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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 – November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher and an important figure of German idealism.

Hegel achieved wide recognition in his day and—while primarily influential within the continental tradition of philosophy—has become increasingly influential in the analytic tradition as well. Although Hegel remains a divisive figure, his canonical stature within Western philosophy is universally recognized.

Hegel’s principal achievement was his development of a distinctive articulation of idealism, sometimes termed absolute idealism, in which the dualisms of, for instance, mind and nature and subject and object are overcome. His philosophy of spirit conceptually integrates psychology, the state, history, art, religion and philosophy.

Hegel’s account of the master–slave dialectic has been highly influential, especially in 20th-century France. Of special importance is his concept of spirit (Geist, sometimes also translated as “mind”) as the historical manifestation of the logical concept and the “sublation” (Aufhebung, integration without elimination or reduction) of seemingly contradictory or opposing factors: examples include the apparent opposition between necessity and freedom and between immanence and transcendence. Hegel has been seen in the 20th century as the originator of the thesis, antithesis, synthesis triad, but as an explicit phrase it originated with Johann Gottlieb Fichte.

Hegel has influenced many thinkers and writers whose own positions vary widely. Karl Barth described Hegel as a “Protestant Aquinas” while Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote that “all the great philosophical ideas of the past century—the philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche, phenomenology, German existentialism, and psychoanalysis—had their beginnings in Hegel.”



The Essential Dialectic of Hegelian Philosophy is:

{Logic ⇆ Nature ⇅ Spirit} ↻ Reason

The Essential Dialectic of Hegelian Philosophy is the Logic, Nature, Spirit, Reason Dialectic because …


The Intermediary Dialectic of Hegelian Philosophy is:

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The Complete Dialectic of Hegelian Philosophy is:

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Heidegger: “If reading the problematic of Being and Time into some other text is ever nonsensical, then this is the case with Hegel. For the thesis that the essence of being is time is the exact opposite of what Hegel tried to demonstrate in his entire philosophy. The Hegelian thesis is the reverse: Being is the essence of timebeing, that is, as infinity

Heidegger: “We must repeat again and again that Hegel presupposes already at the beginning what he achieves at the end.”

Hegel: “Force itself expresses the idea of relation.”

Hegel: “The concept of force rises above…the causal connection; force unifies in itself both the essential aspects of the relation: being-identical and being-separate, the former as the identity of being-separated or of infinity.”

Wilhelm Traugott Krug (06.22.1770  01.12..1842) was a German philosopher and writer who succeeded Kant in the chair of logic and metaphysics at the University of Konigsberg.

Krug attempted to reconcile Realism and Idealism by means of a Transcendental Synthesis that would destroy the traditional difficulty between transcendental, or pure, thought and things-in-themselves. Krug failed in his attempt to synthesis the mind/body dualism, but is now best known for challenging Hegel to deduce his quill or pen from German Idealism’s Philosophy of Nature.

In challenging Hegel, Krug challenged the thinking that particular, perceptually real things could be logically known from general concepts. As such, this called into question Hegel’s Absolute Idealism, with its Absolute Spirit, and the claim that something exists, or has being, because it is a thought in someone’s mind.

G. W. F. Hegel: “It is funny how Hr. Kr. is nevertheless so gracious that he does not want to take the philosopher who poses a master in philosophy quite literally by his word; so he demands only something little, only the deduction of definite notion, e.g., of the moon with all its characteristics, or of a rose, a horse, a dog, wood, iron, clay, an oak, or merely of his writing pen. It looks as if Hr. Kr. had wished to make things easy for the idealists with such demands by picking out of the solar system only a subordinate point, the moon, or, as something still much easier, his writing pen. But doesn’t Hr. Kr. comprehend that the determinatenesses which are incomprehensible in transcendental idealism belong to the philosophy of nature, of whose difference from transcendental idealism he does not seem to know anythinginsofar as they, unlike Hr. Kr.’s pen, belong in philosophy at all? In the philosophy of nature he can find a Dedukzion (a word whose meaning is as bad here as its spelling) of one of the things he proposes, of iron. Does Hr. Kr. have so little of an idea of philosophical construction that he supposes that the moon could be comprehended without the entire solar system, and does he have such a feeble notion of this solar system that he does not see that the knowledge of this system is the most sublime and supreme task of reason? If Hr. Kr. had even a remote intimation of the magnitude of this definite task or of that which is in general at the present moment the first concern of philosophy, namely to place God once again absolutely right in front at the head of philosophy as the sole ground of everything, as the only principium essendi and cognoscendi [principle of being and of knowledge], after he has been placed long enough along-side other finite things or entirely at the end, as a postulate [by Kant in his Critique of Practical Reason] that issues from an absolute finitudehow, then, could it occur to him to demand the deduction of his pen from philosophy? A dog, an oak, a horse, a reed are, to be sure, like Moses, Alexander, Cyrus, Jesus, etc., something more excellent, and both lines of organization [nature and history] are closer to philosophy than Hr. Krug’s pen and the philosophical works he has authored. The philosophy of nature points out to him how he should have to comprehend the organization of an oak, rose, dog, and cat; and if he has the inclination and zeal to contract his human individuality to the stage of life or a rose or a dog in order to comprehend and grasp their living being completely, let him make the attempt. But he cannot expect it from others. And it would be better if he tried to expand his nature to the greatest individualities, such as Cyrus, Moses, Alexander, Jesus, etc., or even only of the great orator Cicero; then he could hardly fail to comprehend their necessity and to consider the construction of these individuals, as well as the series of appearances of the world spirit which one calls history, more capable of a construction. But from the demand for a deduction of his pen he will have to desist entirely toward this end…”

Walter Kaufmann: “Professor W.E. Hocking of Harvard used to say in class that Hegel had ridiculed Krug’s challenge to him to deduce his writing pen, but that a really good philosophy of nature ought to be able to accomplish such a deduction.”

The God of the Philosophers is the Holy Ghost. It should come as no surprise that the Holy Ghost, or the Holy Spirit, is a big theme in German Idealism. The Geist of Hegel is in fact the Holy Ghost.

Sugrue, Michael Great Minds Part V Modernism and the Age of Analysis Lecture Eleven

G.W.F. Hegel: “The history of philosophy is the story of the discovery of the thoughts about the Absolute which is their subject matter. Thus, for example, we can say that Socrates discovered the determination of purpose that was filled out as a determinate cognition by Plato, and more particularly by Aristotle.”
2. It was Hegel who, by constructing a sequential history of philosophy that corresponded to factual, political history – something quite unknown before him – actually broke with […] tradition, because he was the first great thinker to take history seriously, that is, as yielding truth.

The realm of human affairs, in which everything that is has been brought into being by man or men, had never been so looked on by a philosopher. And the change was due to an event – the French Revolution. “The revolution,” Hegel admits, “may have got its first impulse from philosophy,” but is “world-historical significance” consists in that, for the first time, man dared to turn himself upside down, “to stand on his head and on thought, and to build reality according to it.” “Never since the sun had stood in the firmament and the planets revolved around him had it been perceived that man’s existence centers in his head, that is, in thought…This was a glorious mental dawn. All thinking beings shared in the jubilation of this epoch…a spiritual enthusiasm thrilled through the world, as if the reconciliation between the Divine and the Secular was now first accomplished.” What the event had shown amounted to a new dignity of man; “making public the ideas of how something ought to be [will cause] the lethargy of smugly sedate people [die gesetzen Leute], who always accept everything as it is, to disappear.

Hegel never forgot this early experience. As late as 1829/30, he told his students: “In such times of political turn-about philosophy finds its place; this is when thought precedes and shapes reality. For when one form of the Spirit no longer gives satisfaction, philosophy sharply takes note of it in order to understand the dissatisfaction.” In short, he almost explicitly contradicted his famous statement about the owl of Minerva in the Preface to the Philosophy of Right. The “glorious mental dawn” of his youth inspired and informed all of his writing up to the end. In the French Revolution, principles and thoughts had been realized; a reconciliation had occurred between the “Divine,” with which man spends his time while thinking, and the “secular,” the affairs of men.

This reconciliation is at the center of the whole Hegelian system. If it was possible to understand World History – and not just the histories of particular epochs and nations – as a single succession of events whose eventual outcome would be the moment when the “Spiritual Kingdom…manifests itself in outward existence,” becomes “embodied” in “secular life,” then the course of history would no longer be haphazard and the realm of human affairs no longer devoid of meaning. The French Revolution had proved that “Truth in its living form [could be] exhibited in the affairs of the world.” Now one could indeed consider every moment in the world’s historical sequence as an “it was to be” and assign to philosophy the task of “comprehending this plan” from its beginning, its “phenomenal, present existence.” Hegel identifies this “Spiritual Kingdom” with the “Kingdom of the Will” because the wills of men are necessary to bring the spiritual realm about, and for this reason he asserts that “the Freedom of the Will per se [that is, the freedom the Will necessarily wills]…is itself absolute…it is…that by which Man becomes Man, and is therefore the fundamental principle of Mind.” As a matter of fact, the only guarantee – if such it is – that the ultimate goal of the unfolding of the World Spirit in the world’s affairs must be Freedom is implicit in the freedom that is implicit in the Will.
By virtue of the inherent negativity in them, all things become self-contradictory, opposed to themselves, and their being consists in that ‘force which can both comprehend and endure Contradiction.’ ‘All things are contradictory in themselves’this proposition, which so sharply differs from the traditional laws of identity and contradiction, expresses for Hegel ‘the truth and essence of things.’”
In the negation of the negation (that is, of punctuality) the point posits itself for itself and thus emerges from the indifference of subsisting. As that which is posited for itself, it differentiates itself from this one and from the one: it is no longer this and not yet that. In positing itself for itself, it posits the succession in which it standsthe sphere of Being-outside-of-itself, which is by now the sphere of the negated negation. When punctuality as indifference gets transmuted, this signifies that it no longer remains lying in the ‘paralyzed tranquility of space’. The point ‘gives itself airs’ before all other points.

Heidegger Being and Time pg 482

The movement [of divine Being] is the circle that returns into itself, the circle that [self-consciously] presupposes [and simultaneously posits] its beginning and reaches it at the end.
Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit pg 488

This incarnation of the divine Being, or the fact that it essentially and directly has the shape of self-consciousness, is simple the content of absolute religion. In this religion divine Being is known as Spirit, or this religion is the consciousness of the divine Being that is Spirit. For Spirit is the knowledge of oneself in the externalization of oneself; the being that is the movement of retaining this self-identity in its otherness. This, however, is Substance, in so far as Substance is, in its accidents, at the same time reflected into itself, not indifferent to them as to something essential or present in them as in an alien element, but in them it is within itself, i.e. in so far as it is Subject or Self. Consequently, in this religion the divine Being is revealed. Its being revealed obviously consists in this, that what it is, is known. But it is known precisely in its being known as Spirit, as a Being that is essentially a self-conscious Being.

Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit pg 459
Here, therefore, consciousnessor the mode in which essence is for consciousness itself, i.e. its shapeis in fact, identical with its self-consciousness. This shape is itself a self-consciousness; it is thus at the same time an object in the mode of immediate being, and this being, likewise immediately, has the significance of pure Thought, of absolute Being. The absolute Being which exists as an actual self-consciousness seems to have come down from its eternal simplicity, but by this coming down it has in fact attained for the first time its own highest essence.

That absolute Spirit has given itself implicitly the shape of self-consciousness, and therefore has also given it for its consciousnessthis now appears as the belief of the world that Spirit is immediately present as self-conscious Being, i.e. as an actual man, that the believer is immediately certain of Spirit, sees, feels and hears this divinity. Thus this self-consciousness is not imagination, but is actual in the believer.

Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit pg 458

The “I” has neither to cling to itself in the form of self-consciousness as against the form of substantiality and objectivity, as if it were afraid of the externalization of itself: the power of Spirit lies rather in remaining the selfsame Spirit in its externalization and, as that which is both in itself and for itself, in making its being-for-self no less merely a moment than its in-itself; nor is Spirit a tertium quid that cast the differences back into the abyss of the Absolute and declares that therein they are all the same; on the contrary, knowing is this seeming inactivity which merely contemplates how what is differentiated spontaneously moves in its own self and returns into its unity.

Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit pg 480

What is called self-consciousness is just this pure abstraction, it is this thinking for which being is the immediate. Thus the lowest is at the same time the highest; the revealed which has come forth wholly on the surface is precisely therein the most profound. That the supreme Being is seen, heard, etc. as an immediately present self-consciousness, this therefore is indeed the consummation of its Notion [Freedom]; and through this consummation that Being is immediately present qua supreme Being.

Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit pg 460
Yet this externalization is still incomplete; it expresses the connection of its self-certainty with the object which, just because it is thus connected, has not yet won its complete freedom. The self-knowing Spirit knows not only itself but also the negative of itself, or its limit: to know one’s limit is to know how to sacrifice oneself. This sacrifice is the externalization in which Spirit displays the process of its becoming Spirit in the form of free contingent happening, intuiting its pure Self as Time outside of it, and equally its Being as Space.

Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit pg 480
Space is ‘the unmediated indifference of Nature’s Being-outside-of-itself. This is a way of saying that space is the abstract multiplicity of the points which are differentiable in it. Space is not interrupted by these; but neither does it arise from them by way of joining them together. Though it is differentiated by differentiable points which are space themselves, space remains, for its part, without any differences. The differences themselves are of the same character as that which they differentiate. Nevertheless, the point, in so far as it differentiates anything in space, is the negation of space, though in such a manner that, as this negation, it itself remains in space; a point is space after all. The point does not lift itself out of space as if it were something of another character. Space is the “outside-of-one-another” of the multiplicity of points, and it is without any differences.

Professor Hegel: “Actuality and thought (or Idea) are often absurdly opposed. It is necessary energetically to protest against these doctrines, for on the one hand Ideas are not confined to our heads merely, nor is the Idea, on the whole, so feeble as to leave the question of its actualization or non-actualization dependent on our will. The Idea is rather the absolutely active as well as actual.”

By virtue of the inherent negativity in them, all things become self-contradictory, opposed to themselves, and their being consists in that ‘force which can both comprehend and endure Contradiction.’ ‘All things are contradictory in themselves’this proposition, which so sharply differs from the traditional laws of identity and contradiction, expresses for Hegel ‘the truth and essence of things.’ ‘Contradiction is the root of all movement and life,’ all reality is self-contradictory. Motion especially, external movement as well as self-movement, is nothing but ‘existing contradiction.’”

Darren Staloff: “For Hegel, history represents the necessary and rational unfolding of absolute Spirit toward self-consciousness. That is, history is the world or God or the collective spirit of humanity becoming conscious of itself and discovering its own nature. It proceeds in necessary phases, an understanding of which allows us in turn to understand the artistic, scientific, and philosophical products of each phase. Hegel’s philosophy of history can be summarized by the following four sentences [A,B,C & D]

A. History is the dialectical process whereby spirit comes to know itself and
realizes its Idea.

B. Freedom is the idea of the Spirit and Spirit is Reason in-and-for itself.

C. The means of this realization, or cunning of Reason, is the passions of
the individual as both subject and object of history, and its form is the

D. The national spirit is a moment in the development of the World Spirit and for each such moment as for all, the owl of Minerva spreads it’s wings with the setting of dusk.

Hegel’s answer to the Kantian question concerning the possibility of synthetic a priori judgments then is that “reason” constitutes this fundamental condition: “The possibility of such a positing (of the identity of subject and predicate in judgment as the identity of the particular and the universal, of thought and being) is no other than reason, the identity of such unequals” (ED, 238). And the synthesis of judgment is only expression of the “identity of the subjective and objective” (ED, 239), which constitutes the principle of being itself. Because “the pure essence of beings” is no other than the occurrence of the synthesis of the one and the many, of the subjective and the objective, the synthesis [performed  Tr.] by the judging human subject can a priori give expression to the truth of being. “Thought and being,” in light of their ontological meaning, are not different but one.

In this sphere [comprehensive relations of History] are presented those momentous collisions between existing, acknowledged duties, laws, and rights, and those contingencies which are adverse to this fixed system; which assail and even destroy its foundations and existence; whose tenor may nevertheless seem goodon the large advantageousyes, even indispensable and necessary. These contingencies realize themselves in History; they involve a general principle of a different order from that which depends the permanence of a people or a State. This principle is an essential phase in the development of the creating Idea, of Truth striving and urging towards (consciousness of) itself. Historical menWorld Historical Individualsare those in whose aims such a general principle lies.

The great man of the age is one who can put into words the will of his age, tell his age what its will is, and accomplish it. What he does is the heart and essence of his age, he actualizes his age.

Man is an end in himself only by virtue of the divine in him – that which we designated at the outset as Reason, or, insofar as it has activity and power of self-determination, as Freedom.
– G. W. F. Hegel

As far as the individual is concerned, each individual is in any case a child of his time; thus, philosophy, too, is its own time comprehended in thoughts.
– G.W.F. Hegel
The harsh judgment of Kant by Hegel is justified and intelligible only if we understand him to mean an “offense against the science” in the sense of absolute science, which to Hegel is the essence of philosophy.