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The Absolute Idea of Hegel

The development of idealism after Kant reached its apogee in the works of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, who went down in history, being the creator of the most wide-ranging and proven system of the dialectic of idealism.

"Absolute Idea" of Hegel

Calling the philosophical concept "absolute idealism", G. Hegel stated that categories are real forms of reality based on "the world's mind", "absolute idea", in another way - "the world spirit".

It turns out that the "absolute idea" is something that gives impetus to the emergence and evolution of the natural and spiritual worlds, an active principle. And it is necessary for man to comprehend this "absolute idea" through reflection. This train of thought includes 3 steps.

First stage

Here the absolute idea, being only a thought that existed before the definition of the subject and object, is positioned as an ordered cognition in principle. Thus, it is revealed through a system of related and consequent categories of logic.

In his philosophical theory Hegel divided logic into three teachings: about being, about essence and about concept. The starting point of his theory is the equality of thinking and being, or, in other words, the perception of the world of reality as the visible action of the spirit of Idea. Initially, the absolute idea was an abstract idea of being. Then this thought of "pure being" was filled with concrete content: in the beginning, being was positioned as an indefinite something, then it was defined as being, then a certain being was formed, and so on.

In this way G. Hegel moves from an understanding of being - a phenomenon - to his essence, and then derives the concept. In addition, during the formation of the absolute idea, Hegel explains a number of dialectical regularities.

Second phase

At the second stage of the formation of the concept of an absolute idea, its abstraction into the natural part, withdrawal to nature takes place. It follows from this that Hegel formulates the provisions on natural philosophy. For him, nature is only an external expression, a manifestation of thought, but an independent progress of the categories of logic.

The third stage

The philosopher distinguishes three degrees of development of nature: the mechanism, chemism, the organism, between which he finds a certain connection. This relationship will later become the basis for studying the interrelation of some stages of organic and inorganic nature. Thus, in Hegel, the philosophy of the spirit is divided into three components: the doctrine of the subjective spirit, which includes the sciences of man; The doctrine of the objective spirit, which includes the study of moral problems, history, law; The doctrine of the absolute spirit, which reveals itself in the cultural component of human life (religion, philosophy, art).

Consequently, according to Hegel, the evolution of the absolute idea goes in a circle, and it is tantamount to the progress of the material world, which is a direct product of this idea. Hegel led to the conclusion that the completion of this absolute idea (when it realizes itself and its path) is the formation of an absolute spirit. This is the very system of Hegel's philosophy.

Since then, the progress of the absolute idea has been increasing in increasing order and acquiring a circular trajectory, stopping the evolution of thought, condemning it to a constant movement in a circle, without development. Thus it turns out that Hegel's theory is closest to objective idealism, since it is the concept of the "absolute idea", being a pure thought, that generates nature and man. As a result, a triad is formed on which the concept of Hegel's philosophy is built: the thesis is the antithesis-synthesis, which gives it a consistent validity. After all, the categories of this theory are not blindly affirmed, but are generated by each other. Such integrity of the system is a contradiction of its main law - the principle of progress.


Absolute idea as a term seems to be fundamental for the whole philosophy of Hegel, expressing the entire fullness of the material, existing world, while being this truly existing world. It is also the subject of Hegel's philosophy.

As the central concept of Hegel's theory, the absolute idea is divided into three facets:

  • Substantial (disclosed in the first stage);
  • Active (disclosed in the second stage);
  • "Self-consciousness" (disclosed in the third stage).

Being a rationalized system that has only a true logical being, the absolute idea must also be a "for-itself-existing unity," manifest in the realm of nature and spirit. The triad (logical idea - nature - spirit) is a deep parameter of the absolute idea, which finds itself through the confrontation of the "other" and "itself" and the next "removal" of this opposition by achieving unity with oneself. Consequently, the absolute idea of Hegel is the concept of existence, explained not only by logic, but also by being conditioned by the ontological position of reality.

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