Russel_-_Entry_on_Hegel - ~~~ ~. tv is J.N.v.. v ~...

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Unformatted text preview: ~~~ ~. tv is J.N.v.. v ~ GUe.('f-- ~ Q\f\ ~ 7' ~;II.:frr;/. :#/"t ~//I-". -V/ti1..c<L..A G. W.F. Hegel (1770-1831) 246 The German Idealist philosophy received its final and systematic form at the hands of Hegel. Taking up hints from Fichte and the early Schelling) he produced a philosophic edifice that for all its un- sound features still remains interesting and instructive. Besides, Hegelianism exercised widespread influence on a whole generation of thinkers not only in ~ermany but lat<;r in England as well. France, on the whole, was not amenable to Hegelian philosophy, perhaps because of the great obscurity of the original which hinders a plausible rendering into clearcut French. The philosophy of Hegel survives especially in the dialectic materialism of Marx and Engels, which provides just as good an example of its untenability. Hegel (1770-1831) was born in Stuttgart and studied at Tubingen at the same time as Schelling. For some years he worked as a private. tutor and then joined Schelling in Jena in 1801. It was here that five years later he completed the 'Phenomenology of Mind', on the eve of the battle ofJena. He left before the victorious French and for some years worked 'as al\ editor and then as the head of a grammar. school in Nuremberg, where his 'Science of Logic' was written. In 1816 he became professor at Heidelberg and produced the 'Encyclo- paedia of the Philosophic Sciences.' Finally, in 1818, he was called to the chair of philosophy at Berlin, where he henceforth remained. He greatly admired Prussia, and his philosophy became official doctrine. Hegel's writings are amongst the most difficult works in the entire literature of philosophy. This is due not only to the nature of the topics discussed, but also to the clumsy style of the author. The relief afforded by the occasional brilliant metaphors is not enough to offset the general obscurity. To try to understand what Hegel was aiming at we might recall the Kantian distinction between the theoretical and the practical. The Hegelian philosophy may then be described as insisting on the primacy of the practical, in the original sense of the word. For this reason, great emphasis is laid on history and the historical character of all human endeavours. As for the dialectic method, which has some roots in Kant, Fichte and Schelling, its plausibility for Hegel no doubt steIns from a review of the see-saw development of historical movements. More particularly, the growth of pre-socratic philosophy seeIns to follow this pattem, as was men- tioned earlier. Hegel raises this method to the status of a principle of historical explanation. Now as far as it goes dialectic progression from two opposing demands to some compromise solution is useful enough. However, Hegel proceeds to show how history had to go through its various stages on the basis of this principle. Needless to say this is only possible by distorting the facts. It is one thing to recognise a pattem of historical events, but quite...
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This note was uploaded on 03/31/2008 for the course GEOG 128 taught by Professor Ipsitachatterjee during the Spring '08 term at Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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Russel_-_Entry_on_Hegel - ~~~ ~. tv is J.N.v.. v ~...

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