, Stephen, 2005. ''An Introduction to Hegel. Freedom, Truth and History''. Oxford: Blackwell * Houlgate, Stephen, 2005. ''The Opening of Hegel's Logic: From Being to Infinity''. Purdue University Press. * Jean Hyppolite, Hyppolite, Jean, 1946. ''Genèse et structure de la Phénoménologie de l'esprit''. Paris: Aubier. Eng. tr. Samuel Cherniak and John Heckman as ''Genesis and Structure of Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit"'', Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1979. . * Inwood, M. J., 1983. ''Hegel—The Arguments of the Philosophers''. London & New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul * Kainz, Howard P., 1996. ''G. W. F. Hegel''. Athens: Ohio University Press. . * Walter Kaufmann (philosopher), Kaufmann, Walter, 1965. ''Hegel: A Reinterpretation''. New York: Doubleday (reissued Notre Dame IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1978). * Alexandre Kojève, Kojève, Alexandre, 1947. ''Introduction à la lecture de Hegel''. Paris: Gallimard. Eng. tr. James H. Nichols, Jr., as ''Introduction to the Reading of Hegel: Lectures on the Phenomenology of Spirit'', Basic Books, 1969. . * * * Domenico Losurdo, Losurdo, Domenico, 2004. ''Hegel and the Freedom of Moderns''. Duke University Press Books * Georg Lukács, Lukács, Georg, 1948. ''Der junge Hegel''. Zürich and Vienna (2nd ed. Berlin, 1954). Eng. tr. Rodney Livingstone as ''The Young Hegel'', London: Merlin Press, 1975. . * Maker, William, 1994. ''Philosophy Without Foundations: Rethinking Hegel''. State University of New York Press. . * * * Herbert Marcuse, Marcuse, Herbert, 1941. ''Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory''. * Mueller, Gustav Emil, 1968. ''Hegel: the man, his vision, and work''. New York: Pageant Press. * * Pinkard, Terry, 1988. ''Hegel's Dialectic: The Explanation of Possibility''. Temple University Press * Pinkard, Terry, 1994. ''Hegel's Phenomenology: The Sociality of Reason''. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. * Robert B. Pippin, Pippin, Robert B., 1989. ''Hegel's Idealism: the Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness''. Cambridge University Press. . * Raymond Plant, Plant, Raymond, 1983. ''Hegel: An Introduction.'' Oxford: Blackwell * * Riedel, Manfred, 1984. ''Between Tradition and Revolution: The Hegelian Transformation of Political Philosophy'', Cambridge. * * Gillian Rose, Rose, Gillian, 1981. ''Hegel Contra Sociology''. Athlone Press. * Rosen, Stanley, 2000. ''G.W.F Hegel: Introduction To Science Of Wisdom'', (Carthage Reprint) St. Augustines Press; 1 edition * John Russon, Russon, John, 2004. ''Reading Hegel's Phenomenology''. Indiana University Press. . * * * Peter Singer, Singer, Peter, 2001. ''Hegel: A Very Short Introduction''. New York: Oxford University Press (previously issued in the OUP ''Past Masters'' series, 1983) * Solomon, Robert, 1983. ''In the Spirit of Hegel'', Oxford: Oxford University Press * * Stewart, Jon, ed., 1996. ''The Hegel Myths and Legends''. Northwestern University Press. * James Hutchison Stirling, Stirling, James Hutchison, ''The Secret of Hegel'': Being the Hegelian System in Origin Principle, Form and Matter, London: Oliver & Boyd * W. T. Stace, Stace, W. T., 1955. ''The Philosophy of Hegel''. New York: Dover. * Charles Taylor (philosopher), Taylor, Charles, 1975. ''Hegel''. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. . * Williams, Robert R., 2000. ''Hegel's Ethics of Recognition'', University of California Press; New Ed edition * Allen W. Wood, Wood, Allen W., 1990 ''Hegel's Ethical Thought'', Cambridge University Press


External links

* Andrew Chitty's (University of Sussex
Hegel Bibliography
* *

– Works on Hegel in Université du Québec site (in French)
Hegel, as the National Philosopher of Germany (1874)
Karl Rosenkranz, Granville Stanley Hall, William Torrey Harris, Gray, Baker & Co. 1874
Hegel page in 'The History Guide'

Hegel.net
– freely available resources (under the GNU FDL) * Lowenberg J., (1913
"The Life of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel"
in ''German classics of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries''. New York: German Publication Society.


Audio

*


Video


''Hegel: The First Cultural Psychologist''
2007 from Vimeo Andy Blunden
Presentation by Terry Pinkard on ''Hegel: A Biography'', May 10, 2000


Societies


The Hegel Society of America

The Hegel Society of Great Britain


Hegel texts online

*
Scans of all (original, German) books from Hegel (all editions) between 1807 and 1850 as PDFs at hegel.net
*


Hegel's ''The Philosophy of Right''

Hegel's ''The Philosophy of History''


reference archive on Marxists.org
''Phenomenology of Spirit''. translated by Terry Pinkard (2012)
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