The Philosophy of History

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Prometheus Books, 1991 - History - 457 pages
13 Reviews
Hegel's Philosophy of History stands as a fascinating example of this influential German thinker's efforts to capture the multidimensional character of reality within a broad theoretical framework.

Hegel draws upon many of his well-known concepts - Mind, Spirit, dialectical method (thesis-negation-synthesis), the relation of the whole to its parts, and how rational human beings relate to that which transcends their individuality. History is the evolution of freedom as societies and cultures acquire a greater awareness of, and appreciation for, the interaction of individuals with the rational goals and purposes of the greater whole, and how rationality emerges, evolves, and develops through the dynamic relationship of each individual citizen's will with that of the community at large.

Hegel first focuses on the various ways in which history can be comprehended and then turns his attention to the Oriental, Greek, Roman, and German worlds to demonstrate how the human community dialectically evolves through these various historical periods, with each disclosing its own facet of the will that frees citizens to grasp their special place in society.

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Review: The Philosophy of History

User Review  - Jeff - Goodreads

Very candid writings and very rational yet honest Read full review

Review: The Philosophy of History

User Review  - Eryc Tri Juni S - Goodreads

The history repeat itself. In the beginning, according to Nietzsche, the historian must be blame because write the same historical event over and over. But now, I do believe that Hegel definitely was right, and now we just need to wait the emerging of the end of history. Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
1
Philosophical History
8
Geographical Basis of History
79
Copyright

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About the author (1991)

Born the son of a government clerk in Stuttgart, Germany, George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel received his education at Tubingen in theology. Arguably the most influential philosopher of the nineteenth century, Hegel's lectures---most notably at the University of Berlin from 1818 to his death---deeply influenced not only philosophers and historians but generations of political activists of both the Right and Left, champions of the all-powerful nation-state on the one hand and Karl Marx on the other. His lectures at Berlin were the platform from which he set forth the system elaborated in his writings. At the heart of Hegel's philosophy is his philosophy of history. In his view, history works in a series of dialectical steps---thesis, antithesis, synthesis. His whole system is founded on the great triad---the Idea as thesis, Nature as antithesis, and the Spirit as synthesis. The Idea is God's will; Nature is the material world, including man; Spirit is man's self-consciousness of the Idea, his coming to an understanding of God's will. The formation over time of this consciousness is History. Spirit does not exist in the abstract for Hegel, but is comprehended in "peoples," cultures, or civilizations, in practice states. Hegelian Freedom is only possible in organized states, where a National Spirit can be realized. This National Spirit, a part of the World Spirit, is realized in History largely through the actions of World Historical Individuals, heroes such as Napoleon, who embody that Spirit. A profound misunderstanding of this doctrine led many German intellectuals to subvert it into a narrow, authoritarian nationalism that glorified the "state" as an end in itself. Although Hegel saw his philosophy as universal, applicable throughout the world, the focus and inspiration of his thought was European. And in his own even smaller world, he was content to support and work for the Prussian state, which he believed to be the highest development of history up to that time.

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