Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Spirit, and the course of its development, is the substantial object of the philosophy of history. The nature of Spirit may be understood by contrasting it with its opposite, namely Matter. The essence of Matter is Gravity; the essence of Spirit is Freedom. Matter is outside itself, whereas Spirit has its centre in itself. Spirit is self-contained existence.
The Church has consistently and justly refused to allow that reason might stand in opposition to faith, and yet be placed under subjection to it. The human spirit in its inmost nature is not something so divided up that two contradictory elements might subsist together in it. If discord has arisen between intellectual insight and religion, and is not overcome in knowledge, it leads to despair, which comes in the place of reconciliation. This despair is reconciliation carried out in a one-sided manner. The one side is cast away, the other alone held fast; but a man cannot win true peace in this way. The one alternative is, for the divided spirit to reject the demands of the intellect and try to return to simple religious feeling. To this, however, the spirit can only attain by doing violence to itself, for the independence of consciousness demands satisfaction, and will not be thrust aside by force; and to renounce independent thought, is not within the power of the healthy mind. Religious feeling becomes yearning hypocrisy, and retains the moment of non-satisfaction. The other alternative is a one-sided attitude of indifference toward religion, which is either left unquestioned and let alone, or is ultimately attacked and opposed. That is the course followed by shallow spirits.
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.
The History of the World is nothing but the development of the Idea of Freedom.
The Mind of the world, exercises its right in the ‘history of the world which is the world's court of judgment’.
The public authority takes the place of the family where the poor are concerned.
Spiritual culture, the modern intellect, produces this opposition in man which makes him an amphibious animal, because he now has to live in two worlds which contradict one another.
The collision with philosophy enters only insofar as this ground takes leave of its own distinctive character and its content is supposed to be grasped in categories and made dependent upon them, without leading the categories to the concept and completing them in the idea.
The fact that society has become strong and sure of itself leads to a mitigation of its punishment.
The History of the World travels from East to West, for Europe is absolutely the end of History, Asia the beginning.
The Mohammedan principle – the enlightenment of the Oriental World – is the first to contravene this barbarism and caprice [of the real world]. We find it developing itself later and more rapidly than Christianity; for the latter needed eight centuries to grow up into a political form.
The recollection of spiritual forms as they are in themselves and as they accomplish the organization of their spiritual kingdom ..., looked at from the side of their free existence appearing in the form of contingency, is History; looked at from the side of their intellectually comprehended organization, it is the Science of the ways in which knowledge appears.
States, nations, and individuals are all the time the unconscious tools of the world mind at work within them.
The conception and its existence are two sides, distinct yet united, like soul and body. The body is the same life as the soul, and yet the two can be named independently. A soul without a body would not be a living thing, and vice versa. Thus the visible existence of the conception is its body, just as the body obeys the soul which produced it.
The family as a legal entity in relation to others must be represented by the husband as its head.
The Idea, as unity of the Subjective and Objective Idea, is the absolute and all truth, the Idea which thinks itself.
The morality of the individual, then, consists in his fulfilling the duties of his social position.
The richer in relationships thoughts become, the more confused and meaning becomes their representation in such forms as numbers.
Such are all great historical men, whose own particular aims involve those large issues which are the will of the World Spirit. ... World historical men - the Heroes of an epoch - must be recognized as its clear-sighted ones; their deeds, their words are the best of that time. Great men have formed purposes to satisfy themselves, not others.
The constitution of any given nation depends in general on the character and development of its self-consciousness.
The Few assume to be the deputies, but they are often only the despoilers of the Many.
The Idea, in positing itself as absolute unity of the pure Notion and its reality and thus contracting itself into the immediacy of being, is the totality in this form – Nature.
The nation state is Mind in its substantive rationality and immediate actuality — the absolute power on earth.
The same may be said to be the case with human life as a whole and the occurrences with which it is fraught. All work is directed only to the aim or end; and when it is attained, people are surprised to find nothing else but just the very thing which they had wished for. The interest lies in the whole movement.
That one learns from logic how to think (the usefulness of logic and hence its purpose, were held to consist in this — just as if one could only learn how to digest and move about by studying anatomy and physiology).