Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Short Summary: Hegel - History of Philosophy

Georg Hegel (1770-1831) drew his philosophy for the Romantic phrase ‘world spirit’ but used this phrase differently. Hegel meant, “the sum of human utterances.” Truth according to Hegel  is subjective and there is no truth above human reason as it is manifested in human history. All philosophers before Hegel said that there were some timeless truths. Hegel thought that human cognition changed from generation to generation in constant flux which drove history itself forwards towards the knowledge of the absolute. You can’t say that one is better than another. Thoughts at a particular time simply shape the future as they are the result of the past. So Hegel argues that you can’t claim a thought to be correct forever, just at a particular point in time since it is always conditioned by history (this view is called "Historicism"). A thought may be reasonable now, but not necessarily in the future. In Hegel opinion you cannot detach anyone from historical context. The world spirit progresses according to Hegel through a mechanism calls "Dialectics" (Hegel's is a idealist dialectics as opposed to Marx's material dialectics). There is a dialectic process – thesis, antithesis, and then synthesis. A thought, followed by a dissension, followed by the synthesis of those two ideas. That which is right survives. The thought that women couldn’t think was ruled by opinions and arbitrary inclinations. According to Hegel we need the tension of an opposite to define a term. Hegel also opposed individualism – emphasized importance of family, civil society and state. Everyone is born into a historical background and state. In Hegel's view one must find a higher place in the state. The state is more than the sum of the people. (subjective, objective + absolute spirit..

to know more on Hegel's philosophy go to our page on Hegel
You can also check out these summaries of Hegel's thought:

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