Hegel in a nutshell

Posted by Ali Reda | Posted in | Posted on 6/20/2013

The dialectic. First, there is a thesis about the world , every thesis contains an inherent contradiction, which thus gives rise to its antithesis which contradicts the thesis. Finally, the thesis and antithesis are reconciled into a synthesis, a new idea combining elements of both.For example the truth about this table, for Aristotle, is that it is a table. The whole truth, for Hegel, is that the tree became a table and will become ashes. Thus, becoming, not being, is the highest expression of reality when we know the history of its development. Consciousness of self is always consciousness of the other.

Hegel defines Spirit as "all reality. As such, Spirit has a physical side and a mental side. The physical side is all material "objects" in the universe. The mental side is the collective mind of all human beings (especial Hegel), not the transcendent mind of a supernatural God. Hegel called the "cunning of reason"; Another important theme of the text is the focus on world history rather than regional or state history.  The world spirit realizes itself in three increasing stages—in the individual it is the subjective spirit, in the community the objective spirit, and in art, religion, and philosophy it is the absolute spirit. Philosophy is the greatest form of knowledge because it involves the world spirit reflecting on itself.

In the Phenomenology of Spirit, Spirit is Hegel’s name for the collective consciousness of a given society, which shapes the ideas and consciousness of each individual, each successive Stage in History created problems and oppositions within itself, leading to tensions which could only be overcome by adopting a view that could accommodate these oppositions in a higher unity.This historical progression will finally conclude itself when the Spirit understands its own infinite self at the very end of history. Absolute Spirit will then be the complete expression of an infinite God.The Absolete Truth known by the Absolute Mind, the state in which mind rises above all the limitations of nature and institutions.Truth is collective and can't be completely attained except in the end of history. Bertrand Russell Contradicts this saying "If the above argument were sound, how could knowledge ever begin? I know numbers of propositions of the form "A is the father of B," but I do not know the whole universe. If all knowledge were knowledge of the universe as a whole, there would be no knowledge".

Hegel asserted that in order for the thinking subject to be able to know its object at all, there must be in some sense an identity of thought and being. Otherwise, the subject would never have access to the object and we would have no certainty about any of our knowledge of the world. According to Hegel, the absolute ground of being is essentially a dynamic, historical process of necessity that unfolds by itself in the form of increasingly complex forms of being and of consciousness, ultimately giving rise to all the diversity in the world and in the concepts with which we think and make sense of the world. The objective world is only the external, phenomenal form of "the Idea" be it named Spirit.

For Hegel, The State is the perfect social embodiment of the idea, and stands in this stage of development for God Himself and its final form was the Christian constitutional monarchy (which represents the reintegration of freedom in constitutional government). The constitution is the collective spirit of the nation and that the government and the written constitution is the embodiment of that spirit. Each nation has its own individual spirit.Hegel, who insisted on the role of "great men" in history, with his famous statement about Napoleon, "I saw the Spirit on his horse", These people know the "necessary next stage" into which the spirit would reshape mankind and other matter. They were the first to perceive the need for, and nature of, the required synthesis, and act on it. They were driven by a host of private reasons to uphold only one goal: bringing out the new, higher form and imposing it on human society. Since laws and institutions are only prior works of the spirit, the hero can ignore them as he imposes a higher "form" on the raw material around him. Hegel's idea of the ultimate goal of history was to reach a state approximating that of 1830s Prussia. Popper further proposed that Hegel's philosophy served not only as an inspiration for communist and fascist totalitarian governments of the 20th century were his so called heroes's immoral acts were justified.

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