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Hegelianism is the philosophy of G. W. F. Hegel which can be summed up by the dictum that "the rational alone is real",[1] which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. His goal was to reduce reality to a more synthetic unity within the system of absolute idealism.

The "ground" of h

The "ground" of historical development is, therefore, rational; since the State, if it is not in contradiction, is the embodiment of reason as spirit. Many, at first considered to be contingent events of history, can become, in reality or in necessity, stages in the logical unfolding of the sovereign reason which gets embodied in an advanced State. Such a "necessary contingency" when expressed in passions, impulse, interest, character, personality, get used by the "cunning of reason", which, in retrospect, was to its own purpose.

Historical happenings are, therefore, to be understood as the stern, reluctant working of reason towards the fulfillment of itself in perfect freedom. Consequently, history must be interpreted in rational terms and the succession of events must be put into logical categories.

The widest view of history reveals three important stages of development:

  • Oriental imperial (the stage of oneness, of suppression of freedom)
  • Greek social democracy (the stage of expansion, in which f

    The widest view of history reveals three important stages of development:

    Even in the State, mind is limited by subjection to other minds. There remains the final step in the process of the acquisition of freedom, namely, that by which absolute mind in art, religion, and philosophy subjects itself to itself alone. In art, mind has the intuitive contemplation of itself as attained in the art material, and the development of the arts has been conditioned by the ever-increasing "docility" with which the art material lends itself to either the actualization of mind or the idea.

    In religion, mind feels the superiority of itself to the particular limitations of finite things. Here, as in the philosophy of history, there are three great moments, Oriental religion, which exaggerated the idea of the infinite, Greek religion, which gave undue importance to the finite, and Christianity, which represents the union of the infinite and the finite. Last of all, absolute mind, as philosophy, transcends the limitations imposed on it even in religious feeling, and, discarding representative intuition, attains all truth under the form of reason.

    Whatever truth there is in art and in religion is contained in philosophy, in a higher form, and free from all limitations. Philosophy is, therefore, "the highest, freest and wisest phase of the union o

    In religion, mind feels the superiority of itself to the particular limitations of finite things. Here, as in the philosophy of history, there are three great moments, Oriental religion, which exaggerated the idea of the infinite, Greek religion, which gave undue importance to the finite, and Christianity, which represents the union of the infinite and the finite. Last of all, absolute mind, as philosophy, transcends the limitations imposed on it even in religious feeling, and, discarding representative intuition, attains all truth under the form of reason.

    Whatever truth there is in art and in religion is contained in philosophy, in a higher form, and free from all limitations. Philosophy is, therefore, "the highest, freest and wisest phase of the union of subjective and objective mind, and the ultimate goal of all development."[citation needed]

    The far reaching influence of Hegel is due in a measure to the undoubted vastness of the scheme of philosophical synthesis which he conceived and partly realized. A philosophy which undertook to organize under the single formula of triadic development every department of knowledge, from abstract logic up to the philosophy of history, has a great deal of attractiveness to those who are metaphysically inclined. But Hegel's influence is due in a still larger measure to two extrinsic circumstances.

    His philosophy is the highest expression of that spirit of collectivism typical of the nineteenth century in which he dwelled. In theology especially Hegel revolutionized the methods of inquiry. The application of his notion of development to theology especially Hegel revolutionized the methods of inquiry. The application of his notion of development to Biblical criticism and to historical investigation is obvious to anyone who compares the spirit and purpose of contemporary theology with the spirit and purpose of the theological literature of the first half of the nineteenth century.[citation needed]

    In science, too, and in literature, the substitution of the category of becoming for the category of being is a very patent fact, and is due to the influence of Hegel's method. In political economy and political science the effect of Hegel's collectivistic conception of the State supplanted to a large extent the individualistic conception which was handed down from the eighteenth century to the nineteenth century.

    Hegel's philosophy became known outside Germany from the 1820s onwards, and Hegelian schools developed in northern Europe, Italy, France, Eastern Europe, America and Britain.[3] These schools are collectively known as post-Hegelian philosophy, post-Hegelian idealism or simply post-Hegelianism.[4]

    In Germany

    Hegel's immediate followers in Germany are generally divided into the "Right Hegelians" and the "Left Hegelians" (the latter also referred to as the "Young Hege

    Hegel's immediate followers in Germany are generally divided into the "Right Hegelians" and the "Left Hegelians" (the latter also referred to as the "Young Hegelians").

    The Rightists developed his philosophy along lines which they considered to be in accordance with Christian theology. They included Johann Philipp Gabler, Johann Philipp Gabler, Johann Karl Friedrich Rosenkranz, and Johann Eduard Erdmann.

    The Leftists accentuated the anti-Christian tendencies of Hegel's system and developed schools of materialism, socialism, rationalism, and pantheism. They included Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Bruno Bauer, and David Strauss. Max Stirner socialized with the left Hegelians but built his own philosophical system largely opposing that of these thinkers.

    In Britain, Hegelianism was represented during the nineteenth century by, and largely overlapped the British Idealist school of James Hutchison Stirling, Thomas Hill Green, William Wallace, John Caird, Edward Caird, Richard Lewis Nettleship, F. H. Bradley, and J. M. E. McTaggart.

    In Denmark, Hegelianism was represented by Johan Ludvig Heiberg and Hans Lassen Martensen from the 1820s to the 1850s.

    In mid-19th century Italy, Hegelianism was represented by

    In Denmark, Hegelianism was represented by Johan Ludvig Heiberg and Hans Lassen Martensen from the 1820s to the 1850s.

    In mid-19th century Italy, Hegelianism was represented by Bertrando Spaventa.

    Hegelianism in North America was represented by Friedrich August Rauch and William T. Harris, as well as the St. Louis Hegelians. In its most recent form it seems to take its inspiration from Thomas Hill Green, and whatever influence it exerts is opposed to the prevalent pragmatic tendency.

    In Poland, Hegelianism was represented by Karol Libelt, August Cieszkowski and Józef Kremer.

    Benedetto Croce and Étienne Vacherot were the leading Hegelians towards the end of the nineteenth century in Italy and France, respectively. Among Catholic philosophers who were influenced by Hegel the most prominent were Georg Hermes and Anton Günther.

    Hegelianism also inspired Giovanni Gentile's philosophy of actual idealism and fascism, the concept that people are motivated by ideas and that social change is brought by the leaders.

    Hegelianism spread to Imperial Russia through St. Petersburg in the 1840s, and was – as other intellectual waves were – considered an absolute truth among its intelligentsia until the arrival of Darwinism in the 1860s.[5]

    Continental philosopher Slavoj Žižek is considered to be a contemporary post-Hegelian philosopher.[6]

    Analytic philosopher Robert Brandom introduced a Hegelian phase in analytic philosophy (see Pittsburgh School / analytic Hegelianism).[7][8]