German philosopher Georg Hegel: basic ideas

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel is a world-famous German philosopher. His fundamental achievement was the development of the theory of so-called absolute idealism. In it, he managed to overcome such dualisms as consciousness and nature, subject and object. Georg Hegel, whose philosophy of Spirit has united many concepts, and today remains an outstanding figure, inspiring all new generations of thinkers. In this article, we will briefly review his biography and basic ideas. Particular attention will be paid to the philosophy of the Absolute Spirit, ontology, epistemology and dialectics.

Biographical information

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel from childhood was a very curious child. Such people are called "why". He was born into the family of an influential official. His father was strict and loved everything in order. Nothing in the surrounding nature and human relations left him indifferent. Even in his early childhood, George Hegel read books about the culture of the ancient Greeks. As you know, they were the first philosophers. It is believed that it was this passion that pushed Hegel to his future professional activity. He graduated from the Latin gymnasium in his native Stuttgart. In addition to reading, in the life of the philosopher in general there were few other activities. Georg Hegel spent most of his time in various libraries. He was an excellent specialist in the field of political philosophy, he followed the events of the French bourgeois revolution, but he did not take part in the social life of the country. Hegel Georg graduated from theological university. After that, he was engaged exclusively in teaching and his scientific research. With the beginning of his career he was helped in many ways by Schelling, with whom they were friends. However, later they quarreled on the basis of their philosophical views. Schelling even declared that Hegel appropriated his ideas. However, history has put everything in its place.

Fundamentals of philosophical thought

During his life Hegel wrote many works. The most outstanding of them are Science of Logic, Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences and Fundamentals of Philosophy of Law. Hegel considered any transcendentalism inconsistent, because he breaks down such dual categories as "thing" and "idea", "world" and "consciousness." Perception is primary. The world is its derivative. Any transcendentalism results from the fact that there are pure possibilities of experience that are superimposed on the world for obtaining universal experience. Thus appears Hegel's "absolute idealism." Spirit as the only reality is not frozen first-matter. The whole philosophy of Hegel can be reduced to substantive discourse. According to Hegel, the Spirit is cyclical, it overcomes itself every time in double negation. Its main characteristic is self-promotion. It is designed as a subjective thought. The philosophical system is built on the basis of a triad: thesis, antithesis and synthesis. On the one hand, the latter makes it rigorous and clear. On the other hand, it allows us to show the progressive development of the world.

Georg Wilhelm Hegel: philosophy of the absolute idea

The theme of the Spirit developed within the framework of a wide tradition and originates from Plato and Emmanuel Kant. Georg Hegel also recognized the influence of Proclus, Eckhart, Leibniz, Boehme, Rousseau. All these scholars differ from the materialists in that they considered freedom and self-determination as things that have important ontological consequences for the soul, mind and divinity. Many followers of Hegel call his philosophy a kind of absolute idealism. Hegel's concept of the Spirit is defined as an attempt to find the place of the divine essence in everyday life. In support of their argument, these followers quote quotes from an outstanding German philosopher. Of these, they conclude that the world is identical with the absolute idea (the so-called Spirit). However, in fact, these statements are far from the truth. Georg Friedrich Hegel, whose philosophy is actually much more complicated, implies by the Spirit not laws, but facts and theories that exist separately from consciousness. Their existence does not depend on whether they are known to man. In this, the Hegelian absolute idea is similar to Newton's second law. It is only a scheme that facilitates understanding of the world.

Ontology of Hegel

In the "Science of Logic" the German philosopher distinguishes the following types of being:

  1. Pure (things and space that are connected together).
  2. Cash (all divided).
  3. For-itself being (abstract things that are opposed to everything else).

Hegel's epistemology

Georg Hegel, whose philosophy is often considered in university courses right after Kant, though he was influenced by his ideas, but many of them did not accept. In particular, he fought his agnosticism. For Kant, antinomies can not be resolved, and in this derivation the end of the theory is. There is no further development. However, Georg Hegel finds in the problems and obstacles the engine of rational knowledge. For example, we can not in any way confirm that the universe is infinite. For Kant this is an unresolved paradox. It goes beyond the bounds of experience, therefore can not be comprehended and rational. Hegel Georg believes that such a situation is the key to finding a new category. For example, infinite progress. The epistemology of Hegel is based on contradiction, and not on experience. The latter is not a criterion of truth, as in Kant.


The German philosopher Georg Hegel counterposed his doctrine to everyone else. He did not try to find the root causes of the phenomena or their solution in the final result. Simple categories of it turn into complex. The truth is contained in the contradiction between them. In this he is close to Plato. The latter called dialectics the art of conducting a dispute. However, Georg Friedrich Hegel went even further. In his philosophy there are no two debaters, but there are only two concepts. The attempt to combine them leads to the disintegration, from which a new category is formed. All this contradicts the third law of Aristotle's logic. Hegel manages to find in contradiction an eternal impulse for the movement of thought along the road laid by the absolute idea.

Elements of the Spirit:

  • Being (quantity, quality).
  • Essence (reality, phenomenon).
  • Concept (idea, subject, object).
  • Mechanics (space, time, matter, motion).
  • Physics (matter, shaping).
  • Organics (zoology, botany, geology).
  • Subjective (anthropology, psychology, phenomenology), objective (law, morality) and absolute (philosophy, religion, art) spirit.

Social Philosophy

Many criticize Hegel for the unscientific nature of his conclusions about nature. However, he never claimed it. Hegel identified interconnections through contradictions and tried to order this way knowledge. He did not claim to discover new truths. Many see Hegel as the founding father of the theory of the development of consciousness. Although his work The Science of Logic does not at all describe the existence of some absolute mind, which is the primary cause of the existence of everything. Categories do not generate nature. Therefore, we can say that Marx and Engels turned the dialectic of Hegel upside down. It was profitable for them to write about the idea embodied in history. In fact, the Absolute Spirit according to Hegel is only the accumulated knowledge of mankind about the world.

Marxism and the Frankfurt School

The name of Hegel is closely related to us today with another philosophical system. All because Marx and Engels largely relied on Hegel, although they interpreted his ideas in the way they were profitable. Representatives of the Frankfurt School were even more radical thinkers. They base their concept on the inevitability of man-made disasters. In their view, mass culture requires the complexity of information technology, which will inevitably lead to problems in the future. It can be said with certainty that the dialectical materialism of the Marxists and the Frankfurt School is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. But Hegel's ideas are now experiencing a new birth.

Georg Hegel: ideas and their development

The teaching of the German philosopher includes three parts:

  1. Philosophy of the Spirit.
  2. Logic.
  3. Philosophy of nature.

Hegel argued that religion and philosophy are identical. Only the form of information is different. Hegel regarded his system as the crown of the development of philosophy. The merit of Hegel consists in the establishment in philosophy and in the general consciousness of true and fruitful concepts: process, development, history. He proves that there is nothing separate, not connected with everything. This is the process. As for history and development, they are explained even more clearly in Hegel. It is impossible to understand a phenomenon without understanding all the path it has taken. And an important role in its disclosure is played by a contradiction that allows development to take place not from a closed circle, but from the lower forms to the higher ones. Hegel made a great contribution to the development of the method of science, that is, the totality of artificial devices invented by man, and independent of the subject of research. The philosopher showed in his system that cognition is a historical process. Therefore, the truth for him can not be a ready result. It is constantly developing and revealing itself in contradiction.

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