Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

HegelAlong with J. G. Fichte and F. W. J. von Schelling, Hegel  (1770-1831) belongs to the period of “German idealism” in the decades following Kant. The most systematic of the post-Kantian idealists, Hegel attempted, throughout his published writings as well as in his lectures, to elaborate a comprehensive and systematic ontology from a “logical” starting point. He developed a dialectical method, which can be seen as an extended version of logic. He is perhaps most well-known for his teleological account of history, an account which was later taken over by Marx and “inverted” into a materialist theory of an historical development culminating in communism. For most of the twentieth century, the “logical” side of Hegel’s thought had been largely forgotten, but his political and social philosophy continued to find interest and support. However, since the 1970s, a degree of more general philosophical interest in Hegel’s systematic thought has also been revived.

Biography

Born at Stuttgart, Hegel studied at Tübingen, where his contemporaries included Schelling and the poet Hölderlin. After holding positions as a tutor he went to Jena in 1801 as a Privatdozent in philosophy. While in Jena he collaborated with Schelling in editing the Kritisches Journal der Philosophie, to which he contributed many articles. Promoted to a chair in 1805, he then was forced to leave Jena because of the Napoleonic war, became editor of a newspaper, and from 1807 spent eight years as director of the Gymnasium in Nürnberg. In 1816 he became professor of philosophy at Heidelberg. Two years later he succeeded Fichte as a professor in Berlin and entered into his most famous and influential period. Hegel attracted great numbers of foreign students to Berlin, and had an unparalleled influence on German philosophy in the 19th century. He was also the central philosophical influence on Marx and Engels, and on English philosophy in the absolute idealist phrase, and although his reputation in the Anglo-American world has suffered periods of eclipse, he continues to be a focal point for many thinkers.

Works

  •  The Phenomenology of Mind (1807)
  • The Objective Logic (1812-13)
  • The Subjective Logic (1816)
  • Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline (1817)
  • Philosophy of Right (1821)

Reconstructed lecture courses

  • Philosophy of Religion (1832)
  • History of Philosophy (1833,1836)
  • Philosophy of Fine Arts (1835,1838)
  • Philosophy of History (1837)

More Texts from Hegel on this site:

(Here is a Hegel site that has the major texts from Hegel, as well as the German originals. )