Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Philosopher, Author

1770 – 1831

68

Who was Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel?

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher, and a major figure in German Idealism. His historicist and idealist account of reality revolutionized European philosophy and was an important precursor to Continental philosophy and Marxism.

Hegel developed a comprehensive philosophical framework, or "system", of absolute idealism to account in an integrated and developmental way for the relation of mind and nature, the subject and object of knowledge, psychology, the state, history, art, religion, and philosophy. In particular, he developed the concept that mind or spirit manifested itself in a set of contradictions and oppositions that it ultimately integrated and united, without eliminating either pole or reducing one to the other. Examples of such contradictions include those between nature and freedom, and between immanence and transcendence.

Hegel influenced writers of widely varying positions, including both his admirers and his detractors. Karl Barth compared Hegel to a "Protestant Aquinas". Maurice Merleau-Ponty wrote, "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...". Michel Foucault has contended that contemporary philosophers may be "doomed to find Hegel waiting patiently at the end of whatever road we travel". Hegel's influential conceptions are those of speculative logic or "dialectic", "absolute idealism". They include "Geist", negativity, sublation, the "Master/Slave" dialectic, "ethical life" and the importance of history.

Famous Quotes:

  • If you want to love you must serve, if you want freedom you must die.
  • The essence of the modern state is that the universal be bound up with the complete freedom of its particular members and with private well-being, that thus the interests of family and civil society must concentrate themselves on the state. It is only when both these moments subsist in their strength that the state can be regarded as articulated and genuinely organized.
  • When liberty is mentioned, we must always be careful to observe whether it is not really the assertion of private interests which is thereby designated.
  • We do not need to be shoemakers to know if our shoes fit, and just as little have we any need to be professionals to acquire knowledge of matters of universal interest.
  • Animals are in possession of themselves; their soul is in possession of their body. But they have no right to their life, because they do not will it.
  • The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.
  • As high as mind stands above nature, so high does the state stand above physical life. Man must therefore venerate the state as a secular deity. The march of God in the world, that is what the State is.
  • The East knew and to the present day knows only that One is Free; the Greek and the Roman world, that some are free; the German World knows that All are free. The first political form therefore which we observe in History, is Despotism, the second Democracy and Aristocracy, the third, Monarchy.
  • Poverty in itself does not make men into a rabble; a rabble is created only when there is joined to poverty a disposition of mind, an inner indignation against the rich, against society, against the government.
  • The valor that struggles is better than the weakness that endures.

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Born
Aug 27, 1770
Stuttgart
Also known as
  • G.W.F. Hegel
  • G W F Hegel
  • G. W. F. Hegel
  • Hegel
Parents
Siblings
Spouses
Children
Ethnicity
  • Germans
Nationality
  • Germany
Profession
Education
  • Tübinger Stift
Employment
  • Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg
    (1816 - 1818)
  • Humboldt University of Berlin
Died
Nov 14, 1831
Berlin

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 8 Aug. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/georg_wilhelm_friedrich_hegel>.

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