Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

German Philosopher

Author Quotes

An integral part of justice is the confidence which citizens have in it, and it is this which requires that proceedings shall be public.

Will without freedom is an empty word, while freedom is actual only as will, as subject... Mind is in principle thinking, and man is distinguished from beast in virtue of thinking. But it must not be imagined that man is half thought and half will, and that he keeps thought in one pocket and will in another, for this would be a foolish idea. The distinction between thought and will is only that between the theoretical attitude and the practical. These, however, are surely not two faculties; the will is rather a special way of thinking, thinking translating itself into existence, thinking as the urge to give itself existence.

When we speak of conscience, it may easily be thought that in virtue of its form, which is abstract inwardness, conscience is at this point without more ado true conscience. But true conscience determines itself to will what is absolutely good and obligatory and is this self-determination.

The relation of love between husband and wife is in itself not objective, because even if their feeling is their substantial unity, still this unity has no objectivity. Such objectivity parents first acquire in their children, in whom they can see objectified the entirety of their union.

To risk one’s lfie is better than merelyl fearing death, but is still purely negative and so indeterminate and without value in itself.

The nature of Spirit may be understood by a glance at its direct opposite - Matter. As the essence of Matter is Gravity, so, on the other hand, we may affirm that the substance, the essence of Spirit is Freedom... Matter has its essence outside itself; Spirit is Being-within-itself (self-contained existence). But this, precisely, is Freedom. For if I am dependent, I refer myself to something else which I am not; I cannot exist independently of something external. I am free, on the contrary, when my existence depends upon myself. This self-contained existence of Spirit is none other than self-consciousness - consciousness of one’s own being.

The important question of how poverty is to be abolished is one of the most disturbing problems which agitate modern society.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of men, is a demand for their real happiness. The call to abandon their illusions about their condition is a call to abandon a condition which requires illusions.

The history of mind is its own act. Mind is only what it does, and its act is to make itself the object of its own consciousness. In history its act is to gain consciousness of itself as mind, to apprehend itself in its interpretation of itself to itself.

Patriotism is often understood to mean only a readiness for exceptional sacrifices and actions. Essentially, however, it is the sentiment which, in the relationships of our daily life and under ordinary conditions, habitually recognizes that the community is one’s substantive groundwork and end. It is out of this consciousness, which during life’s daily round stands the test in all circumstances, that there subsequently also arises the readiness for extraordinary exertions. But since men would often rather be magnanimous than law-abiding, they readily persuade themselves that they possess this exceptional patriotism in order to be sparing in the expression of a genuine patriotic sentiment or to excuse their lack of it. If again this genuine patriotism is looked upon as that which may begin of itself and arise from subjective ideas and thoughts, it is being confused with opinion, because so regarded patriotism is deprived of its true ground, objective reality.

Love means in general terms the consciousness of my unity with another, so that I am not in selfish isolation but win my self-consciousness only as the reunification of my independence and through knowing myself as the unity of myself with another and of the other with me. Love, however, is feeling, that is, ethical life in the form of something natural. In the state, feeling disappears; there we are conscious of unity as law; there the content must be rational and known to us. The first moment in love is that I do not wish to be a self-subsistent and independent persona and that, if I were, then I would feel defective and incomplete. The second moment is that I find myself in another person, that I count for something in the other, while the other in turn comes to count for something in me. Love, therefore, is the most tremendous contradiction; the Understanding cannot resolve it since there is nothing more stubborn than this point of self-consciousness which is negated and which nevertheless I ought to possess as affirmative. Love is at once the propounding and the resolving of this contradiction. As the resolving of it, love is unity of an ethical type.

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 fullness and zest that originally characterized the aim of life are out of the question - a merely external sensuous existence which has ceased to throw itself enthusiastically into its object.

Life as a sum of ends has a right against abstract right. If for example it is only by stealing bread that the wolf can be kept from the door, the action is of course an encroachment on someone’s property, but it would be wrong to treat this action as an ordinary theft. To refuse to allow a man in jeopardy of his life to take such steps for self-preservation would be to stigmatize him as without rights, and since he would be deprived of his life, his freedom would be annulled altogether. Many diverse details have a bearing on the preservation of life, and when we have our eyes on the future we have to engage ourselves in these details. But the only thing that is necessary is to live now, the future is not absolute but ever exposed to accident. Hence it is only the necessity of the immediate present which can justify a wrong action, because not to do the action would in turn be to cause not to do the action would in turn be to commit an offense, indeed the most wrong of all offenses, namely the complete destruction of the embodiment of freedom.

Life has a value only when it has something valuable as its object.

It is only man who is good, and he is good only because he can also be evil. Good and evil are inseparable, and their inseparability is rooted in the fact that the concept becomes an object to itself, and as object it eo ipso acquires the character of difference. The evil will wills something opposed to the university of the will, while the good will acts in accordance with its true concept.

I am free... when my existence depends upon myself. This self-contained existence of spirit is none other than self-consciousness, consciousness of one’s own being. Two things must be distinguished in consciousness; first, the fact that I know; secondly, what I know. In self consciousness these are merged in one; for spirit knows itself. It involves an appreciation of its own nature, as also an energy enabling it to realize itself; to make itself actually that which it is potentially.

It is easier to discover a deficiency in individuals, in states, and in Providence, than to see their real import and value.

Education is the art of making men ethical... To this extent, habit is part of ethical life as it is of philosophic thought.

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Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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German Philosopher