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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831)


German philosopher, most famous for attempting to elaborate a comprehensive and systematic ontology from a logical starting point.
Was vernünftig ist, das ist Wirklich; und was wirklich ist, das ist vernünftig.
Hegel quotes
Matter possesses gravity in virtue of its tendency towards a central point. It is essentially composite; consisting of parts that exclude each other. It seeks its Unity; and therefore exhibits itself as self-destructive, as verging towards its opposite ... Spirit, on the contrary, may be defined as that which has its centre in itself. It has not a unity outside itself, but has already found it; it exists in and with itself. Matter has its essence out of itself; Spirit is self-contained existence (Bei-sich-selbst-seyn).
Hegel
Hegel published his proof that there must be exactly seven planets just a week before the discovery of the eighth. The matter was hushed up, and a new, revised edition was hastily prepared; nevertheless, there were some who scoffed.




Poetry is the universal art of the spirit which has become free in itself and which is not tied down for its realization to external sensuous material; instead, it launches out exclusively in the inner space and the inner time of ideas and feelings.
What the English call “comfortable” is something endless and inexhaustible. Every condition of comfort reveals in turn its discomfort, and these discoveries go on for ever. Hence the new want is not so much a want of those who have it directly, but is created by those who hope to make profit from it.
It is a matter of perfect indifference where a thing originated; the only question is: "Is it true in and for itself?"
The force of mind is only as great as its expression; its depth only as deep as its power to expand and lose itself.
The great thing however is, in the show of the temporal and the transient to recognize the substance which is immanent and the eternal which is present. For the work of Reason (which is synonymous with the Idea) when considered in its own actuality, is to simultaneously enter external existence and emerge with an infinite wealth of forms, phenomena and phases — a multiplicity that envelops its essential rational kernel with a motley outer rind with which our ordinary consciousness is earliest at home. It is this rind that the Concept must penetrate before Reason can find its own inward pulse and feel it still beating even in the outward phases. But this infinite variety of circumstances which is formed in this element of externality by the light of the rational essence shining in it — all this infinite material, with its regulatory laws — is not the object of philosophy....To comprehend what is, is the task of philosophy: and what is is Reason.
Hegel
Hegel found that in the Homeric epics the depiction of physical objects, however detailed and stylized, did not intrude upon the rhythm and vitality of the poem. Descriptive writing in modern literature, on the other hand, struck him as contingent and lifeless…. Compared to Homeric or even to medieval times, modern man inhabits the physical world like a rapacious stranger. These ideas greatly influenced Marx and Engels. It contributed to their own theory of the ‘alienation’ of the individual under capitalist modes of production.
The beginning of religion, more precisely its content, is the concept of religion itself, that God is the absolute truth, the truth of all things, and subjectively that religion alone is the absolutely true knoweldge.
The criticism of the German philosophy of state and right, which attained its most consistent, richest, and last formulation through Hegel, is both a critical analysis of the modern state and of the reality connected with it, and the resolute negation of the whole manner of the German consciousness in politics and right as practiced hereto, the most distinguished, most universal expression of which, raised to the level of science, is the speculative philosophy of right itself.




A philosophy without heart and a faith without intellect are abstractions from the true life of knowledge and faith. The man whom philosophy leaves cold, and the man whom real faith does not illuminate, may be assured that the fault lies in them, not in knowledge and faith. The former is still an alien to philosophy, the latter an alien to faith.
For the subject matter is not exhausted by any aim, but only by the way in which things are worked out in detail; nor is the result the actual whole, but only the result together with its becoming. The aim, taken by itself, is a lifeless generality; the tendency is a mere drift which still lacks actuality; and the naked result is the corpse which has left the tendency behind.
Hegel quotes
Life has a value only when it has something valuable as its object.
Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.
To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect. The relation is mutual.
Dr. J. O. Wisdom once observed to me that he knew people who thought there was no philosophy after Hegel, and others who thought there was none before Wittgenstein; and he saw no reason for excluding the possibility that both were right.
We assert then that nothing has been accomplished without interest on the part of the actors; and — if interest be called passion, inasmuch as the whole individuality, to the neglect of all other actual or possible interests and claims, is devoted to an object with every fibre of volition, concentrating all its desires and powers upon it — we may affirm absolutely that nothing great in the World has been accomplished without passion.
Frau Edouard Devrient: "Do tell me, who is the stupid fellow sitting next to me?" Felix Mendelssohn (behind his napkin): "The stupid fellow next to you is the philosopher Hegel."
In every page of David Hume, there is more to be learned than from Hegel's, Herbart's and Schleiermacher's complete philosophical works.


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