Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

German Philosopher

Author Quotes

When Philosophy with its abstractions paints grey in grey, the freshness and life of youth has gone, the reconciliation is not a reconciliation in the actual, but in the ideal world.

The subject-matter of the philosophical science of right is the Idea of right, i.e. the concept of right together with the actualization of that concept.

The very fact that something is determined as a limitation implies that the limitation is already transcended.

Those substantive characteristics which constitute my own private personality are inalienable.

Too fair to worship, too divine to love.

What experience and history teaches us is that people and governments have never learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.

When reflection is brought to bear on impulses, they are imaged, estimated, compared with one another, with their means of satisfaction and their consequences, etc., and with a sum of satisfaction (i.e. with happiness). In this way reflection invests this material with abstract universality and in this external manner purifies it from its crudity and barbarity. This growth of the universality of thought is the absolute value in educations.

The sublime in art is the attempt to express the infinite without finding in the realm of phenomena any object which proves itself fitting for this representation.

The wealthy man is directly compelled to modify his relation of mastery, and even others’ distrust for it, by permitting a more general participation in it.

Those who regard thinking as one special faculty, distinct from the will as another special faculty, and who even proceed to contend that thinking is prejudicial to the will, especially the good will, reveal at the outset their complete ignorance of the nature of the will — a remark we shall have to make rather often when dealing with this same subject. In Paragraph 5, it is only one side of the will which is described namely this unrestricted possibility of abstraction, from every determinate state of mind which I might find in myself or which I may have set up in myself, my flight from every content as from a restriction. When the will's self-determination consists in this alone, or when representative thinking regards this side by itself as freedom and clings fast to it, then we have negative freedom or freedom as the Understanding conceives it. This is the freedom of the void which rises to a passion and takes shape in the world; while still remaining theoretical, it takes shape in religion as the Hindu fanaticism of pure contemplation, but when it turns to actual practice, it takes shape in religion and politics alike as the fanaticism of destruction — the destruction of the whole subsisting social order — as the elimination of individuals who are objects of suspicion to any social order, and the annihilation of any organization which tries to rise anew from the ruins. Only in destroying something does this negative will possess the feeling of itself as existent. Of course it imagines that it is willing some positive state of affairs, such as universal equality or universal religions life, but in fact it does not will that this shall be positively actualized, and for this reason: such actuality leads at once to some sort of order, to a particularization of organizations and individuals alike; while it is precisely out of the annihilation of particularity and objective characterization that the self-consciousness of this negative freedom proceeds. Consequently, what negative freedom intends to will can never be anything in itself but an abstract idea, and giving effect to this idea can only be the fury of destruction.

Truth in philosophy means that concept and external reality correspond.

What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational. On this conviction the plain man like the philosopher takes his stand, and from it philosophy starts in its study of the universe of spirit as well as the universe of nature. If reflection, feeling, or whatever form subjective consciousness may take, looks upon the present as something vacuous and looks beyond it with the eyes of superior wisdom, it finds itself in a vacuum, and because it is actual only in the present, it is itself mere vacuity. If on the other hand the Idea passes for 'only an Idea', for something represented in an opinion, philosophy rejects such a view and shows that nothing is actual except the Idea.

When we walk the streets at night in safety, it does not strike us that this might be otherwise. This habit of feeling safe has become second nature, and we do not reflect on just how this is due solely to the working of special institutions. Commonplace thinking often has the impression that force holds the state together, but in fact its only bond is the fundamental sense of order which everybody possesses.

The theory which regards the Object as Absolute expresses the point of view of superstition and slavish fear.

The will which is but implicitly free is the immediate or natural will. The specific characteristics of the difference which the self-determining concept sets up within the will appear in the natural will as an immediately existing content, i.e. as the impulses, desires, inclinations, whereby the will finds itself determined in the course of nature. This content, together with the specific differences developed within it, arises from the rationality of the will and so is implicitly rational; but, poured out in this way into the mold of immediacy, it still lacks the form of rationality. It is true that this content has for me the general character of being mine; but this form is still different from the content, and hence the Will is still a will finite in character.

Thoughts may be termed Objective Thoughts, thoughts accredited able to express the essential reality of things.

Truth is found neither in the thesis nor the antitheses, but in an emergent synthesis that reconciles the two.

What makes comet wine so good is that the water-process detaches itself from the earth and thus brings about an altered state in the planet.

With us philosophy is not practiced as a private art, as it was by the Greeks, but has a public place, and should therefore be employed only in the service of the state.

That this 'Idea' or 'Reason' is the True, the Eternal, the absolutely powerful essence; that it reveals itself in the world, and that in the world nothing else is revealed but this and its honor and glory - is the thesis which, as we have said, has been proven in philosophy, and is here regarded as demonstrated.

The definition of the freedom of the press as freedom to say and write what one pleases, is parallel to the one of freedom in general, viz., as freedom to do what one pleases. Such a view belongs to the uneducated crudity and superficiality of naïve thinking.

The forms of thought are, in the first instance, displayed and stored as human language.

The laws of morality are not accidental, but are essentially Rational. It is the very object of the State that what is essential in the practical activity of men, and in their dispositions, should be duly recognized; that it should have a manifest existence, and maintain its position. It is the absolute interest of Reason that this moral Whole should exist; and herein lies the justification and merit of heroes who have founded states - however rude these may have been.

The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.

The science of right must develop the idea, which is the reason of an object, out of the conception. It is the same thing to say that it must regard the peculiar internal development of the thing itself. Since it is a part, it has a definite beginning, which is the result and truth of what goes before, and this, that goes before constitutes its so-called proof.

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Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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German Philosopher