Jacques Maritain Center : History of Philosophy / by William Turner



Life. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born at Stuttgart in 1770. His life, like that of all the great post-Kantian philosophers, is merely the history of his academic and literary career. At the age of eighteen he entered the theological seminary at Tübingen, where he devoted himself to the study of Kant and Rousseau, having for companions Schelling and the young poet Hölderlin, whose enthusiasm for Greek poetry he fully shared. The years 1793-1800 he spent as private tutor at Berne and at Frankfurt-am-Main; years in which, through the study of Hellenic literature, he attained a realization of the spiritual significance of nature as the key to the harmony of existence. In 1801 he entered the University of Jena, and, after a few years spent there as Privatdocent, was appointed professor extraordinary (1805). While at Jena he renewed his acquaintance with Schelling, who was at that time editor of the Critical Journal of Philosophy. Soon, however, divergence of opinion between the two great opponents of Fichte's subjectivism led to the development by Hegel of a system opposed to the philosophy of identity; in 1807 he published his Phänomenologie des Geistes, his first important contribution to speculative philosophy. After spending a year as newspaper editor at Bamberg, Hegel became rector of the gymnasium at Nuremberg, and while there published his Logik (Wissenschaft der Logik, 1816). In 1816 he was made professor of philosophy at Heidelberg, and in 1818 was transferred to the University of Berlin. While at Heidelberg he published the Encyclopaedia (Encyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse, 1817). He died at Berlin in 1831.

Sources. Hegel's works were published soon after his death (Berlin, 1832 ff.), in nineteen volumes, the last volume being the life of Hegel written by Rosenkranz. The Journal of Speculative Philosophy (Vols. I-V, St. Louis, 1867-1871) published translations of the Phänomenologie and of portions of the Encyklopädie. The Logik was translated by W. T. Harris, and is to be found in the second volume of the Journal just referred to. Wallace has published translations of the most important portions of the Encyklopädie (The Logic of Hegel, Oxford, 1892, and Hegel's Philosophy of Mind, Oxford, 1894). The translation of the Vorlesungen über die Philosophie der Geschichte, by Sibree, is published in Bohn's Library (Philosophy of History, London, 1860, 1884).

Professor Caird's Hegel (Blackwood's Philosophical Classics, Edinburgh and Philadelphia, 1896) will be found very useful by those who are not prepared to take up Stirling's formidable exposition, The Secret of Hegel (2 vols., London, 1865; vol., Edinburgh and London, 1898). Mind, especially in the new series, contains many valuable articles expository and explanatory of Hegelian philosophy.{1} See also Fischer's Hegel (Heidelberg, 1898-1901).


The Problem of Philosophy. Thus far, in following the course of the development of philosophic thought in Germany, we have found that Kant, by failing to complete the synthesis of ultimate reality, bequeathed the problem towards the solution of which all post-Kantian speculation was directed. Fichte completed the synthesis by merging the thing-in-itself (object) in the activity of the Ego (subject). Schelling tried to effect a synthesis equally complete by merging both subject and object in the indifference of the Absolute. Hegel now approaches the problem anew. Dissatisfied with Schelling's solution of the problem, he proposes to substitute for the Absolute of indifference an Absolute of immanent activity. According to Schelling, nature and spirit (object and subject) proceed from the Absolute; according to Hegel, the Absolute becomes successively nature and spirit. The Absolute of Hegel's speculative system is a process rather than a source; it is infinite, but, unlike the Spinozistic substance, it is an infinite of activity, opposition, and tension, rather than of static immensity and undifferentiated plenitude; it is a maelstrom rather than a sea of unruffled rest.

This concept of the Absolute is Hegel's starting point; but we can understand neither his starting point nor his method unless we first obtain a clear conception of the frame of mind in which he approaches the problems of philosophy. In Fichte, as in Kant, the ethical character predominated, and in Fichte's philosophy the practical reason retained its supremacy. In Schelling it was the scientific-artistic character that prevailed, and in his philosophy the real and the ideal, the rational and the imaginative, were given equal play. In Hegel, the rational or idealistic, temperament is predominant; in his vast philosophical synthesis the theoretical is placed supreme above the practical, and action is subordinated to thought, for thought is the center and sum of reality: "the rational alone is real"; "all being is thought realized, and all becoming is a development of thought." Mere science, he observes, looks for the causal explanations of phenomena; philosophy seeks to find the ideal interpretation of phenomena, to understand them in terms of the Absolute, which is thought.

As to content, therefore, philosophy does not go beyond experience; it is, to repeat Kant's distinction, transcendental but not transcendent. Indeed, it cannot go beyond rational experience, since the rational alone is real, and philosophy must necessarily be in harmony with actuality and experience.{2} As to form, however, philosophy differs from the empirical sciences; for, to the laws, classifications, and categories of these sciences it adds the categories of notion, being, essence, etc. In logic, as we shall see, these categories are studied, as it were, in vacuo, that is, devoid of all empirical content; but in the philosophy of nature and in the philosophy of mind they are studied in their development and determination. Logic is, nevertheless, a science of reality, for in it reality is studied through the abstract categories.

Hegel's is a critical philosophy; yet it is, at the same time, systematic or constructive. It is, as Wallace says, "a system which is self-critical and systematic only through the absoluteness of its criticism;"{3} or, to use Hegel's own phrase, it is "an immanent and incessant dialectic."

Briefly, then, Hegel 's philosophy is idealism in the absolute sense of the word, -- logical or conceptual rather than ethical or scientific. It is a philosophy of identity, inasmuch as it looks upon nature and spirit as manifestations of a higher Absolute. It is a philosophy of development, inasmuch as the Absolute from which it deduces nature and spirit is not a static but a dynamic prius. This dynamic prius of nature and spirit is the process from in-itself (an-sich) through out-of-self (fürsich, Anders-sein) to for-itself (an-und-füsich).

Before passing to consider Hegel's method it is necessary to emphasize the importance of the idea of development and to explain the principle which governs all development, whether in the purely logical order or in nature and mind. In its barest statement, the principle is that all development passes through three stages, -- in-itself, out-of-self, and for-itself. This may be called a metaphysical application of the maxim on which the mystics insist, namely, "Die to live." For it pertains to the very essence of spirit that through disintegration it must attain to reintegration, through diversity to unity, through strife to peace, through opposition to agreement. It is a law of thought as well as a law of being (and thought is being) that a concept or a thing realizes itself by going out from itself (losing itself in the other) and returning to itself. To take one of Hegel's favorite examples: Freedom is developed by discipline, which is its opposite. The freedom of the child is surrendered in the discipline of education in order to become the mature freedom of the man, and the freedom of the man is in turn surrendered in the discipline of law in order to become the freedom of the citizen.

Hegel's Method is to be understood in the light of this principle of development. Fichte, while admitting in theory that philosophic method consists in the use of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, failed to develop this idea of method and to apply it to every department of thought. Schelling relied on intuition, and gave free scope to his exuberant imagination. Hegel insists on the pruning of the imaginative faculty and the discussion of all intuitions by means of dialectic. Philosophy, he observes, being the thinking study of things, does not stop at the intuition which presents the thing (object) in its immediate unity, for that is only part of the truth, but follows it out into the self-mediation whereby it passes into its opposites and back again to reconstructed unity. Philosophy, therefore, must pursue a concept or an object from its immediate unity into the divergence of opposites, so as to arrive at the full truth in the reconciliation of opposites. For "all position is negation" (every concept contains its opposite), and "all negation is position" (every opposite contains that to which it is opposed); so that neither in affirmation nor in negation is there the full truth, but in the reaffirmation which follows affirmation and negation. Here we have the famous dialectical method, the triadism which determines the division as well as the method of Hegel's philosophy.

It is important to note here that "At least the first and third category (the in-itself and for-itself) in every triad may be looked upon as definitions of the Absolute, or metaphysical definitions of God, -- the first where the thought-form of the triad is formulated in its simplicity, and the third being the return from differentiation to a simple self-reference. The second sub-category (the out-of-self) in each triad, where the grade of thought is in its differentiation, gives, on the other hand, a definition of the finite."{4}

We shall find as we proceed triad within triad. The first great triad is Idea, nature, and spirit, which gives us the division of philosophy.

Division of Philosophy. Philosophy starts with the Idea. It is scarcely necessary to remark that the term Idea does not here designate a phenomenon of the individual consciousness, but the system of reason, the sum of reality. Now the Idea, following the law of development, is at first in-itself (an-sich), then outside itself (fürsich, Anders-sein), and finally, for-itself (an-und-fürsich) There are, therefore, three parts of philosophy: (1) logic, the science of the Idea in itself; (2) philosophy of nature, the science of the Idea outside itself, or in the state of otherness; (3) philosophy of mind, the science of the Idea come back to itself out of otherness.{5} In each of these divisions there are subordinate triadic divisions, so that each part is a circle rounded and completed in itself, while philosophy as a whole resembles a circle of circles.{6}

1. Logic is the science of the pure Idea. This does not mean that logic is the science of the forms of thought, or that it is the science of mere thought. It is the science of reality; for the Idea is the sum of reality, -- the synthetic unity of expenence. Logic differs from the other parts of philosophy merely in this, that it is the science of reality looked at through the medium of pure or abstract thought. If, then, logic is the "morphology of thought," Hegelian logic is the morphology of the world, of life, of reality. As Hegel himself says, "Logic coincides with metaphysics, the science of things set and held in thoughts."{7}

It is important to remark here that the identification of logic with metaphysics necessitates a change in the meaning of the word "category" and in that of the phrase "deduction of the categories." The forms of thought are for Hegel what they were for none of his Kantian predecessors, forms of being in a sense akin to that which the schoolmen attached to substantial forms, although, of course, they differ radically from the Scholastic forms inasmuch as they are wholly dynamic processes rather than static entities conceived after some remote analogy to a mold or die. If, then, the categories are processes of being as well as forms of thought, the deduction of the categories will be the tracing of their genealogy from the first form, which is Being. It will not be enough to enumerate the categories and to indicate their systematic articulation; it will be necessary to discover and demonstrate their genetic connection, their functional dependence, so to speak, on one another. Logic is not only the morphology, it is also the physiology of thought.

It is important to note also that neither in the logic nor anywhere else in Hegelian philosophy are the categories discovered. The task of discovering the categories belongs to experience and to the empirical sciences. The categories being given, philosophy shows how they grow out of each other and are phases of the same reality. Philosophy not merely enumerates them, for that would be simply a mechanical synthesis; it also shows their functional interdependence and interconnection, thus effecting an organic synthesis.

Logic is divided into (A) Doctrine of Being (Sein), that is, of the ldea in its immediacy; (B) Doctrine of Essence (Wesen) that is, of the Idea in its reflection or mediation; (C) Doctrine of Notion (Begriff), that is, of the Idea returned to itself. Being is the notion implicit, or in germ; essence is the show or appearance (Schein) of the notion, and the notion is Being or Idea in and for itself.{8}

A. Doctrine of Being. Logic begins with Being, because Being is, on the one hand, pure thought, and, on the other, immediacy itself, simple and indeterminate. Now, if Being is complete indeterminateness, it is ideatical with Nothing (Nichts). Let us see what Hegel means by the famous formula Being = Nothing. He means that, while there is undoubtedly a distinction between Being and Nothing, the distinction is not absolute but only relative. When Aristotle enunciated the principle of contradiction, he gave expression to what is only part of the truth. For, if it is true that every object and every thought is differentiated from every other object and every other thought, and is therefore identical with itself (A is not Not-A, A = A), it is no less true that every object and every thought is related to every other object and every other thought, and that, in so far as it is related to another, it is differentiated from itself and identical with that other (A is not A, A = Not-A). Aristotle, emphasizing one aspect of thought, namely its differentiating power, and failing to realize the equal importance of the relating power of thought, formulated the principle of contradiction -- the differentiation of things -- as if it were an absolute truth, whereas it is only relative to one aspect of thought and being. Looking at thought and being from the view point of totality, we see that the absolute differentiation or the absolute identity of concepts or of things is but part of the truth, the whole truth being that concepts and things are partially differentiated and partially identified. We have consequently as much right to say that Being is Nothing as that Being is Being, since the whole truth is that Being is both Being and Nothing, -- it is Becoming (das Werden). Here we have the barest and most abstract form of development by means of the union of opposites. Becoming is, as Hegel himself says, a poor term (meager of content). Life and mind are higher, richer, more intense unions of opposites than is mere becoming, which, however, is the abstract formula of life and mind.

The result of the union of Being and Nothing in Becoming is, first, the process itself, -- an endless swaying, a constant tension; and secondly, at each stage of the process, a product, so that to Being identical with Nothing succeeds determinate being, or what we call something, or being-then-and-there (Dasein). Now the determinateness of Being is, in its immediacy, quality, from which are deduced the categories otherwise-being, negation, limit, alteration, being-for-self, which is the one with its attraction and repulsion; but in attraction and repulsion the one annuls itself and its determinates, becoming the many; at this point, therefore, quality passes over into quantity.

Quantity is defined as "pure Being where the mode or character (quality) is no longer taken as one with the being itself, but explicitly put as superseded or indifferent." Quantity arises from a unit and the identification or equalization of (other) units.

Completing now the triadic circle within pure Being, we have measure (Mass) as the union of quality and quantity. In measure these two are united (so, for example, progressive diminution in temperature causes a transition from heat to cold); for quantity is implicitly quality, and quality is implicitly quantity.

Being which is thus determined by quality, quantity, and measure becomes essence, or, in other words, the determinations quality, quantity, and measure being transitory, the result of their dialectic is essence.

B. Doctrine of Essence. Essence (Wesen) is defined as Being coming into mediation with itself through the negativity of itself. Being, as we have seen, is immediate in its self-identity; now when this immediacy is "deposed," Being is reduced to a reflected light, and essence is Being thus reflected on itself.{9} As reflection supersedes immediacy, essence supersedes Being. The reflection is, however, to be conceived as inward in direction; for the outer "rind or curtain" is Being, and the inner reflection is essence. There is, therefore, a duality here, -- the categories of essence come in pairs, as, for instance, essence and appearance, force and expression, matter and form, substance and accident, cause and effect, -- a duality which, as we shall see, disappears in the notion, wherein the opposite aspects of Being attain final unity.

First, we have essence and appearance. Immediate Being is now an appearance; yet it is not, as we should say, merely phenomenal, for it is the appearance of an essence, and it is as necessary that the appearance should have an essence as it is that the essence should appear. Life, for example, must manifest itself, the cause must produce an effect, and at the same time there is no manifestation of life without life and no production of an effect without a cause.

Next, as determinations of essence we have identity and difference. The unity of these is the ground (Grund), which is defined "the essence put explicitly in totality." At this point essence has completed the circle of self-mediation (reflection), so that we are back again at immediate Being, not at Being in its primitive immediacy, but at Being in an immediacy which results from the annulment of all intermediation. Being, which is immediate in this sense, is existence. Developing now the categories of ground and existence into an explicit unity, we arrive at the category of thing (Ding). Thing in its relation to reflection on other things develops the category of properties; and the union of essence with existence, combining all the essential with the existential aspects of Being, gives the form of actuality, which is synonymous with reality.

Similarly, by processes the details of which it is unnecessary to set down here, the categories content and form, power and expression, inner and outer, substance and accident, cause and effect, action and reaction, are deduced from essence. It is important, however, to note that as substance and accident, so cause and effect (and indeed all the categories which come under the head of essence and appearance) are inseparable. Cause passes over into effect, so that the effect is the cause explicated or manifested, and effect in turn passes over into cause. For the causal series is not a progress ad infinitum, the rectilinear movement from cause to effect being bent back on itself so as to form a circle in which every effect becomes the cause of its cause. This reciprocity is illustrated in history; for example, the character and manners of a nation influence its constitution and laws, while in turn the constitution and laws of a country influence the character and manners of its people.{10} The category of reciprocity (Wechselwirkung) does away with the idea of predetermining fatality, shows that freedom is to be found in the concept of absolute but reciprocal necessity, and thus leads to the category of the notion.

C. Doctrine of the Notion. The notion (Begriff) is "essence reverted to the immediacy of Being,"{11} or, since each category is inseparable from its antecedent, the notion is the principle of freedom, the power of substance self-realized. In fact, the notion contains all the earlier categories, and may therefore be defined as the truth of Being and essence. Obviously, then, we may understand the notion to be synonymous with totality fully realized, which is apparently what Hegel means when he says that quality, quantity, force, cause, necessity, freedom are nothing apart from the notion. The dialectical process of Being was transition, that of essence was reflection; the movement of the notion is merely development. It is, Hegel tells us, to be looked upon as play, for the other which it sets up is not really an other.

Following this play of the notion we find that its triadic development is subjective notion, objective notion, and absolute notion, or Idea.

a. Subjective notion is the notion as notion, and as such has three moments, -- universality, particularity, and individuality. The meaning is that the notion passes from unity to partition and thence back to the explicit identification of parts in the one. This reintegration is effected by means of judgment (Urtheil), which, as its name implies, signifies the identification of partition with primary unity, so that the abstract form in which all judgments may be expressed is "The individual is the universal." Now judgment, inasmuch as it affirms the identity of the individual with the universal, contains a contradiction. This contradiction is removed in the syllogism. The syllogism is, therefore, the complete expression of the subjective notion, the reintegration of the partitions of the notion in the universal by means of the particular. "Consequently, at the present stage (in the deduction of the categories) the definition of the Absolute is that it is a syllogism, or, stating the principle in the form of a proposition: Everything is a syllogism."{12}

b. Objective notion. Thus far the notion has been considered in its subjective stage, as it were in the abstract, as form without content; but since it is a form which, in its ultimate development, is a union of opposites, it constantly tends to objectify itself. The notion as object is the totality of objects, -- the universe.

Here, as usual, we are to distinguish three forms: mechanism, or the juxtaposition of independent objects held together as an aggregate; chemism, or the mutual attraction, penetration, and neutralization of objects (elements) held together by affinity; and organism, or the complete unity of purposive action in which the independence of the objects (body cells) disappears and parts are made to serve the purpose of the entire structure.

Now, notion become object implies a contradiction; for as subjective notion was form without content, so the object, as object, is content without form. The play of the notion has here reached a point where the notion is not a notion. The contradiction, however, disappears in the Idea, or absolute notion.

c. Absolute notion is the truth in itself and for itself, the absolute unity of notion and objectivity. It may be defined as reason, subject-object, the union of the real with the ideal, of the body with the soul, etc. It is essentially a process. In its immediate form it is life. When it becomes its own object in the theoretical order, it becomes the true; when it becomes its own object in the practical order, it becomes the good; and when, by its theoretical and practical activity (the knowledge of the true and the pursuit of the good), it returns to itself from the bias and finiteness of cognition and volition, it becomes the absolute Idea. Life is defective, inasmuch as it is the Idea implicit or natural; cognition-volition is defective in so far as it is the Idea as merely conscious, and therefore one-sided; the absolute Idea unites the truth of life with the truth of consciousness, supplying the defect of the former and overcoming the one-sidedness of the latter. This is the goal of the entire series of logical processes; in its next phase the Idea passes over into otherness and becomes nature.

Thus far we have followed the triadic developments of the Idea (reality, reason, the Absolute) through processes which in non-technical language may be styled the dialectic of the Divine Reason anteriorly to the creation of the universe. We come, in the next place, to the study of reason in nature.

2. Philosophy of Nature. Nature is the Idea (reason) in the state of otherness, -- a state intermediate between the immediacy of reason as notion and the reintegrated immediacy of reason as it fully realizes itself in spirit. In nature the Idea has become externalized and particularized; its unity has disappeared, or rather is concealed. Still, nature, while it is a state of the Idea, is also a process of spirit, and although the natural sciences are right in regarding phenomena as isolated realities, they do not fully exhaust the truth of nature, the very plurality of phenomena being a contradiction which of itself shows that nature is a process. Philosophy, therefore, taking a higher view point than that of science, represents nature as a series of successful struggles by which the Idea, scattered as it were in plurality, regains unity and self-identity (self-consciousness) in the individual spirit (man), which is the goal of the processes of nature. Exclude this concept of the upward struggle of nature, and natural phenomena become a tangled mass of events in inextricable disorder.{13}

There are three stages in the process which is nature, namely mechanics (matter and space), physics (bodies), and organics (life). In bodies, nature attains individuality; in living organisms, it attains subjectivity, or consciousness; it is only in man that it attains self-consciousness (self as subject and object). Man, however, while he is the highest product of the Idea in nature, is, like nature itself, subject to the law of development. No sooner, therefore, has the Idea become spirit by attaining self-consciousness in man, than it undergoes a further and final process of development as subjective, objective, and absolute spirit. This last process is the subject-matter of the philosophy of mind.

The philosophy of nature has been pronounced the least original and the least consistent of the three portions into which Hegel's philosophy is divided. It underwent more modification at the hands of Hegel's pupils and successors than did the logic or the philosophy of mind. Yet even in its modified form the Hegelian philosophy of nature is far from being consistent with the principles of absolute idealism. Indeed, the supreme test of a system of metaphysics is its compatibility with the ultimate truth of empirical science, -- a test to which, it is safe to say, no system of idealism from the days of Parmenides to those of Hegel has consistently conformed. Not that the metaphysical point of view is not different from that of the physical sciences. There may, however, be difference without antagonism; for, as Hegel himself observes, "The philosophical way of presenting things is not a capricious effort, for once in a way to walk on one's head as a change from the ordinary method of walking on one's feet . . . , but it is because the manner of science does not fully satisfy that we are obliged to go beyond it."{14}

3. Philosophy of Mind. Mind (spirit, Geist) is the truth of nature. Its formal essence is freedom, -- the absolute self-identity of the Idea. Mind, it is important to note, is the most complete development of the Absolute, so that when we say "The Absolute is Mind," we have the supreme definition of the Absolute.{15} But although mind is absolutely the prius of nature, yet for us it comes out of nature, and therefore brings with it what may be called a germ of development. In this development we are to distinguish, as usual, three stages, -- subjective mind, objective mind, and absolute mind.

A. Subjective Mind. If freedom is the formal essence of mind, consciousness is its material essence; for it is by successive steps towards complete self-consciousness that mind attains perfect freedom. Hegel agrees with Spinoza in teaching that the emancipative acts of the soul are conditioned by advance in knowledge, -- a doctrine which does not surprise us when we remember that, in Hegel's view, thought is essentially dynamic, having, so to speak, a volitional as well as a cognitive phase. While mind was still immersed in nature, it took part in the planetary life of the universe, responding to the change of seasons, etc. Partially emerging from nature, it experienced in the first dull stirring of consciousness, namely sensation (Empfindung), a kind of vague realization of itself as in and for itself; feeling (das Fühlen) succeeded sensation, and was in turn succeeded by self-feeling (Selbstgefühl), which is the ground of consciousness (Bewusstsein). When it has reached this stage, mind, recognizing itself as an ego, has divested itself of nature. Next, as theoretical mind, it passes through the stages of intuition (Anschauung), representation (Vorstellung), and thought (das Denken). Having now taken possession (of its intuitions, representations, and thoughts), it proceeds, as practical mind, to determine its contents; this it does by means of impulse (Triebe), desire (Begehren), and inclination (Neigung), thus arriving at complete self-determination, which is freedom. Free will is, therefore, the union of theoretical and practical mind.

"It was," Hegel remarks, "through Christianity that this idea (of actual freedom) came into the world. According to Christianity, the individual, as such, has an infinite value as the object and aim of divine law." The Greeks and Romans, he explains, maintained that freedom is an accident of birth, or is grounded in strength of character, or is acquired by education and philosophy, while Christianity on the contrary maintains that man as man is free.{16}

Freedom, once attained, must be realized, and, according to the universal formula of development, it must be realized through its opposite, necessity. It is for this reason that mind objectifies itself in law, the family, and the state. In this way, through the discipline of necessity, the egotistic impulse becomes property right, sexual impulse becomes moral in marriage, and the inclination to revenge is transformed into punitive justice in the state.

B. Objective Mind. The yoke of necessity, to which free will subjects itself in order to realize full freedom, is (a) right (Recht), in which freedom attains outer actuality, (b) morality (Moralität), in which it attains inner actuality, and (c) social morality (Sittlichkeit), in which it attains complete actuality, which is both inner and outer.

a. From right springs ownership (property), and from ownership the right to dispose of one's possessions by contract. Now although contract refers primarily to individual property, it implies the merging of two wills in the common will. Hence arises the possibility of conflict between the will of the individual and that of the community. In this conflict consists wrong (Unrecht), which it is the duty of the public authority to correct by punishment. In this way the idea of contract leads to the idea of the state.

b. From morality spring purpose (the inner determination of the subject), intention (the subjective aim of the action to be performed, inasmuch as that aim is implied in the general wellbeing of the subject), and good and evil (the moral aspects of action). These determine the moral standpoint, the conscientious attitude, as we should call it, of the agent; however, they determine it so vaguely and unsatisfactorily that a conflict of apparent duties often results; for conscience is liable to error, and what is subjectively represented as good may be objectively evil. To right, therefore, and to morality must be added social morality. Right regulates merely the external, material interests of life; conscience is one-sided because it is subjective: social morality, being at once objective and subjective, external and internal, is the complete realization of freedom through the discipline of necessity.

c. Social morality. In social moral life the individual recognizes that what he ought to do is; for his duty is presented to him in its objective concrete realization in the family and in the state. He is no longer subject to the uncertainty of selective reflection: he sees his duty and he is, as it were, constrained to fulfill it. It is by submitting to this restraint that he attains the fullness of freedom.

The primary social moral institution is the family. It is the foundation of the state, and is, of its nature, permanent. Hegel was opposed to the principle of divorce, and would justify the granting of divorce only in exceptional cases provided for by law.

Civil society (die bürgerliche Gesellschaft) is the relative totality of individuals. It is different, on the one hand, from the family, for the family is an individual, and, on the other hand, from the state, for the state is a complete organic unity in which individuals, as individuals, do not exist. Civil society aims merely at the protection of individual interests; its mission is purely economic.

The State (Staat) is the perfect social organization. It does not live for the individuals of which it is composed, but for the ethical idea which it embodies, individuals being merely means which, when occasion demands it, must be sacrificed, as all private interests must be sacrificed, for the good of the whole.

Hegel, in treating of the state, takes up in succession constitutional law (the inner form of particular state organizations), international law (the outer form of states, which is regulative of the interrelations of states), and the dialectics of history (the laws of the general development of the universal mind, which manifests itself both in the internal constitution and in the outer forms of particular states).

alpha. Constitutional law (inneres Staatsrecht). The constitution is the articulation, or organization, of state power. From the point of view of the individual, the power of the state is a restriction. Still, inasmuch as it functions for the common good, it is the substance of the volition of the individual. By nature men are unequal; but before the law, that is, by virtue of the principle of state organization, -- the merging of individual freedom in the objective mind, -- all men are equal. This, however, means that as abstract persons they are equal; for in the concrete there is no perfect equality, men being equal before the law only in so far as they are equal outside the law.

The collective spirit of the nation is the constitution; the real living totality (the embodiment of the collective spirit) is the government, and although, according to the basic laws of organization, the government must divide its powers (legislative, judicial, and executive), it must, nevertheless, preserve the highest form of organic unity. For this reason a constitutional monarchy is superior to a republic on the one hand and to an absolute monarchy on the other hand. But while Hegel opposes the extension of individualism within the state, he is in favor of the individualism of states with respect to one another; for the state is based on the national spirit, and the national spirit is fostered by unity of language, customs, religion, etc. So long as a nation stands for a national ideal it is a crime, Hegel teaches, to annex it.

beta. International law (das äussere Staatsrecht), including treaty law and natural law, governs the relations of states to one another in time of peace and in time of war. War, Hegel teaches, is the indispensable means of political progress. It is a crisis in the development of the Idea, which is embodied in the different states, a crisis out of which the better state, that is the state which approaches more closely to the ideal, is certain to emerge victorious. For right is might; the better state conquers because it is better. Thus in every period of the world's history there has been some one chosen people, a nation which realizes more perfectly than any other the ideal of national life. This consideration leads to the next point, the dialectics of history. gamma. Dialectics of history. Hegel's philosophy of history is, perhaps, the most important portion of his speculative system. In it we find the most intelligible application of the principle of development, which dominates the method and contents of the other portions of his philosophy. Indeed, Hegel as well as Schelling insisted that the lower is to be understood by the higher. The philosophy of history will, therefore, throw light on the philosophy of nature and on logic.

The most general definition of the philosophy of history is that it is the thoughtful consideration of history.{17} More specifically, the thought which philosophy brings to the study of history is the conception of a sovereign reason, of which the succession of historical events is a rational process. This is at once a postulate of history inasmuch as it is a demonstrated thesis of philosophy, and a conclusion of history inasmuch as it is a most obvious inference from the study of historical happenings. The "micrologist" admits the "peddling" of the idea of Providence, but denies its applicability to the process of history as a whole. We must not, Hegel observes, imagine God to be too weak to exercise His wisdom on the grand scale.{18}

History, then, is the process of reason as spirit. Interest, passion, character, in a word, all the forces at play in the process, are a compound of will and intelligence. The world-historical persons, the great men of history, apparently drew the impulse of their lives from themselves; in reality, however, they were great because they "had an insight into the requirements of the time, -- what was ripe for development." They embodied the irresistible force of spirit in their own lives: they lived not for themselves but for the Idea which was their master passion. Their fate, therefore, was not a happy one.

The development of the spirit in history aims at complete freedom; the process is, however, not a tranquil growth, but a stern, reluctant working through opposition to complete realization. Thus we have three stages, -- oneness, expansion, and concentration. The Oriental monarchies represented despotism, the Grecian republics represented the unstable equilibrium of democracy tending towards demagogic rule, and the Christian and parliamentary monarchy represents the reintegration of freedom in constitutional government. Here we have an ideal example of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, -- the triadic movement which is the law of all development.

Even in the highest and most perfect form of political organization, mind is limited, and though the necessity which the state imposes makes for ultimate freedom, yet it is necessity. Mind, therefore, having objectified itself in the state, must complete the circle of development by returning to itself, becoming identical with itself and subjecting itself to itself alone, as Absolute Mind in art, religion, and philosophy.

C. Absolute Mind is the ultimate identification of mind with itself. Here mind subjects itself to itself, not as limited, but as infinite. There are three stages of Absolute Mind, -- art, religion, and philosophy.

a. Art. In art, mind has an intuitive contemplation of itself as infinite in the objective actuality of the art material. According as the art material becomes more docile, less rebellious to the Idea, we have architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and poetry; this is at once the line of ascending perfection and the line of historical development.

b. Religion. In religion, mind feels that the Idea is superior to all its finite and particular manifestations. Religion arises from poetry, the highest form of art; but it is, by its nature, a protest against the tendency of art to become pantheistic. Religion insists on the infinity of God and the finiteness of man, whereas the tendency of art is to deify man and represent God as human. Nevertheless, it is essential to religion to represent the infinite and finite as in some relation with each other. Oriental religions exaggerated the idea of the infinite; Greek religion gave undue importance to the finite; Christianity, being a synthesis of both, represents the union of the infinite and the finite in the doctrine of the Incarnation, and represents all truth in the dogma of the Trinity by teaching, as far as representation can teach, the triadic development of immanent reason as idea, nature, and spirit. The intellectual content of Christianity is thus the same as that of philosophy: there is no supernatural truth (gnosticism). Religion, however, contains the truth in the form of symbols and representations. Philosophy, therefore, which contains the truth as reason, is superior to religion.

c. Philosophy is the unity of art and religion. The infinite, which, as the beautiful, was rendered visible in art, and, as God, was made the object of representation and feeling in religion, is now, as the true, made the object of the thinking faculty in philosophy. Philosophy is, consequently, "the highest, freest, and wisest phase of the union of subjective and objective mind, and the ultimate goal of all development."

Historical Position. It is difficult to trace even in outline the influence which Hegel's philosophy exercised on the thought of his own and subsequent generations. Some of Hegel's contemporaries regarded his system of philosophy as the organic synthesis of all preceding speculation and the final form of philosophic thought. Others believed, and not a few still believe, that that system must be the foundation of all profitable speculation in the future. And when due allowance is made for the exaggerations which are inevitable whenever the cult of greatness attains, as in this instance it has attained, almost to the proportions of religious veneration, it cannot be denied that Hegel's was the mind which, in developing towards a more complete unity the elements of Kantian thought, took the most comprehensive synthetic view of the problems of philosophy, reached farthest and deepest into every department of knowledge, and found in the principle of development the bond best suited by reason of its simplicity and universal applicability to hold together the various elements of a system extending from the problems of logic to the analysis of religion. It is safe to say that no department of human knowledge has failed to feel the influence of Hegel's doctrines, or at least of his method. And this is due partly to the fact that his philosophy embodies the highest aspirations of the spirit of the nineteenth century, -- the spirit of collectivism, -- and partly to the fact that in his system of thought so large scope is assigned to the principle of development, which has so dominated the scientific as well as the philosophical thought of the century.

But the very greatness of Hegel's plan, the vastness of the enterprise itself, was the surest guarantee of its ultimate failure. "The rational alone is real" is a formula which, as understood and applied by Hegel, means that there are no limits to the power of the thinking faculty. For whether we understand the "rational" to refer to the Infinite Reason of the Creator or to the finite reason of the creature, the conclusion is ultimately the same, -- that everything real is to be analyzed in terms of rational thought. How inadequate is this view of reality the reaction against Hegelianism has taught us by insisting on the importance of the non-rational, and how hopeless is the self-imposed task of this new gnosticism is proved by Hegel's concept of God, which is the least satisfactory portion of his philosophy. The attempt to bring all reality under a single formula may indeed be the ideal of philosophy, but it is certainly an ideal which is as unattainable in practice as is the dream of the world conqueror who would bring all the nations of the earth under the scepter of one monarch. The highest unification which the finite mind can effect will necessarily fall short of absolute unity; for it is not given to the human mind to grasp the totality of being and to find in one formula a rationale of all reality. No philosophical system can consistently claim to comprehend God; it may discover Him, but it must acknowledge that He and His ways are inscrutable. Philosophy must leave room for faith, and its last word must be the necessity of faith. Gnosticism, as the modern world is just now realizing, is more irreligious than agnosticism.

It was the followers of Hegel who first revealed to the religious world the true drift of Hegelianism. The so-called Hegelian Leftists developed the anti-Christian elements in Hegel's thought, while the Rightists maintained that the teaching of Hegel accords with Christian faith and the doctrines of the Church. To the Leftists belonged Strauss (1808-1874), author of Das Leben Jesu, Bruno Bauer (1809-1882), author of Kritik der evangelischen Geschichte des Johannes (not to be confused with F. C. Baur [1792-1860], head of the Tübingen School), Feuerbach (1804-1872), author of Das Wesen des Christenthums, and the socialist Karl Marx (1818-1883). To the Rightists belonged Göschel (1781-1861), Rosenkranz (1805-1879), professor at Königsberg, and Johann Eduard Erdmann (1805-1892), professor at Halle.

{1} For instance, N.S., Vols. III and IV (1894-1895), Time and Hegelian Dialectic, and Vol. VI (1897), Hegel's Treatment of the Subjective Notion. On Hegelian terminology, cf. Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology (ed. Baldwin), article, "Hegel's Terminology." Consult also Seth, Hegelianism and Personality (second edition, London and Edinburgh, 1893), Morris, Hegel's Philosophy of the State and of History (Griggs' Classics, Chicago, 1887), and Hibben, Hegel's Logic (New York, 1902).

{2} Logic, p. 10. References are to Wallace's translation (Oxford, 1892).

{3} Hegel's Philosophy of Mind, p. xvi.

{4} Logic, p. 156.

{5} Op. cit., p. 28; Werke, vi, 26.

{6} Logic, p. 24.

{7} Op. cit., p. 45.

{8} Op. cit., p. 155.

{9} Op. cit., p. 207.

{10} Op. cit., p. 284.

{11} Op. cit., p. 281.

{12} Op. cit., p. 314.

{13} Cf. Encyklopädie, No. 249; Werke (edition 1847), Vol. VII, P. II, p. 32.

{14} Encyklop., II. Theil, Einleitung; Werke, VII, 18. On the change of method implied in this admission, and on the possibility of transition from notion to nature, cf. McTaggart in Mind, N.S., Vol. VI (1897). For defense of Hegel's consistency on this point, cf. Philosophical Review (1896), V, 273.

{15} Phil. of Mind, p. 7. References are to Wallace's translation (Oxford, 1894).

{16} Op. cit., p. 101.

{17} Philosophy of History, Introduction, p. 9. References are to Sibree's translation (London, 1884).

{18} Op. cit., p. 16.

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