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hegel's theory of history


“A vague remembering has no strength against the vitality and freedom of the present.” Hegel has in mind particularly the way in which French revolutionaries of 1789 tried to model themselves on ancient Greeks and Romans; “nothing can be shallower” because “nothing is more diverse than the genius of those nations and that of our times.”. Europe has three sections: southern Europe, along the Mediterranean, where “Greece and Italy long presented the theater of the world history”; “the heart of Europe, which Caesar unlocked by when conquering Gaul,” a more productive achievement than the Eastern conquests of Alexander; and the northeastern region, consisting of Poland, Russia and the Slavonic kingdoms, which have “come only lately into the series of historical states, and form and perpetuate the connection with Asia.”. This realm gives expression to the “manhood” of Spirit. have seen the answer to this in Hegel's Phenomenology.

“Regarded as a mediating organ, the Estates stand between the government in general on the one hand, and the nation broken up into particulars (people and associations) on the other. Of being present Hegel therefore criticizes two errors concerning the philosophy of law, one committed by Rousseau and the other by such writers as Robert Filmer. In all of this Hegel appears to be providing a philosophical account of modern developments both in terms of the tensions and conflicts that are new to modernity as well as in the progressive movements of reform found under the influence of Napoleon.

The principle or archē of historical development contains within it its own purpose, as a seed ‘contains’ the tree. By considering that time in the light of that spirit, he addresses what “is still present and will always be present, namely, that which forms a part of the spirit as a whole in its completion.” One might add that both the original and the philosophical historian enjoys a comprehensive view of the matter: the original historian has the statesman’s or the general’s overview of events; the philosophical historian lives in the eternal present of the absolute moment, when all of history has made itself manifest.

systems that have preceded it, and must include their principles: Hegel says that “a Corporation has the right, under the surveillance of the public authority, (a) to look after its own interests within its own sphere, (b) to co-opt members, qualified objectively by requisite skill and rectitude, to a number fixed by the general structure of society, (c) to protect its members against particular contingencies, (d) to provide the education requisite to fit other to become members.

In other words, the universal will is that moment in the Idea of freedom where willing is thought of as state of absolutely unrestrained volition, unfettered by any particular circumstances or limitations whatsoever–the pure form of willing. Hegel's different way of thinking has become known as dialectical Hegel refuses to dignify the principle of contradiction by calling it ‘reason.’ It is only “understanding”—”essentially undialectical.” But because it is dialectical, because it proceeds by resolving contradictions the way historical characters and forces clash and then combine, bringing forth new realities, reason is omnipotent, originating all natural and spiritual life. The “majesty of the monarch” lies in the free asserting of ‘I will’ as an expression of the unity of the state and the final step in establishing law. In the relation of dominance and subservience between two consciousnesses, say lord and bondsman, the basic problem for consciousness is the overcoming of its otherness, or put positively, the achieving of integration with itself. The penalty that falls on the criminal is not merely just but is “a right established within the criminal himself, i.e., in his objectively embodied will, in his action,” because the crime as the action of a rational being implies appeal to a universal standard recognized by the criminal (¶ 100). States recognize their own welfare as the highest law governing their relations to one another, however, the claim by a state to recognition of this welfare is quite different from claims to welfare by individual person in civil society.

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