Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
The contradiction which the arbitrary will is comes into appearance as a dialectic of impulses and inclinations; each of them is in the way of every other—the satisfaction of one is unavoidably subordinated or sacrificed to the satisfaction of another, and so on. An impulse is simply a uni-directional urge and thus has no measuring-rod in itself, and so this determination of its subordination or sacrifice is the contingent decision of the arbitrary will which, in deciding, may proceed either by using intelligence to calculate which impulse will give most satisfaction, or else in accordance with any other optional consideration.
The first glance at History convinces us that the actions of men proceed from their needs, their passions, their characters and talents; and impresses us with the belief that such needs, passions and interests are the sole spring of actions.
The individual's duty is to maintain the sovereignty of the state, at the risk and sacrifice of property and life.
The notion is the principle of all life, and thus possesses at the same time a character of thorough concreteness. The notion is what contains all the earlier categories of thought merged in it, an infinite and creative form which includes, but at the same time releases from itself, the fullness of all content. And so too the notion may, if it be wished, be styled abstract, if the name concrete is restricted to the concrete facts of sense or of immediate perception. For the notion is not palpable to the touch, and when we are engaged with it, hearing and seeing must quite fail us. And yet, the notion is a true concrete.
The schism incipient in a party, which seems a misfortune, expresses its fortune rather.
That the manners of the Spartans are the cause of their constitution and their constitution conversely the cause of their manners may no doubt be in a way correct. But, as we have comprehended neither the manners nor the constitution of the nation, the result of such reflections can never be final or satisfactory. The satisfactory point will be reached only when these two, as well as all other, special aspects of Spartan life and Spartan history are seen to be founded in a Notion.
The Corporation comes on to the scene like a second family.
The first of the phenomena touched on can be regarded, in part, as the youthful pleasure of the new epoch that has blossomed both in the realm of science and in the political realm. If this pleasure greeted the dawn of the rejuvenated spirit giddily and went straight for the enjoyment of the idea without deeper work, reveling for a time in the hopes and prospects that the idea presented, then this pleasure reconciles us all the more easily with its excesses, because a strong core underlies this pleasure and the fog of superficiality that it poured out around that core dissipates necessarily on its own. The other phenomenon is, however, more adverse [to the idea] since it reveals fatigue and feebleness and strives to cover them up with an arrogance that finds fault with the philosophical spirits of every century, mistaking them all, and, most of all itself, in the process.
The inner dialectic of civil society drives it to push beyond its own limits and seek markets in other lands.
The notion is what is mediated through itself and with itself. It is a mistake to imagine that the objects which form the content of our mental ideas come first and that our subjective agency then supervenes, and by the aforesaid operation of abstraction and by colligating the points possessed in common by the objects, frames notions of them. Rather the notion is the genuine first; and things are what they are through the action of the notion, immanent in them, and revealing itself in them.
The science of religion is one science within philosophy; indeed it is the final one. In that respect it presupposes the other philosophical disciplines and is therefore a result.
That the whole form of the method is a triplicity, is merely the superficial external side of the mode of cognition; but to have demonstrated even this must also be regarded as an infinite merit of the Kantian philosophy.
The courage of the truth is the first condition of philosophic study.
The first remark we have to make, and which - though already presented more than once - cannot be too often repeated when the occasion seems to call for it, - is that what we call principle, aim, destiny, or the nature and idea of Spirit, is something merely general and abstract. Principle - Plan of Existence - Law - is a hidden, undeveloped essence, which as such - however true in itself - is not completely real.
The inquiry into the essential destiny of Reason - as far as it is considered in reference to the World - is identical with the question, what is the ultimate design of the World? And the expression implies that that design is destined to be realized. Two points of consideration suggest themselves: first, the import of this design - its abstract definition; and secondly, its realization
The object of philosophy is an actuality of which social regulations and conditions are only the superficial outside.
The science of right is a section of philosophy. Consequently, its task is to develop the Idea — the Idea being the rational factor in any object of study - out of the concept, or, what is the same thing, to look on at the proper immanent development of the thing itself. As a section, it has a definite, starting-point, i.e. the result and the truth of what has preceded and it is what has preceded which constitutes the so-called 'proof' of the starting-point. Hence the concept of right, so far as it’s coming to be is concerned, falls outside the science of right; it is to be taken up here as given and its deduction is presupposed.
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.
The absolute idea may in this respect be compared to the old man who utters the same creed as the child, but for whom it is pregnant with the significance of a lifetime. Even if the child understands the truths of religion, he cannot but imagine them to be something outside of which lies the whole of life and the whole of the world.
The destiny of the spiritual World, and, - since this is the substantial World, while the physical remains subordinate to it, or, in the language of speculation, has no truth as against the spiritual, - the final cause of the World at large, we allege to be the consciousness of its own freedom on the part of Spirit, and ipso facto, the reality of that freedom.