Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit

Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit

Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit

Hegel's Philosophy of Spirit

Synopsis

This book focuses on Hegel's philosophy of spirit, his major concept and the core of his mature system. It does not so much define Geist as it does illustrate its many forms and manifestations. It is a broad-ranging examination of Volume III of Hegel's Encyclopedia delineating his radical break with previous philosophy and illuminating the heart of his thought.

Several themes recur: the meaning and content of recognition and intersubjectivity, religion, Hegel's predecessors, and his contemporary successors or contrasts. Hegel's intentions and his audacity are made both clear and sharp in this work."

Excerpt

Hegel's philosophy of spirit (Geist) is the third and final major part of his mature systematic philosophy. It follows logic—the development of the laws and forms of thought—and the philosophy of nature—the hierarchical ordering of natural phenomena from the most atomistic. separated. and inert to the most organic, unified, and alive. To the philosophy of spirit. then, remains vast scope: the development and achievements of human subjectivity and social and political life as well as the spheres where human beings participate in the eternal. The first division of the philosophy of spirit is subjective spirit. which includes what Hegel calls anthropology. phenomenology (or the development of consciousness), and psychology; in subjective spirit, subjectivity develops from nature and natural life into psychologically complex, active, and expressive unities of self-consciousness. The second division is objective spirit. where free human subjects live in an objective world of legal forms. moral commands. and Sittlichkeit, the ethical community whose patterned social interactions both express individual subjectivity and exist as objective substance. The final division is absolute spirit, where the finitude and limits of subjectivity and objectivity are transcended in the infinity and unity of artistic creation. religious sentiment, and philosophical thought.

Hegel presents his philosophy of spirit in the Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse (Encyclopædia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline). Printed first in 1817 and revised extensively in 1827 and again in 1830. the Encyclopædia contains the skeletal statement of his mature philosophical system. As with the Philosophy of Right. the form of the Encyclopædia derives from its purpose: to publish Hegel's philosophy to the public as a system and at the same time to produce a text for his lectures to university students. So Hegel. in presenting his . . .

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