Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (Aug. 27,1770- Nov. 14,1831)


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was born in a rather traditional old protestant family on August 27, 1770, in Stuttgart in Bad Würtenberg. His father was a bureaucrat in the city of Stuttgart.
Having completed his study at a humanistic gymnasium (high school) in Stuttgart, Georg Hegel went to Tübingen to first study philosophy 1788-1790, then theology 1790-1793. Hegel's friendship with the classic poet Hölderlin and the younger philosopher Schelling which had started in Tübingen was very important to his life and philosophy. In 1793 Hegel went to Bern as a tutor for a Swiss aristocratic family, where he also experienced some affairs in politics and government of Switzerland.

In 1797 he accepted a tutorship in and moved to Frankfurt am Main. During this period Hegel was very close to Hölderlin again, who was then already a very famous poet, and Hegel wrote several short, rather obscure articles. In the following years Hegel wrote a relatively large work on the Spirit of Christianity and the first presentation of his own thought.

In 1801 Hegel finished his study at Jena University and became a Privatdozent (an Instructor) there. While he worked together with Schelling on the publication of Das Kritische Journal für Philosophie (1802-03), Hegel wrote the majority of the articles published in the journal, although they were anonymous, but above all, Hegel wrote and published Differenz des Fichteschen und Schellingschen Systems der Philosophie (1801) . The basic thesis of this article was to demonstrate that, though Fichte's and Schelling's philosophies attempted both to unify subjectivity and objectivity (Fichte tried from subjectivity, while Schelling did more from objectivity - from nature -), the authentic Philosophy of Identity must be beyond the opposition of subjective Idealism and objective Idealism. Interesting enough Hegel placed the die Wissenschaft (Science = Philosophy) at the highest, the Religion at the second, and the Kunst (Arts) at the third. Although Hegel was under the strong influence of Schelling, he showed in this article, in clear distinction from Schelling's approach, his own independent conception of what Philosophy was about.

In his private life, it is recorded, Hegel had an illicit liaison with a young woman and had a child with her. It is known that Hegel later "legitimized" the child as his own, although he did not marry his mother. It was because perhaps he did not love her, or more likely she must have come from the "lower" social class.

During this period, many handwritten manuscripts must have been produced. They were posthumously published, which reveal in many ways his own unique philosophical ideas in various domains.

At this time, too, Hegel dealt with his Philosophy of Spirit in a "system of morality." Hegel wrote Glauben und Wissen which occupied Part I of the Volume II of Das kritische Journal der Philosophie, in which Hegel named Kant's, Jacobi's and Fichte's philosophy the Philosophy of Reflection, in which, according to Hegel, the finite and the Infinite are still irreconcilably in opposition. Contrary to the Philosophy of Reflection, however, the true Philosophy of Speculation grasps the Finite and the Infinite in Oneness.

According to Hegel's letter to one of his friends,

...on the night of October 13, 1806, I saw outside of my study the camp-fires of Napoleon's occupation forces.
Next day, I saw die Weltseele ‹The World Spirit‹ on his horseback marching through the city of Jena.

Needless to say, Hegel saw in Napoleon the incarnation of the World Spirit (the telos!). It is said that at that very time, the completed manuscript of Die Phänomenologie des Geistes Phenomenology of Spirit- was on Hegel's desk. The opus was published next year. This magnificent monument as the culmination of the Western Philosophy revealed the Introduction to and Propaedeutic of his own philosophy.

Due to the French - Prussian war and his own financial reasons, Hegel had to leave Jena for Bamberg am Lahn (Babaria) and became Chief Editor of Bamberger Zeitung (Bamberg Times) in 1807. Then next year he went to Nürnberg to become professor (so was a teacher called at high school) and Director (principal) of a Gymnasium there.

His lecture notes for the high school students were posthumously published as Philosophische Propädeutik . During his Nürnberg period, Hegel got married and wrote Die Wissenschaft der Logik (1812-16) - The Science of Logic which is called customarily the Large Logic in distinction to the so-called Small Logic which is the portion of his Die Enzyklopädie der Philosophischen Wissenschaften .

In 1816, Hegel became an Ordinarius, full professor, of philosophy at Heidelberg University.
In 1817 Hegel wrote Die Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften im Grundrisse < An Outline of the Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences>.

Hegel was invited to become Ordinarius at University of Berlin (1818-1831). The largest work published in his Berlin period was Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (1827).

In 1831 cholera was epidemic in Berlin and Hegel got it and died on November 14, 1831. It is interesting that contrary to Hegel, the pessimist Schopenhauer who, also teaching at Berlin University as an instructor, quickly got out of Berlin and took refuge to Italy and escaped from getting infected from the deadly epidemic.

Hegel's philosophy then had become the fashion among intellectuals and, unless philosophy was not Hegel's philosophy, people thought that it was not philosophy.

After his death, Hegel's students and friends got together and edited his Complete Works in 23 volumes. Until recently there were only two Editions of Hegel's Complete Works, the one by Glockner and the other one the so-called Philosophische Bibliothek edition. In the former 's edition, Die Enzyklopädie's Logic section contains a great deal of lecture notes taken by Hegel's students and they are extremely helpful to comprehend the main text, for we are able to see what concrete examples Hegel had in mind, when he talked very abstractly in the book. The newest, beautiful, most comprehensive edition of Hegel's Works have been published by Felix Mainer Publishers, Inc., the publisher of the series of Philosophische Bibliothek, in Hamburg.

Published Works

1. Philosophische Abhandlungen
2. Phänomenologie des Geistes Die Phänomenologie der Erfahrung des Geistes was the title of the first edition ‹
3. Wissenschaft der Logik
4.Die Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften Sciences> in 3 volumes
5.Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts

Lecture-Notes posthumously published:

6. Philosophie der Geschichte
7. Aesthetik 3 volumes
8. Philosophie der Religion
9. Philosophie der Geschichte
10. Vermischte Schriften
11. Philosophische Propädeutik
12. Briefe von and nach Hegel


The Standpoint (teleology or causa finalis) and the Method of Hegel's Philosophy

i) Hegel adopted a new principle of philosophy = Spirit. Hegel's Geist (Spirit) does develop itself in the perspective of time such that it will completely actualize itself through a variety of stages. Of this notion of spirit Hegel conceived perhaps from Schelling's intuition, although Hegel severely criticized Schelling's intuition itself. This Spirit, therefore, has the purpose (telos) and meaning to be actualized. In this sense, his basic conception came from Leibniz and Fichte, or even from Aristotle. Now reality according to Hegel, is to be understood not by means of the principle of the mechanical efficient causality, but teleological causality. This is a great leap in the development of the Western philosophy.

It is generally said that in Hegel's philosophy, Intellectualism had risen once again with full strength, which, however, must be understood that Hegel often talked about Reason synonymous with Spirit as the principle of philosophy, but Hegel's Spirit is no longer the same Reason as that of Enlightenment or even as Kant's notion. The notion of reason according to Enlightenment is understood to be the cognitive faculty of things. How was Hegel overcome the narrow, dogmatic, self-deceptive reason of Enlightenment? Finally in his Phenomenology of Spirit, Hegel completely discarded the principle of the linear, mechanical causality (causa efficiens) in reality and tried to see rather the meaning and purpose in reality in itself. The most important thing here is that Hegel discovered the telos of reason and called this telos of reason the Spirit or the absolute Idea.

The first edition of the Phenomenology of Spirit bore the title, Phenomenology of Experience of Spirit (Phänomenologie der Erfahrung des Geistes). Spirit develops itself in and through Experience! This will be discussed later more in detail.

Hegel's most fundamental radical approach is to grasp reality as such not by means of a simple intuition or mere empty concepts (like the reason of Enlightenment). In contrast, in Hegel's philosophy, it is the Spirit that, in and through Experience, organically unifies the various elements of reality in the process of development through articulating their relationships which both distinguish and relate of its element to each other to the unity at the same time.

Why and how was this accomplished? Here is an important departure of Hegel's philosophy from its predecessors. Namely, he saw much more clearly the meaning and purpose in reality than any other predecessors. Instead of the linear, mechanical efficient causality (to view a sequence of events as a real mechanical event of the purposeless nature), Hegel replaced it by the principle of the teleological causality. To Hegel, it was his task to overcome and liberate philosophy from the tyranny of the liner, mechanical, efficient causality (with the reason of Enlightenment in reality) and rediscover the significance of teleology and the purposeful, meaningful developments in the nature of reality. It is interesting to note that this has been long forgotten or not noticed despite his obvious endeavors.

This was accomplished by his extremely extended meaning of Reason (which is a result of the synthesis of Schelling's intuition (which is the basis of the philosophy of identity) and Leibniz' notion of "la raison" as principle and then Fichte's use of "Vernunft" as volition) and his pregnant notion and function of Negation. To be sure, Hegel's method, in comparison to Schelling for example, definitely "intellectualistic" (in the sense in which Logic seemed to become more dominant than intuition and creative imagination) and yet Hegel's reflections on and elaborations of the new logic are serious, well-thought-out responses to the complexity and the totality of the human reality in the temporal sequence.

By extensively working out the meaning of negation, Hegel was successfully elucidating reality and its principle of Spirit as a gradual, historical process with the series of steps in which Spirit evolves as self-actualizing. Reality is now understood not by either-or, but by the perpetual motion between the contradictories as from one to the other.

It is the traditional opinion that Hegel and Leibniz are the two classic representatives of Intellectualistic Worldview with encyclopedic knowledge. In the midst of "rationalism" in the narrow sense, Leibniz also the philosopher who saw the purpose and meaning of the being and reality.

Despite their similarity of motivation of philosophy, in Leibniz, the ontologically pluralistic viewpoint is more prominent, while in Hegel the objective-cosmological viewpoint seems dominant. Leibniz wanted to see reality in terms of the unique, finite individual spirit. Hegel wanted to see reality in terms of the entire history of humankind as well as the history of intellectual development in terms of philosophy (the pursuit of wisdom). According to Leibniz, the ultimate reality, the monad, was conceived and understood from the viewpoint to the infinite number of the individualistic-unique entities. In contrast, Hegel's philosophical inquiry was directed toward comprehending reality as the comprehensive, entire process of development in the universe and its variety of expression of the absolute spirit as a whole with its own purpose. This reality was understood as the cosmos in the historical evolution by Hegel.

While Leibniz inferred the nature of representation in all the things from the nature of representation in the individual mind, Hegel attempted to draw from reality the universal, absolute Spirit itself which endeavors to fulfill the purpose and meaning of becoming the expression of Spirit (= Geist) that each individual spirit (= Geist) has its own task at its own stage to actualize itself through the series of thought's objectification.(In this, we recognize Schelling's influences)
According to Hegel, what is rational is real (=the full actualization of the potential, implicit nature of Spirit), and what is real is rational (=the reality understood as the pregnant self-expression of Spirit).

Hegel was trying to see reality and its principle by means of the synthesis of two different ideas: The one of the philosophy of identity (from Schelling) and this identical articulates itself in the process of history as the totality of inevitable self-expressions of the identical Spirit.

Was vernunftig ist, das ist wirklich, während was wirklich ist, das ist vernunftig. (Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts, Vorrede §. 17)

a) At first, the Absolute (=the absolute Spirit) - das Absolute oder die logische Idee - exists as the abstract system of concepts prior to the concrete, actual world.
b) Next, this Absolute comes down to or reveals itself at the level of Nature and the unconscious,
c) The Absolute then further actualizes itself and is awaken as Consciousness through the lower stage of cognition to the higher ones such as in the form of Sensation, Perception, Consciousness to Self-Consciousness - Selbstbewußtsein - in the human,
d) It actualizes Itself as the content of that absolute Idea in the social institution,
e) Finally It enriches Itself in Philosophy, Religion and Arts and returns to Itself as the completely actualized and articulated Absolute (Spirit).
Thus, the Idea (the abstract Notion of Spirit) attained the higher, highest Absoluteness than at first.
This, the Highest Product of Philosophy, cannot be expressed in religion, morality, arts as they are pre-stages to that of philosophy.
What is meant by the concept of the Absolute (=Spirit) can only be adequately expressed by Philosophy (Philosophical Analyses and Presentations). This contention has lead many Hegel scholars to the belief that Hegel's approach was indeed intellectual.

ii) The Three Basic Characteristics

The following three propositions as being contained in the development of the most fundamental theme of Hegel's philosophy, which purports that all the beings are beings by being thought (gedacht sein) and that all the generations are developments of thought (= Denken or Reason):

a) Idealism

The object of philosophical inquiry and knowledge is the idea (= die Idee, the absolute Idea=Spirit).
Philosophy aims at clarifying the concepts, the purposes and the meanings of various phenomena and further at revealing the places of those phenomena in the system of sciences (= philosophy) as well as in the locations of the universe.
Main concern is directed to elucidate which of the value hierarchy and which stage of the development a certain thing belongs to.
Its method is teleological and critical (evaluative).
The conceptual, teleological explanation is attained in philosophy, instead of mechanical causal explanation.

In short, Hegel's approach is Idealism.

b) Philosophy of Identity

Everything real is an expression of one and the same absolute, live Spirit, and
if everything is one of the stages of development of or Spirit or thought (Denken),
then thought (Denken= Spirit) and being is one and the same.
In short, Hegel's philosophy is also ultimately Philosophy of Identity.

To stipulate the differences between Schelling's and Hegel's philosophy of identity, there are many. Hegel's identity is a complex, well articulated whole.

c) The Actualization of Parmenides' Identity of Being and Thought in the Teleological Development

If the world is thought's generating process of itself, and philosophy is the expression of this process, then philosophy is the Scientific Doctrine of the Development of the Thought (= Reason or Spirit). Or It is the theory of progress or self-actualization of Spirit.
If any one thing actualizes itself as a certain stage of thought, everything real is rational (as an essential moment of Reason), and if the World Process attains its highest in Philosophy and Philosophy attains the System of the Absolute in Idealism, then what is Rational obtains the actualized form in the Absolute Idealism through the various stages of development.

So What is real is rational and What is rational is real. ("Was vernünftig ist, das ist wirklich; und was wirklich ist, das is vernünftig." Vorrede zu Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts, S. 17>).

Thus Parmenides claim of the absolute Identity of Being and Thought (Reason) is, according to Hegel, ultimately realized in the process of the world history.

iii) The Differences from Hegel's Predecessors.The three fundamental characteristics of Hegel's philosophical approach:

1) Idealism of Spirit,
2) Sophisticated Philosophy of Identity,
3) Optimistic, Teleological Progressivism
4) The Further Expansion of the Meaning of Reason beyond the Limit of Tradition

Then, how does Hegel differ from his predecessors, from Schelling in particular?

a) Uniqueness of Hegel's Idealism of Spirit.

In Schelling's philosophy the subject of development is Nature, and its ultimate stage is Arts (a clear influence from the Romantic Movements).
Schelling's Idealism is in a sense physical(=physisch), mystical and aesthetic dynamism.
Fichte's Idealism is ethical fundamentalism.
In contrast to those two predecessors of Hegel's philosophy, Hegel's idealism is the Logicalization of the world (die Logizierung der Welt), i.e., It is often called a Panlogismus. It is an attempt to comprehend reality by means of the totality developed by logical structure.
However, Kroner views Hegel's philosophy as Philosophy of Life (die Lebensphilosophie) and Irrationalism. Kojièv also took a different view of Hegel's philosophy such that in the post WWII France, phenomenological movements and existential philosophies arose from Kojièv's influence.

b) Die Identitätsphilosophie - Sophisticated Philosophy of Identity-
The Philosophy of Identity is a philosophical system which purports that Spirit and Nature, the Ideal and the Real, or subjectivity and objectivity, are ultimately one and the same (in their essence) and they are mere two distinct appearances of the Absolute above and beyond the two.

i) Predominance of Spirit over Nature
During the period of his philosophy of identity, Schelling dealt with the Real and the Ideal as the equals in their rights.
Hegel somewhat revived Fichte's thought and subordinated Nature to Spirit, the Real to the Ideal, or objectivity to subjectivity, whereby the former is less developed than the latter in a certain sense.
Hegel disagrees with Fichte, however, by insisting on that Fichte "disdained" Nature.
According to Hegel, Nature is neither equal to Spirit, nor a mere means or instrument -das Mittel.
On the contrary, Nature is one of the essential and inevitable stages of the process in which the Absolute (Spirit) goes through in actualizing itself.

ii) Nature as The Idea in other being
Nature is, according to Hegel, the Notion or mere Idea of the Absolute or Spirit which is undeveloped, thus a being or an idea in other being - die Idee im Anderssein.
In this self-alienated mode of being, Spirit itself becomes Nature as one of its necessary stages of development in order to become the conscious, actual Spirit. The Absolute (Spirit) was a mere Notion before it becomes Nature. The Absolute there was der Geist an sich, the Spirit being itself or in its potency, but not yet der Geist für sich, the Spirit being for itself, i.e., being actualized.
The Absolute was the Idea or Spirit. What is idealistic is the dawn of the Real's night and is the evening prior to the Real's night. The Absolute in concept begins to develop itself from the stage of das Ansichsein (the being in-self = the being in potency) through the stage of the being-in-other - das Aussersichsein = das Anderssein - to the total self actualization stage of das an und für sich Sein. Reason or Spirit, according to Hegel, develops Itself through three stages and first exists as the logical system of concepts, then exists as Nature (the-being-in-other or for itself), and finally exists in and for Itself as the live Spirit -der lebendige Geist.

Hegel's Philosophy of Identity differs from Schelling's in the following three points:

a) Hegel subordinates Nature to Spirit
b) Hegel construes the Absolute at the beginning not as undifferentiated between the Real and the Ideal like in Schelling's philosophy. On the contrary, according to Hegel, the Absolute reveals Itself explicitly primarily as the Ideal, as the civita de contemplatio aeternitatis.
c) The optimistic progressivism

It is contended that Hegel conceived the process of Reality's development as modelling after the Judeo-Christian Eschatology, the view by which the history had the beginning and made progress and would come to an end in the sense of perfection. The process of development of the Absolute is such that in that process, the succeeding stage is always higher and more comprehensive than the preceding one. In this sense, Hegel's standpoint is often called the optimistic progressivism. This characterization is rather superficial and needs more careful examination later.

iv) About Dialectic

Hegel exploited the Principle of Development of Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis originated by Fichte, explored further by Schelling. This Principle of Development Hegel called die dialektische Methode - dialectical method - or die Dialektik - dialectic.

a) Socrates used hé dialektiké in the sense that the two souls would pick one tentative definition for what is, and discuss, examine its faults, then further examine various definitions of a universal concept one after another until the two who are participating in the dialogue would ultimately come to a clear understanding of something real, such as truth, justice, good, beauty, etc. It's process was taken mutually step by step correcting the error(s) at each stage of the definition in the search of the ultimate arrival at the objective true understanding of what it really is.

b) Plato employed the term, hé dialektiké, in the context of the theory of ideas such that it refers to the highest philosophical method to start with a lower, narrower concept, gradually climbing up higher and higher, ultimately to attain the first principle or the highest idea of agathon ‹Good‹ (See The Republic Bk 7 and 8).
Plato rather faithfully followed the way of Socrates, although Plato developed it in accordance with his doctrine of ideas. Thus in Socrates-Plato 's use of dialectics had a very positive meaning as the method essential to pursuing their philosophical inquiries into truth.

c) Aristotle used the dialectics in a negative sense. In opposition to analytics or a syllogism, he used hé dialektiké in one sense as synonymous with his notion of induction. In other context, Aristotle even meant by the dialectic to often connote the sophistry, while the analytic's object is the deduction of the argument from the true premisses (particularly in syllogism). Sometimes in Metaphysics for example, however, Aristotle used the dialectic in the Socratic-Platonic sense in that we would recourse to the most fundamental principle by dialectics.

d) In the Middle Ages, the dialectics meant the Formal Logic. In the similar use may be found in Henri Bergson in 19th Century/20th Century, according to whom la dialectique and l'intuition as philosophical method are put in opposition.

e) Kant accepted Aristotelian distinction of analytics and dialectics and used the dialectic in the negative sense following Aristotle. Contrary to the transcendental analytics which reveals the conditions for possibility of sciences as the critique of understanding, Kant employed the transcendental dialectics to refer to the critique of the transcendental illusion (Schein), namely the critique of the misuses of Reason beyond the scope of our possible experience. Soul, the world, and God are the three transcendental illusion.

f) Hegel used the dialectics in the positive sense that the dialectics is the scientific application of the universal law rooted in the nature of our thinking.
To Hegel, the law of thinking is at the same time further the principle of reality. This principle or the law - die Gesetzlichkeit -has the three stages of development,
the Thesis,
Antithesis, and
This law itself and its scientific applications are called die Dialektik.

Why Hegel considered that the dialectics was the authentic way of speculative thinking dealing with the Absolute Reason is mainly because Hegel derived the conception of dialectics from his "critical comparison" between the three forms of philosophies dominant at his preceding time: Namely, the one was the philosophy of enlightenment which culminated in Kant, another was Fichte's activity of Self through dialectic, and the last was Schelling's philosophy of identity. Both did not satisfied Hegel.

Hegel agreed with Schelling in terms of the content and the materials of philosophy because the object of philosophical knowledge is one and same reality, accepted from the philosophy of Enlightenment the concepts of philosophy which articulate themselves in reality, and finally the principle of reality is, as Fichte considered, is an active Self, which teleological develops itself through dialectic.
Hegel followed Schelling in that philosophy must be a metaphysics, i.e., the Science of the Absolute and its being in the world (das Innersein des Absoluten in der Welt) and Philosophy is the Science of Identity of the Opposites and the Science not only of the Phenomenal World but also of the Thing in Itself.

However, to Hegel, the forms Schelling provided for philosophy seemed to be unscientific, unsystematic. For Schelling founded the scientific knowledge on the genius' Intuition. However, according to Hegel, no science is possible by Intuition.
On the other hand, what Hegel was in accord with the Philosophy of Enlightenment is its respect for the Formal Rigor (Logic) of Philosophy (the concepts with its system) as The Science.

Science (= Philosophy) must consist of concrete concepts, not of abstract concepts.
However, Kant, together with the other Philosophers of Enlightenment, stood on the basis of Reflection as the philosophical method.
In reflection, the opposition between the being and thinking, the dichotomy between the finite and infinite, may never be resolved.
Therefore, the Absolute is transcendent and the human reason can not recognize the authentic nature of the things.
Hegel would like to synthesize

1) the strength of Schelling's Philosophy of Identity

2) the advantage of the Philosophy of Enlightenment (the concepts and their articulations)
3) dynamic development and teleological evolution of the live Subject (from Fichte)

Shchelling was right, according to Hegel, that he proposes the reality is an evolution of self-identical primary Ground. Although Schelling's intuition as the philosophical method can only grasp the concrete, particular, immediate or unmediated (unvermittelt - unmittelbar) knowledge, what Schelling was gazing at as the genuine reality as self identical was the so-called live Spirit according to Hegel.
Reason of the Enlightenment was the cognitive faculty of things. The concepts of the Philosophy of Enlightenment can deal only with the knowledge of the empty, the abstract and the universal.
What is to be done is to eliminate the unmidiatedness in Schelling's intuitive knowledge and at the same time is to overcome the non-intuitive, empty abstractness of the concepts in the Philosophy of Enlightenment.

Thus, the concrete being which is mediated by the universal concepts, namely the concrete concepts (konkrete Begriffe) in the sense of Kantian intuitive understanding, are to be achieved, according to Hegel, in order to truly establish the System of Science (the genuine System of Philosophy).

What we need is, maintained Hegel, the concept which seeks not the empty, mere universal abstracted from the particular, but the very universal which is multiply mediated by and actually related to the concrete particular with articulation in itself.
It would be the concept which does not place the infinite unreachably transcendent from the finite world, nor places and expresses the essence of the infinite behind the phenomena, but reveals itself as it actually is in the concrete phenomena themselves.
This is called the concrete concept.

The philosophy of reflection in which their concepts are abstract and "dead" merely reveals the partial, fragmentary unrelated fraction of reality. Thus such philosophy of reflection looks at the opposition as the irreconcilable, while Schelling's Philosophy of Identity viewed the opposites as unmidiatedly (immediately) identical and does not see the articulateness and conceptual interrelationship of reality.
In other words, either one of the two positions are by themselves insufficient, as they do not deal with reality as a whole and as it actually is.
The concrete concept transposes the opposite by mediation into the identity and teaches us to recognize the identity as the consequence of a developing process whose universal law purports the three stages of being, the stage of the immediate identity, secondly that of the disruption or the self-alienation of itself from itself and finally that of the reconciliation and the mediated unification of the articulated totality. This process of development and its principle is called dialectics.

4) The Theory of Dialectics.

The universal principle of development and its development itself is called die Dialektik. This is the central operative concept in Hegel's philosophy. Hegel attempted to eliminate the opposition between the philosophy of reflection and the philosophy of intuition by his conceptual and well articulated concrete speculative thinking.
There are three aspects in this opposition:

i) The Faculty of Philosophical Knowledge

When we look back the history of Western philosophy, there are three elements which may influence Hegel to develop his own Spirit as Subject: a) the reflective understanding (Kant's philosophy of reflection): b) the mysterious intuition by the genius (Schelling's philosophy of identity): c) the negating Reason (Fichte's Science of Knowledge). In addition to these, Hegel inherited from Aristotle-Leibniz-Fichte's teleological causality as the principle of reality. Thus, the faculty of philosophical knowledge is the live Spirit as the Subject which mediates the other through itself. Although Hegel called it also REason, the meaning of cognitive Reason in the Enlightenment philosophy has been greatly modified that it was not only the practical reason, but also the self-developing reason.

ii) The Object of Philosophical Knowledge:

From Hegel's point of view, the object of philosophical knowledge may be divided into three: a) the phenomenal world which is relative:b) the Absolute which is static substance-like: c) The Absolute as the live Subject

Hegel chose the c), namely the absolute as the live Subject, which starts with the conceptual identity through the disruption (self alienation of itself from itself) into the opposition and then finally returning from the discrimination to the mediated, concrete identity as the totality of the genuine reality. The Absolute is a dynamic process of development. The genuine reality is no other than this dynamic process Itself. So the philosophical system is the expression of this dynamic process. Indeed philosophy must also be a process of the dynamic thinking itself. Philosophy is a system of concepts each of which proceeds from other and moves into another. The dynamic process of thinking itself of itself is the philosophical system.

iii) The Meaning of Contradiction (which is the same as Das Aufheben)

a) excluding contradiction as meaningless
b) arguing for the sheer identity of the contradictories

c) contradiction is the propulsive energy, the source of the dynamic process of the live reality.
Reality is, according to Hegel, the development of the live Subject Itself. It is called the Subject, because it is not a dead reality, but is a constantly active in the life force. Its driving force is no other than the very contradiction, the dynamic relation (and reconciling each other) between the mutually negative opposite. Without contradiction (and its negative force), reality is without life and change.
The genuine reality is full of contradictions.
Contradiction is a propelling power of philosophical thinking.
Contradiction must not be uprooted, but must be aufgehoben - abolished - regarding its limitations and elevated-preserved of its essentials: This aufheben is often translated into "sublate". However, it communicates its only one side of the meaning.).
The opposition must be denied in the way that the opposite are negated and abolished regarding their limitations and the higher unity with the richer, more concrete, better articulate content, whereby the preceding two (opposing) moments constitute the necessary elements of the third. Thus contradiction is overcome.
Any concept, being abstract and one-sided, is by nature limited and this limitation is to be overcome by the dialectical motion of aufheben by negation.
In Hegel's thought the concept of negation accordingly obtains an extremely significant meaning. The negation is the very driving force of the development (which is the same thing as contradiction).

Thesis - Antithesis - Synthesis.

In this synthesis all the process and its essential elements are contained as its necessary moments. They are articulate, mutually related, distinguished and brought in an organic unity. This is the live Reality and is also called das lebendige Subject als der Geist(Spirit). The world (=Reality) is only known adequately as this process of dialectical movement. In reality as a whole we distinguish die Idee , die Welt und den Geist,(The Idea, The World and The Spirit), but they are one and the same in the primordial way of this process.

die Idee - The Idea -
die Natur - Nature -
der Geist - Spirit -
der subjective Geist- the subjective Spirit
der objective Geist - the objective Spirit
der absolute Geist - the absolute Spirit

Hegel's Phenomenology

Die Phänomenologie des Geistes - The Phenomenology of Spirit

This opus published in 1787 may be considered as the Introduction to Hegel's philosophy. It is at the same time the most fruitful opus from which we are able to learn a great deal for our own philosophical inquiry. Hegel describes the process of the spirit's development starting from the sensation till the absolute knowledge - das absolute Wissen - as the philosophical knowledge, whereby Hegel saw a parallel with the historic-cultural development of the World Spirit(= der Weltgeist). The dialectical development of Spirit is stated in the light of the human psychic as well as historical sequence.
Needless to repeat, Hegel's absolute knowledge is not that by Schelling's intuition in that it is not the knowledge immediately given by intellectual intuition, but the knowledge mediated by thought in the form of concepts.

In his Preface, Hegel called Schelling's cognition of the Absolute as the "knowledge to recognize the black cow in the pitch black night"2 . Hegel did not name Schelling in it, but it was so obvious and because of his critical remarks by Hegel on Schelling. Schelling was quite annoyed and since then became very distant (they never talked to each other since). However, this is the declaration of independence of Hegel from Schelling in his philosophical pursuit. Hegel objected that philosophy comes immediately (unmediatedly) from the intuitive knowledge of the Absolute.

Hegel intended to show by dialectics that the process from the pre-philosophical consciousness is of necessity to go through many stages and attain the absolute knowledge.
The process of development are divided into six stages:

1. Consciousness
2. Self Consciousness
3. Reason
4. Spirit
5. Religion
6. the Absolute Knowledge (= Philosophy)

Comparing this to that of Die Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften - The Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences -, the 1., 2., and 3. respond to the middle of the Subjective Spirit,and the 4. is the Moral Spirit, while the 5. and 6. correspond to the Absolute Spirit.

The Organization of Hegel's Philosophical System according to:
The Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences:

Philosophy of Spirit
I) Subjective Spirit

I-i) Anthropology (Soul)
Natural Soul
Sensing Soul
Actual Soul
I-ii) Phenomenology of Spirit (Consciousness)
Self Consciousness
I-iii) Psychology (Spirit)
Theoretical Spirit
Practical Spirit
Free Spirit
II) Objective Spirit
II-i) Law
II-ii) Morality
II-iii) Society Sittlichkeit -
Civil Society
III) Absolute Spirit
III-i) Art (Intuition)
III-ii) Religion (Representation = Symbol)
III-iii) Philosophy (Concrete Concept)

(1) Das Bewußtsein - Consciousness

a. Sensation - die sinnliche Gwißheit
b. Perception - die Wahrnehmung
c. Understanding - der Verstand

The consciousness, according to Hegel, develops through these three stages. This does not signify the order of the temporal genesis . The knowledge which immediately appear with the "self evident certainty" is taken as the starting point. This is the immediate certainty of sensation.

a) Any sensation is known to us "this". Although it appears concrete, particular, immediately certain, but this is the most abstract character common to all sensory experience, for "this" is in contrast to "that" and "this", thus, abstractly refers to anything particular: In this sense, "this" is very abstract and has no specific content of its reference.

Therefore, "this" contains simply the being of the thing sensed. Although at first this sensory knowledge appeared with the absolute certainty of immediacy, this knowledge, upon careful philosophical examination, reveals itself as the most abstract, fragmentary, one-sided awareness of the immediate experience by the sense. Once this defect is made explicit through philosophical examination, consciousness moves up to the next stage, that is, that of perception.

b) Perception is the sensory consciousness of the concrete. The total content of the sensation becomes a common characteristic of the object of perception, that is, the thing - das Ding.

In other words, in stead of pointing out something as "this" or "that" with immediate certainty of sensation, on this level, our knowledge sees a common feature among many "this" and begins to take them as "many appearances" of "one and the same thing." Beyond sensory immediacy, one begins to know an object by its "name" such as an "apple", a "desk" or a "human." On this level, we are able to have "names" and distinguish objects by their "names."

c) It is understanding that denies the independence of the thing. For on the previous level of perception, the object of our perception was taken for as an independent, self-identical thing, i.e., as a substance. Contrary to this, understanding negates the substantiality of a thing.

By means of "concepts" - Begriffe -, understanding grasps the force -die Kraft - behind the thing. On the basis of the things, understanding takes as the inner force what perception previously comprehended as an independent"thing."
What perception previously grasped (as a thing) is now turns out to be merely a phenomenon.

Sensation took notice of "this" or "that," the particular, concrete character.
Perception views the "sensed" character as belonging to a thing as its character.
Understanding takes the thing a mere appearance of the "inner force."
By so doing, perception now rises up to Self Consciousness.

(2) Das Selbstbewußtsein - Self Consciousness

Sensation, perception and understanding are faculties of knowledge of things. Now consciousness as a cognitive faculty may also take consciousness itself for its own object.
Here the (recognizing) consciousness and its object (consciousness recognized) are viewed as being in opposition, and the truth is considered to lie on the side of the object- consciousness. Here the question of the other was raised by Hegel and articulated further to elucidate that the other is priori in givenness to oneself. Or In order for the consciousness to obtain the self awareness, it must be first recognize the other as self consciousness, and then will be able to aware of oneself. Now the (recognizing) consciousness is the consciousness which reflects upon itself, i.e., the self consciousness. Here lies truth in the I (consciousness ) itself.

In the self consciousness which knows its own self, the object is, needless to say, the consciousness or the I itself. The consciousness of the object and the object of the consciousness coincide, and truth and certainty coincide, too.

i) For self consciousness, nothing other than its self has truth. The objects which was the objects of sensation, perception, understanding, now come to be discovered as having a negative character. In this negativity, the object of these consciousness shows itself as something other than consciousness and distract consciousness from itself , i.e., to negate consciousness as an opposite to consciousness.

As mentioned above, on the level of self consciousness, consciousness splits into two. Its object is also its own consciousness. Thus, consciousness is here directed to its own self.
As a result, the object of self consciousness is, first of all, pleasure. The pleasure, the object in its negative character satisfies the desire - das Begierde - of self consciousness.
The desire is in itself self contradictory in that the desire affirms the independence of its object on the one hand and denies its independence on the other at the same time.
Therefore, by means of the power of this contradiction, the consciousness pursuing pleasure, the life with desires, having obtained satisfaction of desire, reflects itself deeply into itself.

ii) Whereas what was negated, e.g. in perception, as its object was a thing, that which negates self consciousness is not a thing, but the other human self consciousness. The human (self consciousness) opposes to the other human (self consciousness) in the true sense.

A self consciousness opposes itself to another self consciousness and asserts itself against the other. In other words, the relation of consciousness deepens itself further from the consciousness' relation to the thing toward its relation to the other consciousness.
Therefore, the world of self consciousness is not the world of the knowledge of self and that of the other self, but the world of interaction between the self and the other self.
The historically primary relationship of such kind is the Relation between the Master and the Slave - Herr und Knecht. This is the relation between one self consciousness as mastering with independence - die Herrschaft - and the other self consciousness as being enslaved without independence.
The Slave labors, while the Master enjoys (= satisfies desires).

iii) The Slave learns to control his own desire in order to serve his Master and further learns to create his own Spirit through his labor.
The Slave learns to create his own self by producing things by his labor.
The Slave becomes thus to know and exercise the Freedom of his own self despite his being shackled. Here the Freedom of Self Consciousness arises.
It was the Stoicism that made this Freedom of Thought (self consciousness) the Principle of Life.

It was further Skepticism (Pyrrhon and his disciple Timon were supposed to be thought of here) that brackets and negates the reality in order to actualize the Freedom of Self Consciousness. They thought that by putting the reality to epoché (bracketing) they may attain the serenity of mind (ataraxia).
This Skepticism contains in itself a contradiction in that the skepticism denies the immutability of the external reality and yet maintains the very immutability of its own philosophy and its way of life.

Iv) Once becoming conscious of this contradiction between the immutable and one's own individuality which is mutable, the Unhappy Consciousness - das unglückliches Bewußtsein - is born.

While Hegel describes the stoicism and its transition to the skepticism, he had in mind the Downfall of the Classical World (Rome).
Similarly Hegel's description of the Unhappy Consciousness is the narrative of the three elements existing in the Middle Ages in Europe:

1) die Sehnsucht auf das verlorene Gute - the longing for the lost Good
=the knighthood of the Crusaders.
2) The class of the unfree farmers (the unsatisfactory state of work and pleasure)
3) Die religiösen Mönchen und Orden - The religious monks and order with the absolute abstinence or resignation of one's own self

At this resignation or abstinence of one's own, the reconciliation between the abstinent individual (the mutable) and the immutable, the Individuality (mutability) and the Immutability was accomplished by Reason.

Hegel believed that the development of these consciousness as the transcendental conditions for the possibility of the human Spirit finds itself not only within each individual consciousness, but reflects itself in the history of the humankind.

(3) Reason - die Vernunft

Reason is the self-consciousness that grasps the identity of the individuality (mutability) and the Immutability, the finite and the infinite, and objectivity and subjectivity.
Describing the transition to the stage of Reason, The Phenomenology of Spirit indicates the beginning of the Contemporary period in Europe. In the viewpoint of Reason, the consciousness is all that is and the I is the ultimate world. This is the world of idealism. In Idealism Reason merely possesses the certainty at the beginning that all that is my own.
Therefore, it is necessary to raise this certainty to truth.

i) Reason at first appears as the theoretical reason. This reason is called die beobachtende Vernunft - the observing reason -. This stage of reason reveals its rationality in the observation of nature.

This reason distinguishes the attributes and the non-attributes of a thing, attempts to describe the thing (the object of nature) and investigates the laws of nature.
However, this theoretical reason is not capable to completely transform all the natural phenomena into the rational concepts - die Idee - and in the investigation of the law the theoretical reason meets the deadlock in the organic nature. The purposefulness in the organism -die Zweckmäßigkeit des Organismus - may be captured by the external observation and yet to the observing eye, the inner intellect as the organic force is shut off.
So the observing reason secondly attempts to observe the self consciousness in its purity - das Selbstbewußtsein in seiner Reinheit - in order to discover the logical and psychic Laws. In other words, it tries to purely observe the self consciousness. However, the laws of thinking are formal and cannot be grasped in their substantiality. On the hand, the psychic laws often depend on the respective situations or personalities and cease to be laws.

Thus the observing Reason thirdly endeavors to observe the relationship of the self consciousness to its immediate reality - die Beziehung des Selbstbewußtseins auf seine unmittelbare Wirklichkeit. That is, this Reason comprehends its body - die Körper - as its expression or its externality. The observing Reason attempts to interpret the inwardness by means of externality, the psychic by means of the bodily, whose examples may be found in the physiognomic or phrenology - Die Schädellehre -, these attempts prove themselves as shambles, for Reason is not able to see its own reality in itself but in the external physiognomic or phrenology. Indeed, there may exist a close relationship between them, but it is the relationship of the sign and the singed, never that of identity. We never see the immediate expression of Reason itself.

ii) Reason, having ceased to make simple (scientific) observations for the discovery of its own reality, now ascends to the attitude of actualizing the external world that possesses the essence of Reason itself. While Hegel called the theoretical Reason as the observing Reason, he calls this practical Reason the actualization of rational self- consciousness through itself - die Verwirklichung des vernünftigen Selbstbewußtseins durch sich selbst. The relationship of the practical Reason to the theoretical Reason resembles to that of the self- consciousness to consciousness.

ii-a) However, at the beginning, the practical Reason merely seeks for its self actualization. In its search on the first stage, the practical Reason like Goethe's Faust pursues pleasures: That which searches for and indulges itself in pleasures - Lust - alone would encounter necessity (Notwendigkeit - its necessary negative consequences) and would destroy itself.
ii-b) On the second stage, the practical Reason attempts to incorporate into itself that which opposes it as necessity and would exert itself to thereby actualize the law of heart - das Gesetz des Herzens - the personal happiness - in the world. However, this attempt is ultimately no other than the insanity of self deceit - der Wahnsinn des Eigendünkels.
ii-c) On the third stage, the practical Reason, having given up the pursuit of the happiness of its own (through gratification of pleasures), endeavors to actualize the good in the society. This is virtue - Tugend. However, the virtue crashes with the general convention of the mundane society -Weltlauf. For the mundane society is not necessarily virtuous. On the other hand, the virtue being so divorced from the actuality can no way find its own reality.
iii) Thus rational self-consciousness becomes to try to actualize its aim in accordance with the actual reality. This is not other than the concrete Individuality - die Individualität - an individual Reason that pursues its own aim. The Individuality is, according to Hegel, the synthesis of the observation and the (practical) action, i.e., the synthesis of the practical Reason and the Theoretical Reason.
To such an Individuality in which the opposition between the aim and the reality are already dissolved (reconciled), there is nothing else but to express and manifest its own Individuality. No longer overcoming the reality which opposes the self, Reason at this stage (the rational self-consciousness as Individuality) only shifts itself from the invisible to the visible.
iii-a) On the first stage of this Individuality, the Individuality "enjoys" its own actions just as animals do in the field or the mountain. The Individuality at this stage Hegel called the domain of the spiritual animals (das geistige Tierreich). The consequence of the Individuality's self manifestation here is a work (die Werke).
iii-b) On the second stage, this domain consists of the opposition between the Producer of the work and its Critic. The critic is the law-giving Reason - die gesetzgebende Vernunft -, i.e., Reason gives itself the law (or the criterion).
However, these laws are not only formal but they are many, that are mutually competing. Thus it becomes necessary to examine which one of the laws is indeed in accord with the truth of Reason.
iii-c) The Individuality on the third stage is the law-examining Reason - die gesetzprüfende Vernunft .
Where could the truth of Reason then be sought as the criterion for such examination? It must be sought in the ethical substance - die sittliche Substanz = der Geist (= Spirit) -, which is way beyond the mere rational self-consciousness. When Reason becomes the objective reality as the ethical substance, Reason is now elevated to Spirit.

(4) Spirit -der Geist

This Spirit is, as mentioned above, the Spirit as the Communal Moral Order, which corresponds to what Hegel later called the Objective Spirit - der objektive Geist.
While Hegel called the Reason mentioned in the previous paragraph as the Reason whose certainty is still in movement to elevate itself to the truth, he called this Spirit the Reason whose certainty has already been elevated to the truth. The Reason at the previous stage merely was the Consciousness with certainty with which it possessed all the reality as its own.
Through the dialectical development of Reason, the certainty with which consciousness possessed all the reality as its own has now been elevated to the truth of Reason, in which Reason has become Spirit. Thus Reason has become Spirit such that now Reason (= Spirit) is conscious of the world as its own and of itself as the World Itself. This Spirit in Phenomenology of Spirit corresponds therefore the objective Spirit in opposition to the subjective Spirit in Hegel's later opus, Die Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften.
This Spirit would further develop in the following three steps:

1) The Ethical Order - die Sittlichkeit - as the true Spirit -
der wahre Geist

2) The Culture - die Bildung - as the self-alienated Spirit-
der sich entfremdete Geist

3) The Morality - die Moralität - as the Spirit which is certain of Itself -
der seiner selbst gewisse Geist

3-i] The Ethical Order
Der wahre Geist - the true Spirit - reveals itself in the ethical life and its order of the race.

a) The ethical order - die sittliche Welt - has two moments:
the one is the human laws which appear in public through the civil life and male,
the other is the spiritual laws which appear internally through the family life land the female.
The former concerns with the nation and the government, while the latter concerns the family.

b) At the ethical action - die sittliche Handlung -, these two moment of legality sometimes splits, e.g. Sophocles' Antigoné: The apparent, irreconcilable opposition between the positive law and the Divine (moral) Law arises. In this struggle, however, while the concrete individual perishes, the opposition of the nation versus the humanity, that of the family versus the divine, are mutually recognized and, in consequence, reconciled into the unity in terms of their rights.

c) Once this recognition of the mutual rights has abstractly become a state, the civil state - der Rechtszustand - comes into being. What is in question in the legal, civil domain is not an actual concrete individual, but an abstract legal person. The government of the mere formal laws gives rise to the mere formalism in laws. When Hegel talks about this, he had in his mind the Roman republic - res publica.

The polis - the city state - of the ethical order dissolved itself into the legal, civil state.

3-ii] The Culture - die Bildung -

The Ethical Order - die Sittlichkeit - is now elevated to the self-alienated Spirit - der sich entfremdete Geist.
Describing this, Hegel had in his mind the Renaissance and the Contemporary period, the Period of the Enlightenment in France in particular. It is the split of self by means of reflection into the reflecting self and the reflected self.
The uniqueness of this self-alienated Spirit consists in the fact that for such Spirit, there are two worlds, i.e., the world of reality and the world constructed in the "thin air" of the Pure Consciousness.

3-ii-a) The first attempt to bring about the world which is to be established in the Pure Consciousness by transcending the real world is the culture in the sense of civility - die Bildung.

A man of culture encountering the two powers of the real world, i.e., the power of the state and the power of wealth, could see either both of them as the same as his own nature or as something different from himself. When he viewed them as the same as his own nature, i.e., as the good, and would make himself subservient to them, it is a noble submission.
On the hand, he, viewing them as different, i.e., as the evil and yet would serve them, it is a base - niederträchtig - submission.

Man sometimes would fall into a schizophrenic state between these two submissions. This is well described in Dederot's novella called Le neveu de Rameau, which Hegel had in mind when he explained this schizophrenic conditions of the self-alienated Spirit.

3-ii-b) The second attempt would be made here to transcend the reality.
This attempt is called Faith - die Glaube.
In stead of recognizing the power of the state or wealth as the major powers, this believes in the Power of God of the Other World.

3-ii-c) What Faith is lacking in this attempt was the Pure Insight. This Pure Insight now revealed itself as the Enlightenment - die Aufklärung.
The power of the enlightenment destroyed Faith as "superstition" and asserted as the highest The Absolute without its predicate ( = the God of Deism) and matter ( = materialism).

The Enlightenment did not see the reality as it really is and viewed it solely in terms of its Utility ( = instrumental values - die Nützlichkeit.). cf. scientific knowledge for technology
The Enlightenment ended up with Negativity in every respect so that even when the Enlightenment leads to the Absolute Freedom (the Leitmotif of the French Revolution - Liberté, Égaiité, Fraternité -), its Absolute Freedom was no other than Freedom of Terror (the Reign of Terror).

As its result, the classes as well as the social institutions were destroyed, the rulers incessantly changed, people died on the guillotine.

3-iii) The Spirit which underwent the terror of death must return to itself. The Spirit that once alienated itself rom itself comes back to itself. This is the self assertive Spirit - der seiner selbst gewisse Geist-, or the Spirit that is certain of itself.
This is the morality - die Moralität.

3-iii-a) The moral worldview - die moralische Weltanschauung - ultimately is the postulate. Namely, the unity of morality and happiness postulates God and its existence for such a unity to be actualized.

3-iii-b) The standpoint of morality also implies pretension - die Verstellung.
The morality of ought (or obligation) - die Moralität des Sollens - contains in itself a contradiction. For unless there exists the harmony between reality and moral ought, the morality could not hold itself.
However, when the ought should become reality, the moral consciousness would disappear.

3-iii-c) From such pretension, the moral consciousness takes refuge in the moral conscience - das Gewissen.
Here the moral certainty becomes the immediate conviction. The laws of morality are no longer abstract order, but they become the concrete one and are contained in the spontaneity of the moral Subject.

Such Spirit that contains in the moral conviction of itself and isolates itself within itself is called die schöne Seele - the beautiful soul. This beautiful soul contains also the evil in itself, forgives and embraces the other's (moral) crime. The moral Spirit will attain the self awareness through recognition and reconciliation.

Here the morality completes itself and becomes the Absolute Spirit which is explicitly Conscious of Itself as the Spirit.

In religion the Absolute Spirit immediately intuits itself. The completion of the morality, therefore, is religion.
Religion is no other than the intuitive certainty of the Absolute Truth in the Absolute Spirit.

(5) Religion

What Hegel calls religion is neither that in the widest, nor in the narrowest, but the religion in a intermediary sense. In the narrowest sense which is conventional, as Hegel did sometimes, religion stands in opposition to arts and philosophy. The religion in the widest sense is the case in which, Hegel said, arts, philosophy and religion could be subsumed under the title of religion like in Die Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften. Here what Hegel calls religion contains art, but does not include philosophy.
In the previous stages, the unhappy consciousness, the divine appearing in the family (as mentioned above), and the faith in the other world are somewhat religious, and yet religion itself was not the theme.
Religion is the Self-Consciousness of Spirit Itself.
The various forms of religion may be classified in accordance with the forms of Its Absolute.
The Absolute may be intuited in various figures.
Hegel divided religion into three different forms:

1) Natural Religion (India & Egypt)
The religion in which the Absolute is intuited in nature & natural objects,

2) Religion of Arts (Greek and Roman)
The religion in which the Absolute is intuited in arts

3) Religion of Revelation (Christianity)
The religion in which the Absolute is intuited in the true primordial form of Spirit.

1) Natural Religion

The natural religion, first of all, acknowledges the Divine in the Light that illuminates the Dark.
Secondly, it worships the life as the Divine in animals and plants. This may be found in the Indian religions.
Thirdly, the image of the Divinity is elevated to the workmanship (the notion of Werkmeister), namely Spirit appears in the symbolic forms of Understanding such as the pyramids or the obelisks as the decorative arts. In this level, the workmanship remains as the instinctive or impulsive (unconscious) work like bees producing their nest.

2) Religion of Arts
When the workmanship is elevated up to arts, the religion of arts is born. The artist creates work freely.
The religion of arts is the worship for beauty as well as morality.
There are three stages in the progress of arts:
a. The abstract work of art
The ritual worship such as the Divine Idols, the Hymns or the Oracles in the temple secluded from the everyday life
Its abstract nature may be found in its seclusion from the mundane life.
b. The live work of art
In this work of art, the worship is the Live Actuality, such as the Olympian Festival of the Olympic Gods, the Mystic Rituals, the Festivity of Bacchus, etc. The Divinity is experienced inwardly within the live activities of those Festivity.
c. the Spiritual work of art.
This Spiritual art is Poetry.
The Epic (e.g. Homeric) reveals the Fate of the Human as the destiny of the brave soldier.
The Tragedy internalizes the concept of Fate. The agony and fall of the hero is an appearance of the Divine.
The Comedy draws the Divine into the Human and takes off the Mask of the Divine whereby Its Sublimity is lost It tells Irony behind the Mask. In the comedy, the World of Beauty collapses and the Faith in the Law of the Divine is lost. "The God is dead."

3) The Religion of Revelation.
While The God is dead!" was stated above, death is the destiny of the human.
The God who could die became Human in Jesus Christus. The religion of art that the human had created now elevated itself to the Religion of Revelation.
That God became Human means the fact that God by His Nature possesses the Form of Self-Consciousness. This is the content of the religion of revelation.
In the Religion of Revelation,,i.e., the Absolute Religion,
God is Self-Conscious of Himself as Spirit.

Even in the Religion of Revelation being absolute, Spirit is not Perfect.

Religion is still Intuition and not yet the Concept - der Begriff. For even in Religion of Revelation, the Absolute Spirit is not grasped by its Primordial Form of Itself.
The Absolute Spirit must return to Its Own Absolute Self-Consciousness, negating all its objectivities from Itself.

The Absolute Spirit must attain The (Highest) Level where It captures Itself in Its Absolute Knowledge by the Concept.

(6) The Absolute Knowledge - das absolute Wissen

The Absolute knowledge is the Science in which the Absolute Spirit Conceptually grasps Itself.
The Spirit which knows Itself in the Form of the Spirit is the Conceptual Knowledge - das begreifende Wissen. In this Science, the Truth is equal to the Certainty, and possesses the Form of the Certainty.

The Substance is now known as the Activity of Subject.
Spirit's Own Activity constitutes the Object of this Science.
This Conceptual Knowledge or Science is the "anticipation" of All the Forms previously observed and disclosed.

In this very Knowledge what was in the Form of Substance, being experienced, sensed, revealed, transforms Itself into Subject. The Absolute is not a (static, not dynamic) Substance, but Subject who is Self-Active. This Self-Activity of the Absolute is the Activity in Itself, that is, the Entire Reality.

In the Absolute Knowledge, the Content and the Form are totally Identical. The Absolute Content forms Itself in the Absolute Form.
The Dialectical Movement of the Experience of Consciousness
attains the Ultimate.

The Final stage of Phenomenology of Spirit will lead us to the Logic as the Fundamental Science for the Entire System.

Die LogiK (Logic)

The science of logic - die Wissenschaft der Logik - investigates the Idea - die Idee - on its abstract elements for forms.

It investigates solely how the idea is to be thought. On this level, it does inquires yet neither how the idea is intuited in Nature, nor how die idea thinks of itself in Spirit.
The content of the Science of Logic is the truth in itself namely in potency or without the external actualization - ohne Hülle.

Or we might say, Logic is the God prior to His creation of the universe, or in His Pure Essence. Quite clearly distinguished from the normal logic which discerns the form and the content,
the Speculative Logic is the Metaphysics or the Ontology - the Theory of Being.

The Speculative Logic deals with the categories as the real relationships, with the forms of thought as the real forms.
Just as the Being and Thought are one and the same, the Speculative Logic is not only the Science of Thought, but also the Science of Being at the same time.

Three Major Portions of the Logic are:
Being ‹ Objective Logic
Essence ‹ Objective Logic
Concept ‹ Subjective Logic

Being - Sein -
Quality - Qualität -
Being - Sein -
Being - Sein -
Nothing - Nichts -
Becoming - Werden -
Existence - Dasein -
Existence as such - Dasein als solches -
Finitude - Endlichkeit -
Infinity - Unendlichkeit -
Being For Itself - Fürsichsein -
Quantity - Quantität -
Pure Quantity - reine Quantität -
Quantum - Quantum -
Grade - Grad -
Mass = quantitative Quantum - Maß = quantitatives Quantum -

Essence -Wesen -
Essence as such - Wesen als solches -
Phenomenon - Erscheinung -
Actuality = Essence in Phenomenon
- Wirklichkeit = das erscheinende Wesen -
The Inner (Identität) ‹ Possibility - das InnereMöglichkeit -
The Outer (Untershied) ‹ Accident - das ÄußereZufälligkeit -
The absolutely Actual = Necessity - das absolut Wirkliche = Notwendigkeit
Substantiality - Substantialität -
Causality - Kausalität -
Mutual Determination - Wechselwirkung -

Concept - Begriff -
Subjectivity - Subjektivität -
Concept as such - Begriff als solcher -
Judgment - Urteil -
Inference - Schluß -
Objectivity - Objektivität -
Mechanism - Mechanismus -
Chemismus - Chemistry -
Teleology - Teleologie -
Idea = Subject ‹ Object - Idee = Subjekt ‹ Objekt -
Life - Leben -
Cognition - Erkennen -
Absolute Idea - die absolute Idee -
=the Unity of Being and Thought
=the Concept Objectified Itself
=Inner Teleology (inner Purposefulness)

Hegel called the domains of Being and Essence Objective Logic, while he called the domain of Concept Subjective Logic.

The categories of Quality and those of Quantity are dealt with in the section of Being, while the Categories of Relation and those of Modality are so in the section of Essence.

In Subjective logic (dealing with Concepts), the section of Subjectivity dialectically deduces the Problems of Logic in the narrower sense, the section of Objectivity deals with Philosophy of Nature, and the section of Ideas is concerned about the fundamentals of Philosophy of Spirit.
We may refer to the beginning of his Logic as an example of how Hegel sets the original concept, makes the opposite from it and then produces the third as the synthesis of the first two.

How should the Absolute be thought? or
How should it be defined first?

It is evident, according to Hegel, that the Absolute is to be thought and defined as absolutely presuppositionless.

It is the most universal concept, the Concept whose determinate contents are abstracted from it, the Concept which has nothing more to abstract, namely the most indefinite and most immediate Concept, that is, the Concept of Being - Sein.

Since Being - Sein - which has neither determination nor content is equal to Nothing - Nichts.
While we think of Being in its purity, in fact we think of Nothing.
However, this Nothing cannot be maintained, but will return to and change into a Being again. For as long as Nothing is thought of, It exists as Being Thought.

The pure Being and the pure Nothing are, even if we think of them as "different" and "opposed", one and the same. Both are indeterminate,i.e., without any definite character - Bestimmungslosigkeit.

To go from Being to Nothing, and from Nothing to Being again, is Becoming.

The Concept of Becoming
In other words, Becoming is a synthesis of Being and Nothing.

Thus, Becoming is the Truth of Being and Nothing. For example, while a child becomes a youth, this child is a youth and not a youth at the same time. Being and Nothing are mediated by Becoming, and they (= Being and Nothing) are preserved -aufgehoben = the past perfect of aufheben - regarding their essential natures, and thus, the concept which was synthesized is produced by the negation of negation.

However, Becoming,too, denies itself in such that Becoming becomes the state of "having become".
This is a static state, embraced by Nothing.
Hegel called this Existence - Dasein.
This is the Being determined.
Here appears the Quality - Qualität - and it becomes Something - Etwas.

This Something can only be thought in relation to the other Something or Something Else which denies that original Something (in strife).
As long as one is distinguished from and determined by the Other,
Finitude - Endlichkeit - may arise.
The Finitude, when denied, becomes Infinity -Unendlichkeit.
Hegel distinguished two kinds of Infinity:

False Infinity - schlechte Unendlichkeit -
= Endlessness - Endlosigkeit -
True Infinity -wahre Unendlichkeit -

1) False Infinity

Something does not have the Other outside of Itself, but has this Other in Itself.
Therefore, Something is Something and the Other at the same time. In other words, Something changes. Something is understood as Something and simultaneously as the Other.

Something becomes the Other, and this Other as Something becomes another Other which is Something in Itself.and so on. In this manner, the change is endless.
Therefore, change is to be thought as the endless progress.

Thus, in Finitude, Endlessness is contained. Something organic has its end, i.e., is limited by the Other. This Other is also limited by another Other. And so on. Thus Finitude is endless. Always an new limit arises (or exists). There is no such thing as the last limit.
Therefore, the Finite is endless. This Endlessness Hegel called the False Infinity.

2) True Infinity

Contrary to the false infinity, as Something becomes Something else, this Something moves Itself into that some Other. Thus there are no longer Something and the Other. Something is in the Other. As long as Something and the Other are separate they are the Others to each other, but in this motion accomplished, their limit or distinction is negated or abolished - aufgehoben.

The limit that existed there was abolished=preserved limit - aufgehoben. It is the abolished preserved Finitude.

Die aufgehobene Endlichkeit - the abolished=preserved Finitude - is the True Infinity, while the continued - fortgestzt - Finitude is the False Infinity. In the True Infinity, the relation to the Other, namely the Finitude, is negated and abolished - aufgehoben.
The True Infinity is the Infinity Returning to Itself, is the Being for itself - Für-sich-sein. The True Infinity has no limit outside Itself.

At the limit, the True Infinity is not related to the Other, but is related to Itself - auf sich bezogen sein. In other words, it is not for the Other - Sein für Anderes, but is Being for Itself - Fürsichsein.

The most important in Hegel's Logic is not detailed insights, but the fundamental way of thinking. The totality is not unrelated, but constitutes an organic relations as a whole which is mediated by dialectical movements.

An sich = implicite
hé dynamis = potentiality
acorn = a (potential) oak tree in itself

An sich
discovers in itself contradiction or something negative and changes itself into
Für sich

Für sich
= explicite
hé energeia = actuality
oak tree = the negation of acorn

Für sich
contains in itself the necessity to go beyond itself by negating Für sich.

An und für sich stands as the negation of its negation.
An und für sich = perfect oak tree bearing acorns.
In sich selbst gekehrte Sein or
wiedererhergestelltes Sein. I.e.,
An und für sich is a synthesis of an sich and für sich.

The dialects, i.e., hé dialektiké techné comes from dialegein = to have a dialogue.
dia means to distinguish, separate,
while legein means to
1) to pick up, to select,
2) to say, to express by words.
Dialegein meant
1) put separately, select, distinguish,
2)talk, explain, have a dialogue, discuss.

The title of this opus - Phenomenology of Spirit- at the first publication showed:

System der Wissenschaft
Erster Teil,

Die Phänomenologie der Erfahrung des Geistes

We shall have an opportunity later to discuss the importance of the Erfahrung in his first title.
Later both System der Wissenschaft-- erster Teil" - System of The Science--Part I - and der Erfahrung - experience - were eliminated from the title of this book .
cf. Die Phänomenologie des Geistes, p. 14

Philosophy of Nature

Philosophy of Nature reveals the Idea in the Other - Anderssein. We move from the domain of Logic to that of sensory beings. Here the Concept becomes Matter. Why the Idea went into the Other is because the Idea must become actual, and the nature is one of its stage or the Imperfect Actuality that the Idea must go through to attain Its good Actuality.
For Reason to become Nature is for It to ultimately become Spirit.

Externality - Äußerlichkeit - is Nature's characteristic. The relationship and the mutual influence among the natural matter are and remain external.

Nature reveals necessity and contingency in its beings and the natural matter is governed by mechanical necessity. The contingency of the external influence hinders from its development. Therefore, in nature, Reason is found everywhere, and yet besides the rational, the illogical, the non-teleological, the irregular and the invalid are found in nature. They reveal that Nature's essence consists in externality. In short, Nature is the Idea's decay from Itself - der Abfall der Idee von sich selbst - , in It the necessity of the Concept and the contingency of the Individuality coexist. It is the powerlessness of nature - Ohnmacht der Nature - that Nature abstractly possesses the determination of the Concept and depends upon the external formation of the particular finish. As the development proceeds, the insufficiency of the Idea's actualization is gradually lost and attains Life, where the birth of Spirit is prepared.

Hegel's Philosophy of Nature is the least original of his philosophies and its majority is indebted to Schelling's thought.

Philosophy of Spirit

V-i. Subjective Spirit - der subjektive Geist -

According to Hegel, the essence of Spirit and its determination is Freedom. Gradually becoming independent of Nature, Spirit actualizes its Potency of Freedom.
Philosophy of Subjective Spirit is divided into:
a) Anthropology ‹ investigates the human as natural beings
b) Phenomenology of Spirit ‹ inquires into the I as opposing to Nature as the non-I
c) Psychology ‹ inquires into the I which is reconciled with Nature as opposing to the I.
a) Anthropology

Spirit has not exhorted Itself from Nature in Anthropology which investigates the human's natura beings.
In this stage, Spirit still is natural Spirit, namely Soul, which is to be divided into:

Natural Soul ‹ exhibits the variety of races and nationalities as the natural characters of the human-beings as the inhabitants of the earth. Further, the variety of the ages, that of the sexes as well as that of awakening and sleep.
Sensing Soul ‹ is the double being of the unconscious whole and of the subject in the individual. Here the fetus, the hypnotic and the insane as well as habit ‹ Gewohnheit ‹ are dealt with. The habit is called by Hegel here the mechanism of the self-sense - Mechanismus des Selbstgefühls.
Actual Soul ‹ The body is the signs for expressing our Soul in the actual Soul. The gestures, the physiognomy and the phonology are discussed here.

Anthropology is the most unique among Subjective Spirit. The Soul of the body, the Spirit connected with corporeality is the object of its investigation.

b) Phenomenology of Spirit
Phenomenology investigates the I = Subject that opposes to Object. This is the Science of the I or Consciousness. The three stages, which correspond to the first three stages of Phenomenology of Spirit:


c) Psychology

In Psychology, Spirit and Object are reconciled. The I becomes reconciled with Nature as the Non-I. This is the synthesis of the preceding two Sciences. This Science makes Spirit in the narrow sense its Object.

Theoretical Spirit = Intelligence
Practical Spirit = Will
Free Spirit = Will as the Free Intelligence


Philosophy of Nature

PHilosophy of Spirit

Subjective Spirit
natural Soul
sensing Soul
actual Soul
Phenomenology of Spirit
Theoretical Spirit
Feeling = Sense
Practical Spirit
Feeling = practical Feeling
Drive = Emotion, Arbitrariness
Happiness - Glückseligkeit -
Free Spirit = rational Will
= objective Spirit

Objective Spirit
Private Property
` Morality
Motive - Vorsatz -
Intention and Welfare
Good and Evil
Ethical Order
Civil Society
Internal State Laws
International State Laws - äußerliches Staatsrecht -
World History

Absolute Spirit = the Unity of Subjective and Objective Spirit
Arts ‹ appears in the Form of Intuition
Religion ‹ appears in the Form of Feeling
Philosophy ‹ appears in the Form of Thinking

V-ii. Objective Spirit

If the Science of Subjective Spirit may be viewed as Psychology in the wider sense, then the Science of Objective Spirit may be called Ethics in the wider sense. This Science contains in it Ethics, Philosophy of Law, political Philosophy and Philosophy of History. (See above!)
Will or Freedom attains in he Law the External (=Objective) Actuality, in Morality the Internal (=subjective) Actuality, and in the Ethical Order the Subjective and Objective Actuality, namely the Perfect Actuality.
a) The Law

The Law is the necessity established and acknowledged by Spirit, so it is the second, higher nature, and yet it is primarily the totality of prohibitions. Even if the law might appear to order, it is merely that what was the negative obtained a positive expression.
The Private Law - Privatrecht - contains i) the right to be a Person and ii) the order to respect the Others as Persons.
The Private Property - Eigentum - is the external domain that Will gives Itself. Without the Private Property, there would be no Person.
The Contract is that the private property by mutual agreement is released by a person A and is obtained by a person B.

to be completed.