Born in Stuttgart, Germany
Majored theology at the university of
Lecturer at the university
Rector of a secondary school in 1816
Professor at the university of Heidelberg
Professor of the philosophy at the
university of berlin from 1818 until his
4. Hegel : speculative philosopher
Wholly unique discipline dealing with unique objects using a
5. Traditional Aristotelian logic : empty & only a formal discipline
With speculative logic
A science with profound metaphysical content.
Speculative logic Metaphysical key Priori comprehension of reality
6. DIALECTIC LOGIC:
Highly Novel Theory of Philosophical PARADOXES
If human reason attempts to extend its
cognition beyond the bounds of
possible experience, two dangerous
result are inevitable:
1. Making unwarranted claims to
2. Falling into contradictions
Must be avoided by :
Careful observation of our cognitive
limits not to be crossed.
Hegel on the other hand:
Our thinking has the tendency to go beyond every
limit & may naturally undermine or over throw
Just like humans that have tendency to change,
Through a process involving a stage of
NOT to be:
2. Done away with
3. Treated as illusions
(as the understanding would wish)
7. DIALECTIC of THOUGHT-DETERMINATION
Thought-Determination is called so because it is determined.
But, it ever thought-determination has the tendency to:
1. Push beyond its limits
2. Turn into its opposite
3. Result in contradictions
Thought is 1.dynamic
DIALECTIC naturally challenges
“ understanding “ for being a source of
scandal & paradox
Thoughts lead to Understanding Just by
Staying within their bounds & limits
Thoughts don’t stay put even if they face their own paradoxes
Dialectic Paradoxes are:
3. Virtually omnipresent
Thoughts may give rise to their own paradoxes causing
contradictions, but they can also RECONCILE those paradoxes into
a higher unity, overcoming the contradictions.
9. From the DIALECTIC of THOUGHT-DETERMINATION
to THEORY to REALITY
Reality is constituted by our thoughts. Thoughts systematically involve contradictions.
“Reality embodies the same contradictions.”
Contradictory thinking about reality is alright since:
Plus speculative logic 1. Contradictions are reconciled
2. Higher theoretical conception is achieved
But how exactly?!
10. Negative Reason
Positive Reason (speculation)
contradictions to form a
System of speculation logic says:
“each thought-determination leads to another one that opposes it.
Reconciling the truth within each, a totally new thought-
determination is born in which the opposition is overcome.
11. An interesting point according to Allen W. Wood:
Heinrich Moritz, a bowdlerizer of German idealist philosophy began to expound the
theme in Hegelian dialectic through a grotesque jargon of “thesis”, “antithesis”, and
This Triad of Terms is used both by Fichte & Schelling, but certainly NOT to express
the Hegelian ideas we discussed.
The terms are NEVER used by Hegel neither for this purpose nor for any other.
- Hegel’s Ethical thoughts
12. The thesis is a primary idea, whose incompleteness gives rise
to an opposite or conflicting idea, or antithesis.
The synthesis is a third term which arises from the conflict
between the first two, overcoming the opposition by
reconciling the truth found in both the thesis and antithesis.
This synthesis becomes a new thesis, inspiring a new
antithesis and synthesis, and continuing an evolution of
intellectual or historical development.
The Dialectic Idea studied in terms invented by Heinrich Moritz
13. Hegel’s Dialectic System & ABSOLUTNESS
What is Rational is Real & What is Real is Rational.
This is Hegel’s rational structure of ABSOLUTE.
It must be conjoined with his other idea that says:
Absolute must be seen as pure thought, spirit, or mind in a process of
self-development governed by the logic of Dialectic.
15. Hegel gives us a few names whose works he considers, are of this type:
Herodotus & Thucydides & … He argues that the works of the
original historian :
- Limited to deeds, events, states of society before their eyes, whose spirit they shared.
- Transferred, presented & represented what passed around them.
- Used elements of story, and bind them with events for immortality.
- Therefore turned them into Ballads, Legends, and Stories.
Works like that are dim & hazy for historical apprehension because they belong to nations with
17. Why not to be relied on:
Original historians like Herodotus:
• Change the events, deed, states of society into a conceptive object.
• Narratives are NOT comprehensive.
• Material: what is living.
• Writer is INFLUENCED BY whatever that has INFLUENCED & MODULED events.
• Writer describes the scenes in which he, himself is an actor, or interested spectator.
• Short periods of time is included.
• Individual shapes of persons & occurrences are presented.
• Aims presentation of POSTERITY of an image possessed by personal observation.
• Writer shares the spirit of his subject. REFLECTION of his work is none of his business.
• No elevation about it.
E.G Caesar belongs to the exalted rank of generals or statesmen. History presented by him would be
prosecution of his own aims.
18. The historian’s persona is easily seen in the text, reflecting NO system of
ideas, but his own intellectual habitudes in an uncorrupted transcript.
“ Hence, must
be praised ! “
“ some are masterpieces of
anecdotal matter ! “
“ Writer gets a glimpse of world
through a miserable cranny ! “
19. • NOT confined by the limits of it’s time.
• Spirit of the writer is distinct from the spirit of his
• The work transcends to the present.
• variety of species can be distinguished.
Is divided into 3 types:
20. • Views entire country or
• Main point : working up
The historical material.
• Historian approaches the
task with a separate spirit
of the one dominating his
• Main principle : Bearings
& motives of actions &
events determine form of
21. • occupy ourselves with a remote world of the past.
• occurrences are, indeed, various. But :
the idea which pervades them − their deeper import and connection − is one .
• Occurrences are taken out of the category of the Past & made virtually
• Pragmatic (didactic) reflections are tested.
• Moral reflections are noticed. − the moral teaching expected from
Pragmatic history for the most part offers only material for history.
Germans are not content with such.
22. • Current mode of treating history, in
• It is NOT history itself being presented.
• We might more properly designate it as
a History of History.
• a criticism of historical narratives & an
investigation of their truth and
• Judgments in the form of critical
• the so−called higher criticism, in
character on the
very face of it.
Takes general points of view
(e.g. as the History of Art, of
Law, of Religion)
the Idea is the truth in this type of
And the Spirit, the rational will of
that conductor, is and has been the
director of the events of the World's
23. Reason Governs the World.
The most general definition is that the Philosophy of History means
nothing but the thoughtful consideration of it.
On the one hand, Reason is the
substance of the Universe that by which
and in which all reality has its being.
a mere intention having its place outside
reality, nobody knows where;
something separate and abstract,
24. The nature of Spirit may be understood by As the essence
of Matter is Gravity, so, on the other hand, we may affirm
that the substance, the essence of Spirit is Freedom. All
will readily assent to the doctrine that Spirit, among
other properties, is also endowed with Freedom; but
philosophy teaches that all; that all are but means for
attaining Freedom; that all seek and produce this and
this alone. It is a result
The question, conducts us to the
phenomenon of History itself. Although
Freedom is, primarily, an undeveloped
idea, the means it uses are external and
phenomenal; presenting themselves in
History to our sensuous vision. 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 springs of action the
efficient agents in this scene of activity.
25. Passions, private aims, and the satisfaction of selfish desires, are on the other hand,
most effective springs of action. Their power lies in the fact that they respect none of
the limitations which justice and morality would impose on them; and that these natural
impulses have a more direct influence over man than the artificial and tedious discipline
that tends to order and self−restraint, law and morality. When we look at this display of
passions, and the consequences of their violence; the Unreason which is associated not
,only with them, but even (rather we might say especially) with good designs and
righteous aims; when we see the evil, the vice, the ruin that has befallen the most
flourishing kingdoms which the mind of man ever created, we can scarce avoid being
filled with sorrow at this universal taint of corruption: and, since this decay is not the
work of mere Nature, but of the Human Will a moral embitterment a revolt of the Good
Spirit (if it have a place within us) may well be the result of our reflections.
26. a simply truthful combination of the miseries that have overwhelmed the noblest of nations
and polities, and the finest exemplars of private virtue, forms a picture of most fearful aspect,
and excites emotions of the profoundest and most hopeless sadness, counter−balanced by no
consolatory result. We endure in beholding it a mental torture, allowing no defence or escape
but the consideration that what has happened could not be otherwise; that it is a fatality which
no intervention could alter. And at last we draw back from the intolerable disgust with which
these sorrowful reflections threaten us, into the more agreeable environment of our individual
life the Present formed by our private aims and interests. In short we retreat into the
selfishness that stands on the quiet shore, and thence enjoy in safety the distant spectacle of
wrecks confusedly hurled. But even regarding History as the slaughter−bench at which the
happiness of peoples, the wisdom of States, and the virtue of individuals have been victimised
the question involuntarily arises to what principle, to what final aim these enormous sacrifices
have been offered.
27. to explain History is to depict the passions of mankind
To know the Nature of the Spirit governing philosophical history,
a glance at its direct opposite Matter, would help.
The essence of Spirit is Freedom.
The qualities of Spirit exist only through Freedom.
The result of speculative Philosophy:
“ Freedom is the sole truth of Spirit.”