The Ethics of Hegel: Translated Selections from His "Rechtsphilosophie,"

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Ginn, 1893 - Ethics - 216 pages
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Page 212 - The German nations, under the influence of Christianity, were the first to attain the consciousness, that man, as man, is free: that it is the freedom of Spirit which constitutes its essence.
Page 203 - The state therefore knows what it wills, and knows it in its universality as something thought. Consequently, it acts and functions in accordance with known ends and recognized principles, and with laws which are laws not only in themselves but also for the consciousness...
Page 14 - I believe that the law was made for man and not man for the law; that government is the servant of the people and not their master.
Page 26 - ... with the Absolute Spirit of whom and through whom and to whom are all things. We shall note, in our criticism, Hegel's apparent failure to carry ethics up into this sphere of the Absolute Spirit. Hegel's method is always that of beginning with the most abstract phase of his topic and following through the immanent self-criticism of one abstract phase to another until the organic...
Page 13 - ... restricted its aim by the conditions thus imposed. This mere customary life (the watch wound up and going on of itself) is that which brings on natural death. Custom is activity without opposition, for which there remains only a formal duration; in which the fulness and zest that originally...

About the author (1893)

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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