Hegel's Philosophy of History

Hegel's Philosophy of History

Hegel's Philosophy of History

Hegel's Philosophy of History

Excerpt

H istorians and philosophers who are distrustful of the philosophy of history frequently cite Hegel's Philosophy of History as a paradigm of what they consider an unwarranted intrusion by a philosopher into the field of historial inquiry. Since the posthumous publication of Hegel's lectures on the philosophy of history the charge that Hegel was "a priori" and "nonempirical" in his treatment of the past has been made repeatedly. It is, however, of more than historical significance that this charge was also made by Hegel -- against some of the historians of his day. I shall begin here, hoping that an understanding of what lay behind Hegel's criticisms of the historians of his time will be of some value in deciphering Hegel's philosophy of history.

The Myth of the Historically Given

Near the beginning of the Introduction to The Philosophy of History Hegel writes that only the study of world history can show that world history has proceeded rationally and that world history represents the . . .

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