Lectures on the Philosophy of World History

ISBN-10: 0521281458
ISBN-13: 9780521281454
Edition: 1975
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Description: An English translation of Hegel's introduction to his lectures on the philosophy of history, based directly on the standard German edition by Johannes Hoffmeister, first published in 1955. The previous English translation, by J. Sibree, first  More...

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Book details

List price: $39.99
Copyright year: 1975
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/27/1980
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 292
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.726

An English translation of Hegel's introduction to his lectures on the philosophy of history, based directly on the standard German edition by Johannes Hoffmeister, first published in 1955. The previous English translation, by J. Sibree, first appeared in 1857 and was based on the defective German edition of Karl Hegel, to which Hoffmeister's edition added a large amount of new material previously unknown to English readers, derived from earlier editors. In the introduction to his lectures, Hegel lays down the principles and aims which underlie his philosophy of history, and provides an outline of the philosophy of history itself. The comprehensive and voluminous survey of world history which followed the introduction in the original lectures is of less interest to students of Hegel's thought than the introduction, and is therefore not included in this volume.

Born the son of a government clerk in Stuttgart, Germany, George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel received his education at Tubingen in theology. Arguably the most influential philosopher of the nineteenth century, Hegel's lectures---most notably at the University of Berlin from 1818 to his death---deeply influenced not only philosophers and historians but generations of political activists of both the Right and Left, champions of the all-powerful nation-state on the one hand and Karl Marx on the other. His lectures at Berlin were the platform from which he set forth the system elaborated in his writings. At the heart of Hegel's philosophy is his philosophy of history. In his view, history works in a series of dialectical steps---thesis, antithesis, synthesis. His whole system is founded on the great triad---the Idea as thesis, Nature as antithesis, and the Spirit as synthesis. The Idea is God's will; Nature is the material world, including man; Spirit is man's self-consciousness of the Idea, his coming to an understanding of God's will. The formation over time of this consciousness is History. Spirit does not exist in the abstract for Hegel, but is comprehended in "peoples," cultures, or civilizations, in practice states. Hegelian Freedom is only possible in organized states, where a National Spirit can be realized. This National Spirit, a part of the World Spirit, is realized in History largely through the actions of World Historical Individuals, heroes such as Napoleon, who embody that Spirit. A profound misunderstanding of this doctrine led many German intellectuals to subvert it into a narrow, authoritarian nationalism that glorified the "state" as an end in itself. Although Hegel saw his philosophy as universal, applicable throughout the world, the focus and inspiration of his thought was European. And in his own even smaller world, he was content to support and work for the Prussian state, which he believed to be the highest development of history up to that time.

Introduction Duncan Forbes
TranslatorG++s preface
Introduction
Preface
First draft
Second draft
Appendix
Notes
Index of names
Index of subjects

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