Georg Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

German Philosopher

Author Quotes

The fundamental principle common to the philosophies of Kant, Jacobi and Fichte is, then, the absoluteness of finitude and, resulting from it, the absolute antithesis of finitude and infinity, reality and ideality, the sensuous and the super-sensuous, and the beyondness of what is truly real and absolute.

The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.

The only thought which philosophy brings with it to the contemplation of history is the simple conception of Reason; that Reason is sovereign of the world; that the history of the world, therefore, presents us with a rational process. This conviction and intuition is a hypothesis in the domain of history as such. In that of philosophy it is no hypothesis. It is there proved by speculative cognition, that Reason - and this term may here suffice us, without investigating the relation sustained by the Universe to the Divine Being - is Substance, as well as Infinite Power; its own infinite material underlying all the natural and spiritual life which it originates, as also the Infinite Form, that which sets the material in motion. Reason is the substance of the Universe.

The sentiment of art like the religious sentiment, like scientific curiosity, is born of wonder; the man who wonders at nothing lives in a state of imbecility and stupidity.

Self-consciousness has before it another self-consciousness; it has come outside itself. This has a double significance. First it has lost its own self, since it finds itself as another being; secondly, it has thereby sublated that other, for it does not regard the other as essentially real, but sees its own self in the other.

The abstraction of one man’s production from another’s makes labor more and more mechanical, until finally man is able to step aside and install machines in his place.

The development of all natural and spiritual life rests solely on the nature of the pure essentialities which constitute the content of logic.

The fundamental proposition of international law is that treaties ought to be kept.

The length of the journey has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary.

The particular individual, so far as content is concerned, has also to go through the stages through which the general mind has passed, but as shapes once assumed by mind and now laid aside, as stages of a road which has been worked over and leveled out. Hence it is that, in the case of various kinds of knowledge, we find that what in former days occupied the energies of men of mature mental ability sinks to the level of information, exercises, and even pastimes, for children; and in this educational progress we can see the history of the world’s culture delineated in faint outline. This bygone mode of existence has already become an acquired possession of the general mind, which constitutes the substance of the individual, and, by thus appearing externally to him, furnishes his inorganic nature. In this respect culture or development of mind (Bildung), regarded from the side of the individual, consists in his acquiring what lies at his hand ready for him, in making its inorganic nature organic to himself, and taking possession of it for himself. Looked at, however, from the side of universal mind qua general spiritual substance, culture means nothing else than that this substance gives itself its own self-consciousness, brings about its own inherent process and its own reflection into self.

The sequence of the conceptions is at the same time a sequence of realizations.

Serious occupation is labor that has reference to some want.

The animal's subjectivity is only the concept in itself but not itself for itself .

The differences which obtain between classes, such as the ruled and the rulers, are, no doubt, essential to the notion of State-life, and are founded on reason, for they are caused by the inevitable articulation of the organic community, and assert themselves as such through the specific forms of occupation, disposition, modes of life, and general levels of education in all their branches. It is another matter, however, when these differences as they affect individuals are determined absolutely by the accident of birth, so that the individual man from the very start is not on account of any quality in himself, but solely through the accident of Nature, irrevocably relegated to a particular class or caste.... On general principles, no doubt, distinctions of class can be justified, but at the same time no individual should be wholly robbed of his right to determine as his choice may direct to which particular class he shall belong.

The German spirit is the spirit of the new world. Its aim is the realization of absolute Truth as the unlimited self-determination of freedom - that freedom which has its own absolute form itself as its purport.

The man whom philosophy leaves cold, and the man whom real faith does not illuminate, may be assured that the fault lies in them, not in knowledge and faith. The former is still an alien to philosophy, the latter an alien to faith.

The person must give himself an external sphere of freedom in order to have being as Idea.

The single members of the body are what they are only by and in relation to their unity. A hand e.g. when hewn off from the body is, as Aristotle has observed, a hand in name only, not in fact.

Since philosophy is the exploration of the rational, it is for that very reason the apprehension of the present and the actual, not the erection of a beyond, supposed to exist, God knows where, or rather which exists, and we can perfectly well say where, namely in the error of a one-sided, empty, ratiocination.

The basic of right is, in general, mind; its precise place and point of origin is the will. The will is free, so that freedom is both the substance of right and its goal, while the system of right is the realm of freedom made actual, the world of mind brought forth out of itself like a second nature.

The distinction between what is merely in common, and what is truly universal, is strikingly expressed by Rousseau in his famous Contract social, when he says that the laws of a state must spring from the universal will, but need not on that account be the will of all. Rousseau would have made a sounder contribution towards a theory of the state if he had always kept this distinction in sight.

The Greeks, in other respects so advanced, knew neither God nor even man in their true universality. The gods of the Greeks were only particular powers of the mind.

The many... whom one chooses to call the people, are indeed a collection, but only as a multitude, a form mass, whose movement and action would be elemental, irrational, savage, and terrible.

The Philosophy of Nature takes up the material, prepared for it by physics out of experience, at the point to which physics has brought it, and again transforms it, without basing it ultimately on the authority of experience. Physics therefore must work into the hands of philosophy, so that the latter may translate into a true comprehension (Begriff) the abstract universal transmitted to it, showing how it issues from that comprehension as an intrinsically necessary whole.

The sole work and deed of universal freedom is therefore death, a death too which has no inner significance or filling, for what is negated is the empty point of the absolutely free self. It is thus the coldest and meanest of all deaths, with no more significance than cutting off a head of cabbage or swallowing a mouthful of water.

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Hegel, fully Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
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German Philosopher