Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel,
portrayed by Jakob Schlesinger , 1831
Hegel signature svg

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (born August 27, 1770 in Stuttgart , † November 14, 1831 in Berlin ) was a German philosopher who is considered the most important representative of German idealism .

Hegel's philosophy claims to interpret the whole of reality in the variety of its manifestations including its historical development in a coherent, systematic and definitive manner. His philosophical work is one of the most powerful works in the recent history of philosophy . It is divided into “ Logic ”, “ Natural Philosophy ” and “ Philosophy of Mind ”, which also includes a philosophy of history . His thinking also became the starting point for numerous other currents in the theory of science , sociology , history , theology , politics , jurisprudence and art theory and in many cases also shaped other areas of culture and intellectual life.

After Hegel's death, his followers split into a “right” and a “left” group. The right or old Hegelians such as Eduard Gans and Karl Rosenkranz pursued a conservative approach to interpretation in the sense of a “Prussian state philosopher”, to which Hegel had been declared in Vormärz , while the left or young Hegelians like Ludwig Feuerbach or Karl Marx adopted a progressive, socially critical approach from the Hegel's philosophy derived and further developed. Karl Marx in particular was shaped by Hegel's philosophy, which he became familiar with through the lectures by Eduard Gans. Hegel's philosophy therefore became one of the central starting points for the dialectical materialism that led to scientific socialism . Hegel also had a decisive influence on Søren Kierkegaard and the existential philosophy , later especially on Jean-Paul Sartre . Hegel's method of understanding the subject by presenting all of his views made it possible for the most contradicting representatives to appeal to Hegel, and still do so today.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, lithograph by Ludwig Sebbers


Early period (1770-1800)

School and study time

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (his family called him Wilhelm) was born on August 27, 1770 in Stuttgart and grew up in a pietistic family . The father Georg Ludwig (1733–1799), born in Tübingen , was rent chamber secretary in Stuttgart and came from a family of officials and pastors (see the Hegel family ). Hegel's mother, Maria Magdalena Louisa Hegel (née Fromm, 1741–1783) came from a wealthy Stuttgart family. The two younger siblings Christiane Luise Hegel (1773-1832) and Georg Ludwig (1776-1812) grew up with him. The eponymous ancestor of the Hegel family, who belonged to the traditional " honesty " in the Duchy of Württemberg, came to Württemberg as a Protestant refugee from Carinthia in the 16th century .

Probably since 1776 Hegel attended the illustrious grammar school in Stuttgart, which had been a training course at the Eberhard Ludwigs grammar school since 1686 . Hegel's interests were broad. He paid special attention to history , especially to antiquity and ancient languages . Another early interest was mathematics . He had knowledge of the then prevailing Wolff philosophy . The surviving texts from this period show the influence of the late Enlightenment .

In the winter semester of 1788/89, Hegel began studying Protestant theology and philosophy at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen . He was accepted into the Tübingen monastery , where the future theologians received not only scientific training but also an education that was felt to be depressing in Hegel's time.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

After two years, Hegel received the degree of Magister in Philosophy in September 1790 , and in 1793 he was awarded a theological licentiate . Hegel's graduation certificate states that he had good skills and a wide range of knowledge.

Hegel profited a lot from the intellectual exchange with his later famous (temporary) roommates, Holderlin and Schelling . Through Holderlin he became enthusiastic about Schiller and the ancient Greeks, while the pseudo- Kantian theology of his teachers repelled him more and more. Schelling shared these ideas. They all protested against the political and ecclesiastical conditions in their home state and formulated new principles of reason and freedom.

In the summer of 1792 Hegel took part in the meetings of a revolutionary - patriotic student club that brought ideas from the French Revolution to Tübingen. Its members read French newspapers with great interest; Hegel and Holderlin were called Jacobins . Hegel is said to have been "the enthusiastic advocate of freedom and equality ".

“Hofmeister” in Bern and Frankfurt

After Hegel had left the university, he got a job as a private tutor in Bern in 1793 , where he was to give private lessons to the children of Captain Karl Friedrich von Steiger . The comparatively liberal ideas of the Steigers fell on fertile ground with Hegel. The Steigers also introduced Hegel to the social and political situation in Bern at the time .

Hegel spent the summers with the Steigers on their vineyard in Tschugg near Erlach , where the Steigers' private library was available to him. There he studied the works of Montesquieu ( Esprit des Lois ), Hugo Grotius , Thomas Hobbes , David Hume , Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz , John Locke , Niccolò Machiavelli , Jean-Jacques Rousseau , Anthony Ashley Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury , Baruch Spinoza , Thucydides and Voltaire . In his Bern period, Hegel laid the foundation for his broad knowledge of philosophy , social sciences , politics , economics and political economy .

In Bern, Hegel maintained his interest in the revolutionary political events in France. His sympathy soon went to the " Girondist " faction, because he was increasingly disillusioned by the excessive brutality of the Jacobin reign of terror . However, he never gave up his previous positive judgment about the results of the French Revolution .

Another factor in his philosophical development came from his study of Christianity . Under the influence of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Kant, he endeavored to analyze the real meaning of Christ from the reports of the New Testament and to grasp what was specifically new in Christianity. The essays, which he wrote only for himself, were only published posthumously in 1907 by the Dilthey student Herman Nohl under the title 'Hegel's Theological Youth Writings' (and thus sparked a renewed interest in Hegel).

At the end of his contract in Bern, Hölderlin, now in Frankfurt , obtained a position as a private tutor for his friend Hegel in the family of Mr. Johann Noe Gogel, a wine wholesaler in the center of Frankfurt.

Hegel continued his studies of economics and politics in Frankfurt continuously; so he dealt with Edward Gibbon's fall of the Roman Empire , with writings by Hume and Montesquieu's The Spirit of Laws . Hegel began to be interested in questions of economy and daily politics. It was mainly the developments in Great Britain that he followed through regular reading of the English newspapers. He followed the parliamentary debates on the "Bill of 1796", the so-called poor rights over public welfare, as well as the news about the reform of Prussian civil law ("Landrecht") with keen interest.

Jena: beginning of university career (1801–1807)

When his father died in January 1799, Hegel received a modest inheritance , but this enabled him to think of an academic career again. In January 1801 Hegel reached Jena , which at that time was strongly influenced by Schelling's philosophy. In Hegel's first publication, an essay on the difference between the philosophical systems of Fichte and Schelling (1801), Hegel, despite all the differences that were already hinted at, was mainly behind Schelling and against Johann Gottlieb Fichte .

Together with Schelling, Hegel published the Critical Journal of Philosophy from 1802-1803 . The articles that Hegel wrote in this journal include such important ones as “Faith and Knowledge” (July 1802, a criticism by Kant, Jacobi and Fichte) or “On the scientific treatment of natural law ” (November 1802).

The topic of the doctoral thesis ("Habilitation dissertation"), through which Hegel qualified for the position as a private lecturer ( Dissertatio Philosophica De orbitis planetarum , 1801), was chosen under the influence of Schelling's natural philosophy. In this work, Hegel mainly deals with the laws of planetary motion by Johannes Kepler and the celestial mechanics by Isaac Newton . He came to a sharp rejection of Newton's approach, but relied on serious misunderstandings. In the last section he critically discusses the Titius-Bode "law" of planetary distances , which a priori deduces a planet between Mars and Jupiter , and then constructs another sequence of numbers by transforming a series of numbers from Plato's Timaeus , which better the gap between Mars and Jupiter maps. Since the minor planet Ceres, which seemed to confirm the Titius-Bode series, was found in this gap in the same year 1801, this appendix to Hegel's dissertation often served to ridicule Hegel. But it was later taken under protection by historians of astronomy.

Hegel (right) and Napoleon in Jena 1806, illustration from Harper's Magazine , 1895

Hegel's first Jena lecture on “ Logic and Metaphysics ” in the winter of 1801/1802 was attended by eleven students. After Schelling left Jena for Würzburg in mid-1803 , Hegel now worked out his own views. In addition to philosophical studies by Plato and Aristotle , he read Homer and Greek tragedies, made excerpts from books, attended lectures on physiology, and studied mineralogy and other natural sciences .

From 1804 onwards, Hegel gave lectures on his theoretical ideas to a class of about thirty students. He also gave lectures on mathematics. While teaching, he was constantly improving his original system. Every year he promised his students their own philosophy textbook - which was repeatedly postponed. Following the recommendation of Johann Wolfgang Goethe and Schelling, Hegel was appointed associate professor in February 1805 .

In October 1806, Hegel had just written the last pages of his Phenomenology of Spirit when the harbingers of the battles of Jena and Auerstedt arose. In a letter to Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer , a friend of his , Hegel wrote on October 13, 1806:

“I saw the emperor - this world soul - ride out through the city to reconnoiter; - It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who is concentrated here on one point, sitting on a horse, encompassing the world and dominating it. "

Shortly before, Hegel experienced Napoleon's entry into the city and, as a supporter of the French Revolution, was enthusiastic to have seen the “world soul on horseback” - later often changed to “world spirit on horseback”. In Napoleon, Hegel saw the world soul or the world spirit exemplarily embodied; The idea of ​​the world spirit as a metaphysical principle became the central concept of Hegel's speculative philosophy: for him, the entire historical reality, the totality, was the process of the world spirit. This realizes the "end purpose" of world history, namely the "reason in history". With this thesis, he tied in with the world spirit theory first published by Schelling. As a result of the occupation of Jena by French troops, Hegel was forced to leave the city after French officers and soldiers had billeted in his house and ran out of funds. He moved to Bamberg and became editor of the Bamberger Zeitung there .

On February 5, 1807, Hegel's first illegitimate son, Ludwig Fischer, was born, a common child with the widow Christina Charlotte Burkhardt, nee Fischer. Hegel had withdrawn his marriage promise to the widow Burkhardt when he left Jena, and he learned of the birth in Bamberg. The boy was first raised in Jena by Johanna Frommann, a sister of the publisher Carl Friedrich Ernst Frommann , and only accepted into the Hegel family in 1817.

Time in Bamberg (1807-1808)

In 1807, Hegel found a publisher for his work Phenomenology of the Spirit in Bamberg . He became editor-in-chief of the Bamberger Zeitung , but soon came into conflict with the Bavarian press law . Finally, in 1808, Hegel left the city disillusioned for Nuremberg. His journalistic engagement should remain an episode in his biography. In 1810 one of his successors, Karl Friedrich Gottlob Wetzel (1779-1819), took over the role of editor-in-chief of the newspaper, which was renamed Fränkischer Merkur .

However , he remained loyal to the mass media , which were increasingly appearing at this time : "He described regular reading of the morning newspaper as a realistic morning blessing ."

Nuremberg (1808-1816)

In November 1808, through the mediation of his friend Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer , Hegel was appointed professor of preparatory science and rector of the Egidiengymnasium in Nuremberg next to St. Egidien . Hegel taught philosophy , German studies , Greek and higher mathematics there . He divided the lesson into dictated paragraphs ; A large part of the teaching time was taken up by the interim questions Hegel wanted and the explanations that followed. The philosophical knowledge thus brought into the booklet was later compiled by Karl Rosenkranz from the student transcripts and published as Philosophical Propaedeutics .

The hoped-for order of financial circumstances did not materialize, however. Months of arrears in wages brought Hegel into financial difficulties again.

On September 16, 1811, Hegel married Marie von Tucher (born on March 17, 1791), who was just twenty years old , for whom he had recruited her parents from April 1811. Because of Hegel's still uncertain position, they had given their consent to marriage only hesitantly; A letter of recommendation from Niethammer was helpful in arranging the marriage. Maria Hegel soon gave birth to a daughter who, however, died shortly after birth. The son who followed in 1813 was named after Hegel's grandfather Karl .

Karl Hegel tried all his life to step out of the shadow of his father, who was perceived as overpowering, in the scientific field. At first he studied philosophy like his father and wanted to follow in his footsteps. Over time, however, he emancipated himself and became one of the leading historians of the 19th century, who was particularly active in the field of urban and constitutional history. He also served as the editor of his father's letters, writings and lectures throughout his life.

The third son of Hegel, born in 1814, was named Immanuel after his godfather Niethammer and became the consistorial president of the province of Brandenburg .

As an illegitimate son, Ludwig, born in 1807, was brought to Nuremberg by his mother, the widow Burckhardt, in 1817, as she was now insisting on a severance payment. The shy Ludwig developed difficultly; he was not respected by his father and two half-brothers. In order to relieve the family life, Hegel finally gave the young people a commercial apprenticeship in Stuttgart, where Ludwig ran into difficulties again. Hegel now even withdrew the name of the "unworthy one", so that Ludwig had to take his mother's maiden name, whereupon the vilified reproached his father and stepmother with violent reproaches. At the age of 18, Ludwig Fischer signed up for six years as a soldier in the Dutch army in 1825 and died in the summer of 1831 of tropical fever in Batavia, which was widespread at the time .

Shortly after the marriage, Hegel began to write on his Science of Logic . In 1813 he was appointed school councilor, which improved his material situation somewhat.

Heidelberg (1816-1818)

In 1816, Hegel accepted a professorship for philosophy at the University of Heidelberg . He gave his inaugural lecture on October 28th. The first edition of the encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences appeared as a lecture guide in May 1817 .

He worked in the editorial department of the Heidelberg Yearbooks for Literature . There his work on the negotiations of the estates of the Kingdom of Württemberg appeared .

On December 26, 1817, Hegel received an offer from zum Altenstein , the first Prussian minister of education , to come to Berlin University .

His successor in Heidelberg was for a short time Joseph Hillebrand .

Berlin (1818–1831)

Hegel with Berlin students,
lithograph F. Kugler , 1828
Memorial plaque for Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Am Kupfergraben, Berlin-Mitte, donated by Dr. Silvio Bianchi
Tomb on the grave of honor of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel on the Dorotheenstädtischer Cemetery in Berlin-Mitte located

In 1818, Hegel accepted the call to the University of Berlin , whose rector at that time was the theologian Philipp Konrad Marheineke . Here he became the successor to Johann Gottlieb Fichte's chair . On October 22, 1818, Hegel gave his inaugural lecture. From then on he usually read ten hours a week. His lectures quickly became popular and their audience increased far beyond the university environment, because colleagues and state officials now also visited his courses. In 1821 his last work, which he personally produced, was published, Basic Lines of Philosophy of Law . Hegel himself became rector of the university in 1829. At a table with the Crown Prince, who later became King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, the latter said: “It is a scandal that Professor Gans is making all of us students republicans. His lectures on your legal philosophy, Professor, are always attended by many hundreds, and it is well known that he gives your presentation a completely liberal, even republican tinge. ”Thereupon Hegel took over the lecture again, which is the relationship to his closest pupil clouded over.

Hegel died in 1831. Two causes of death are cited: The majority say he died of the cholera epidemic that was raging in Berlin . However, recent research also takes the view that Hegel "died [...] probably from a chronic gastric disease and not from cholera, as the official diagnosis was". He was buried in the Dorotheenstadt cemetery . The burial site, as an honorary grave of the city of Berlin, is located in the department CH, G1.

The widow, Maria Hegel, stopped being talked about after the death of her husband. She lived to see her two sons studying (see above) and died on July 6, 1855.

In the Berlin years Hegel was a supporter of the constitutional monarchy of Prussia . After his enthusiasm for the revolutionary awakening in 1789 , the horror of people “in his madness” ( Schiller ) and the failure of Napoleon , a political reorientation had taken place at Hegel. He reconciled with the political situation and was considered a bourgeois philosopher and joined the lawless society in Berlin . Hegel's philosophy was favored in Prussia by Minister Altenstein.

Hegel's popularity and impact far beyond his death can primarily be traced back to his time in Berlin. The university was a scientific center at that time and was dominated by the Hegelians for decades after Hegel's death. If Hegel's teaching was able to provide valuable impetus to the humanities , for a long time it appeared to the natural sciences as a stumbling block or, at best, was ignored. A holistic approach to natural and spiritual phenomena makes Hegel's natural philosophy increasingly popular again. After Hegel's death, his students compiled texts from his estate and the transcripts of individual listeners, which they then published as books.

In other European countries one only became aware of Hegel after his death. The London Times mentioned him for the first time in 1838 in a review of Russian magazines, one of which basked in “metaphysical speculations” on “German ideas”, especially those of Kant, Fichte and Schelling and “not least Hegel, whose ideas were met with approval everywhere in Europe begin to push. "

Memorial and working places

In the Hegelhaus Stuttgart there is a permanent exhibition about the life of Hegel. In his honor, the city of Stuttgart awards the international Hegel Prize every three years . The oldest and most important association dedicated to Hegelian philosophy is the International Hegel Society .

In numerous cities streets or squares were named after the philosopher. Vienna's Hegelgasse in the 1st district, with several well-known schools and significant architecture, where the women's politician Marianne Hainisch built the world's first girls' high school , has strong references to the educational pioneer .

Classification of the work

The Hegelian writings are divided into fourteen sectors in Hegel research, which partly correspond to chronological, partly to systematic criteria:

  1. Early writings (youth writings)
  2. Jena critical writings
  3. Jena system designs
  4. phenomenology of the Spirit
  5. Logic (small and large)
  6. Natural philosophy
  7. Subjective mind
  8. Objective mind (basic lines of the philosophy of law)
  9. Philosophy of history
  10. Daily political writings
  11. Philosophy of art
  12. Philosophy of religion
  13. Philosophy and History of Philosophy
  14. Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences

The texts can still be divided into three groups:

  1. Texts written by Hegel and published during his lifetime
  2. Texts that were written by him but not published during his lifetime
  3. Texts that were neither written by him nor published during his lifetime

The first text group includes the writings from the beginning of Hegel's time in Jena as well as his work in the journal Kritisches Journal der Philosophie, which was published jointly with Schelling . Furthermore, his main works include the phenomenology of the mind , the science of logic , the encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences and the basics of the philosophy of law . Furthermore, Hegel only published a few smaller works from current occasions and for the yearbooks for scientific criticism .

Almost all of the writings in the second text group were only published in an authentic version in the 20th century. They include Hegel's manuscripts drawn up in Tübingen and Jena, the Jena system designs , the works from the Nuremberg period and the manuscripts and notes from lectures in Heidelberg and Berlin.

The group of texts neither written nor published by Hegel makes up almost half of the texts attributed to Hegel. These include lectures on aesthetics, the philosophy of history, the philosophy of religion and the history of philosophy, which are very important for the impact of Hegel. These texts are student products, most of which are the result of the compilation of transcripts of Hegelian lectures.

Basic features of the Hegelian philosophy

Historical starting point

The starting point of both Hegelian philosophy and German idealism in general is the problem of synthetic a priori judgments raised by Kant . For Kant, these are only possible for mathematics, the natural sciences and with reference to the possibility of empirical experience. Their sentences are based on the forms of perception space and time, which first structure perception, and the categories that combine them into a synthetic unit.

For the realm of theoretical philosophy, Kant rejects the possibility of synthetic a priori judgments, since their propositions and conclusions transcend the sphere of possible experience. This leads him to a rejection of classical philosophical disciplines such as rational psychology, cosmology and theology .

The thinking I (“I think”) has a special position. It is true that only this guarantees the unity of perception, but for Kant we can “never have the slightest concept of it” (KrV, Immanuel Kant: AA III, 265). The question of the foundation of the unity of perception by the ego and its self-awareness is one of the central philosophical problems or motifs of German idealism, with Hegel processing the Kant receptions of Johann Gottlieb Fichte and Friedrich Schelling .

"The real thing is the whole": idea, nature and spirit

Hegel's claim is to present the movement of the concept itself - the self-development of the logical and real categories - in a systematic, scientific form. His system results from the principle:

"The truth is the whole. But the whole is only the being that is perfected through its development. It is to be said of the absolute that it is essentially a result , that it is only in the end what it is in truth; and this is precisely where its nature consists of being real, subject or becoming oneself. "

- PG 24

This whole is differentiated and can be understood as a unity of three spheres:

  • Idea ,
  • Nature and
  • Mind .

The idea is the term ( logos ) par excellence, from which the objective, eternal basic structures of reality can be derived. In doing so, he indirectly refers to a concept of ideas as Plato understood it. Logic determines the content of this basic concept in the form of the thought. The attempt at a stroke immediately to answer what the idea is, must necessarily fail, as the first step of each definition, only the pure being can say of that, as yet undetermined term: "The idea is." The determination is on The beginning is completely empty, abstract and empty, and therefore synonymous with the sentence: "The idea is nothing." Hegel concludes from this that nothing can be taken as it is immediately as a moment, but must always be viewed in its mediation: in its delimitation (negation) from other things, in its constant change and in its relationship to the whole, as well as in the differentiation between appearance and essence. Everything concrete is in the process of becoming . Likewise, in logic as the “realm of pure thought” (LI 44), the idea goes through a process of self-determination that constantly expands the content and scope through seemingly mutually exclusive, mutually opposed terms. Through a series of transitions, whose "härtester" of the need for freedom leads, this self-movement eventually bring the idea to the concept of "freedom Empire" (L II 240) as a term in which they their utmost perfection in the absolute idea reached . Their absolute freedom realized this by "decides" to themselves to divest (EI 393) - this alienation is the created nature , the idea "in the form of otherness".

In nature the idea has “got out of hand” and has lost its absolute unity - nature is fragmented into the externality of matter in space and time (E II 24). Nevertheless, the idea continues to work in nature and tries to “take back its own product” (E II 24) - the forces of nature, such as gravity, set the matter in motion in order to restore its ideal unity. However, this remains ultimately doomed to failure within nature itself, since this is determined as “remaining in otherness” (E II 25). The highest form in nature is the animal organism, in which the living unity of the idea can be viewed objectively, but which lacks the subjective awareness of itself.

What the animal is denied, however, reveals itself to the spirit : the finite spirit becomes conscious of its freedom in the individual (E III 29). The idea can now return to itself through the spirit, in that the spirit shapes or forms nature (through work ) as well as itself (in state, art, religion and philosophy) according to the idea. In the state , freedom becomes the common good of all individuals. However, their limitation prevents them from attaining infinite, absolute freedom. In order for the whole to become perfect, the infinite, absolute spirit creates its realm in the finite, in which the barriers of the limited are overcome: art represents the truth of the idea for sensual perception. Religion reveals to the finite spirit in the imagination the concept of God . In philosophy, finally, the building of reason- guided science arises, in which self-confident thinking understands the eternal truth of the idea (in logic ) and recognizes it in everything. The absolute thereby becomes aware of itself as the eternal, indestructible idea, as the creator of nature and of all finite spirits (E III 394). Outside of its totality there can be nothing else - in the concept of the absolute spirit even the most extreme opposites and all contradictions are abolished - they are all reconciled with one another .


The driving factor in the movement of the concept is the dialectic . It is both the method and the principle of things themselves. The dialectic essentially comprises three elements that cannot be viewed separately from one another (EI § 79):

  1. the abstract or sensible side
    The finite understanding determines something as being: “Thinking as understanding remains with the fixed determination and the difference between the same and others; such a limited abstract is for him to exist and exist for itself. "(EI § 80)
  2. the dialectical or negative-rational side
    The infinite (negative) reason recognizes the one-sidedness of this determination and denies it. Such a contradiction arises . The conceptual opposites negate each other, i. H. they cancel each other out: "The dialectical moment is the own cancellation of such finite determinations and their transition into their opposite ones." (EI § 81)
  3. the speculative or positive-reasonable side
    The positive reason recognizes in itself the unity of the contradicting determinations and brings all previous moments together to a positive result, which are thereby canceled (preserved) in it: "The speculative or positively rational comprehends the unity of the determinations in their opposition, the affirmative that is contained in their dissolution and their passing over. "(EI § 82)
Dialectics as the movement of things themselves

Dialectic is not only the representation of the union of opposites, but is the constitutive movement of things themselves. Infinite reason , according to Hegel, is constantly changing. She absorbs what is already there in an endless process and brings it out again. Basically, it unites with itself (GP 20). Hegel illustrates this development (here that of the idea of ​​the spirit) using a seed metaphor:

“The plant does not get lost in mere change. So in the bud. There is nothing to be seen in the germ. He has the urge to develop; he can't stand just being himself. The drive is the contradiction that it is only in itself and that it should not be. The instinct protrudes into existence. Multiple comes out; But all of this is already contained in the bud, admittedly not developed, but enveloped and ideal. The completion of this exposure occurs, a goal is set. The highest out-of-itself is the fruit; H. the production of the germ, the return to the first state. "

- GP I 41

Existence is always change. The state of a thing, its “being”, is only a moment of its whole concept. In order to fully grasp it, the concept must return to itself, just as the seed returns to its "first state". The "suspension" of a moment has a double effect here. On the one hand the cancellation destroys the old form (the seed) and on the other hand it preserves it in its development. The idea of ​​development in this conception takes place as progress, as a crossing to a new form. In nature, however, the term falls back into itself (the return to the seed), so that for Hegel nature is only an eternal cycle of the same. There is a real development only when the abolition means not only a return to itself, but also the process of abolition - in its double function - reaches itself. True progress is therefore only possible in the realm of the spirit; H. when the concept knows of itself, when it is aware of itself.

The term

For Hegel the concept is the difference between things themselves. The concept is negation and Hegel expresses it even more vividly: the concept is time. In the philosophy of nature, therefore, no new determinations are added. Only in the philosophy of spirit can there be progress, a going beyond oneself. The finite moment is canceled; it perishes, is negated, but finds its determination in the unity of its concept. This is how the individual dies, but his death receives its destiny in the preservation of the species. In the realm of the spirit, one figure of the spirit replaces the previous one; B. the Gothic follows the Renaissance. The limit is set by the new style, which is a break in the old style. Hegel also calls these breaks qualitative leaps. For Hegel, however, there are no such leaps in nature; it just returns to itself forever.

The abstract movement of the double negation, the negation of the negation, can be defined as the dissolution of the negative: the negative turns against itself, the negation posits itself as a difference. The determination of this self-dissolution is its higher unity - it is the affirmative character of the negative. In nature the negative does not go beyond itself, but remains caught in the finite. The seed sprouts, grows into a tree, the tree dies, leaving the seed behind; Beginning and end coincide. In the philosophy of mind there is a development of the concept - history. The concept comes to itself. The negation is not circular here, but drives progress in a spiral in one direction. Negation is the engine and principle of history, but it does not contain the aim of its development. Negation takes on a radically dynamic aspect in the philosophy of mind. In the philosophy of mind, beginning and result fall apart. The abolition is a central term in Hegel. It contains three moments: suspension in the sense of negare (deny), conservare (to preserve) and elevare (to raise ). The spiritual represents - viewed from its result and by referring to its starting point - a movement that is consistently grasped as a figure.

For Hegel, true thinking is the recognition of opposites and the need to bring them together in their unity. The term is the expression for this movement. Hegel describes this type of philosophy as speculative (Rel I 30).

Mission and character of philosophy

Hegel turns against the "edifying philosophy" of his time, which "considers itself too good for the concept and, due to its lack, for an intuitive and poetic thinking" (PG 64). For him the object of philosophy is indeed the most sublime; however, it must “be careful not to want to be edifying” (PG 17). In order to become “science”, it must be ready to undertake the “effort of the concept” (PG 56). The philosophy is realized in the "system", because only the whole is true (PG 24). In a dialectical process she considers the “concept of spirit in its immanent, necessary development”.

To common sense philosophy is an "upside-down world" (JS 182) as it aims at "the idea or the absolute" (EI 60) as the ground of all things. It thus has “the same content as art and religion”, but just in the manner of the concept.

Logic, natural philosophy, and the philosophy of mind are not just the basic disciplines of philosophy; they also express "the immense work of world history" (PG 34), which was performed by the "world spirit". The goal of philosophy can therefore only be achieved if it understands world history and the history of philosophy and thus also “grasps its time in thought” (R 26).

The task of philosophy is to “understand what is […], because what is is reason” (R 26). Your job is not to teach the world how to be; because for that it comes “always too late anyway”: “It appears as the thought of the world only in the time after reality has completed its process of formation and made itself ready. [...] Minerva's owl does not begin its flight until dusk falls ”(R 27–28).

The Hegelian system

Foundation of philosophy

In the Phenomenology of Spirit , the first typical work of the mature Hegel, Hegel formulates that the prerequisite for all true philosophizing is to gain the "scientific point of view". He also calls this “ absolute knowledge ”. In order to reach it, a path must be taken that is not indifferent to the point of view then obtained, because: “the result [is] not the real whole, but it together with its becoming” (PG 13).

For Hegel, the path to “absolute knowledge” is the understanding of the absolute itself. The way of accessing the absolute is not indifferent either. It also includes the process of knowing it. Access to the absolute is at the same time its self-expression. True science is ultimately only possible in this perspective of the absolute.

The way to the scientific point of view

Levels of knowledge

Sensual certainty





absolute knowledge

Hegel begins with an analysis of "natural consciousness". The actual reality (the “ substance ”) is for the natural consciousness in its most elementary level what it finds immediately: the “sensual certainty”. Philosophically, this corresponds to the position of empiricism . Hegel shows that the empirical concept of reality necessarily presupposes a self-confidence that interprets what is sensually perceived as such.

But self-confidence is not what is really real either. It can determine its own being-with-itself only in contrast to a natural reality; its substantiality is therefore necessarily dependent on this natural reality.

In the third form of natural consciousness, reason , the determination of the substance of consciousness and self-consciousness come to a synthesis. The self-consciousness developed into reason insists on its own substantiality, but at the same time recognizes that it relates to a natural reality that is also substantial. This can only be reconciled with one another if self-awareness recognizes its substantiality in the substantiality of natural reality. Only then can the contradiction that two substances bring with them can be avoided.

In the further course of phenomenology, Hegel defines reason as “moral reason”. As such, it is not just a product of self-awareness, but always relates to an external reality that precedes it. Reason can only exist as the moral substance of a real society; in this form it is (objective) spirit .

The mind, in turn, is dependent on self-awareness. This has the freedom not to submit to the prevailing law, which historically z. B. shows in the French Revolution. His freedom is ultimately based on the absolute spirit .

The absolute spirit first shows itself in religion. In "natural religion" self-confidence still interprets natural reality as the self-expression of an absolute being, while in "manifest religion" human freedom plays the central role. The concept of absolute spirit can be understood as the concept of reality itself, so that religion passes over into absolute knowledge . This gives us the point of view from which science in the true sense can only be carried out. The entire content of the experience of consciousness is to be developed anew, but no longer from the perspective of the consciousness that first penetrates itself and its object, but systematically, i.e. H. from the perspective of the "concept".


In logic, Hegel presupposes the "scientific standpoint" obtained in phenomenology . This had shown that the logical determinations ( categories ) can neither be understood as mere determinations of a subject-independent reality as in classical metaphysics , nor as mere determinations of the subject as in Kant's philosophy. Rather, they have to be understood from the unity of subject and object.

The task of logic is to represent pure thinking in its specific meaning. It is intended to replace the classical disciplines of philosophy, logic and metaphysics, by combining the two programs, the representation of pure thought and the idea of ​​the absolute.

According to Hegel, the logical determinations also have an ontological character. They are to be understood not only as contents of consciousness, but also as “the interior of the world” (EI 81, Z 1).

It is Hegel's concern to derive the categories systematically and to explain their necessity. The decisive means for this is the principle of dialectics, which, according to Hegel, is based on the nature of logical determination itself. He is therefore of the conviction that in this way all categories “as a system of totality” (LI 569) can be completely derived.

The logic is divided into an "objective logic" - the teaching of being and essence - and a "subjective logic" - the teaching of the concept.

Doctrine of being

In the first part of objective logic, Hegel thematizes the concept of being and the three basic forms of our reference to it: quantity, quality and measure.

Terms of quality

(Being ↔ Nothing) → Becoming →
Existence →

For Hegel, logic must begin with a term that is characterized by “pure immediacy”. This is expressed in the concept of being , which has no determinations. But the renunciation of any further differentiation makes the definition of "being" completely empty. Thus for being there is at least the determination of “ nothing and neither more nor less than nothing” (LI 83). Not “less than nothing” means that this “nothing” is after all a determination of thought, something thought.

The pure immediacy of the beginning can only be expressed in the two opposing terms “being” and “nothing”. The two terms “merge” into one another. This “transition” of both into one another represents a new category itself, “ becoming ” (LI 83f.). In “becoming” both determinations, “being” and “nothing”, are contained and that in their mutual merging into one another.

If a being mediated through this unity of becoming is thought, then the determination of the become being, of “ Dasein ” (LI 113ff.) Results. However, its genesis requires that the “nothing” in it is also recognizable. On this side, “Dasein” shows itself as a “something” that stands opposite the “other”. Something can only be grasped if it is distinguished from another - according to the sentence of Spinoza quoted by Hegel : " Omnis determinatio est negatio " (Every determination is a negation) (LI 121).

Every determination is a demarcation, whereby something belongs to every boundary that is beyond it (cf. LI 145). To think of a limit as such also means to think of the limitless. Likewise, with the thought of the “finite” that of the “ infinite ” is given (LI 139ff.). The infinite is the “other” of the finite, just as conversely the finite is the “other” of the infinite.

But for Hegel the infinite cannot simply be contrasted with the finite. Otherwise the infinite would “border” on the finite and would thus be limited and finite. Rather, the “truly infinite” must be thought of as encompassing the finite, as the “unity of the finite and the infinite, the unity which is itself the infinite, which understands itself and finitude in itself” (LI 158) .

Hegel does not want this unity to be understood pantheistically , since it is not a unity without difference, but one in which the infinite allows the finite to exist. He calls this the “true” or “affirmative infinity” (LI 156). It differs from the “bad infinity” (LI 149), which only comes about through a mere progress from border to border in an infinite progression and which lacks reference through the beyond of the border.

This reference also characterizes the finite; it is the result of its mediation with the infinite and constitutes the “being-for-itself” of the finite (LI 166). From the category of “being for oneself”, Hegel develops other determinations in the further course of the section on “quality”. If something is “for itself”, it is “ one ”. If this “one” is mediated by “others”, these are also to be regarded as “one”. The “one” results in the plurality of “one”. They differ from one another, but are also related to one another, which Hegel calls “repulsion” and “attraction” (LI 190ff.). Their uniform plurality leads to the concept of “quantity”.

Concepts of quantity

Separation ↔ Continuity
Intense Size ↔ Extensive Size

The crucial difference between quantity and quality is that the change in quantity means that the identity of what is changed remains. A thing remains what it is, regardless of whether it is made larger or smaller.

Hegel distinguishes between pure , indefinite quantity and definite quantity (the quantum ). So space as such is an instance of pure quantity. If, on the other hand, one speaks of a certain space, then it is an instance of the certain quantity.

The two terms “attraction” and “repulsion”, which are canceled in the category of quantity, become here the moments of continuity and separation ( discretion ). These two terms also presuppose one another. Continuity means that there is a continuously continuing “something”. This "something" is necessarily a "something" separate from an "other". Conversely, the concept of separation also presupposes that of continuity; one can only separate on the assumption that there is something that is not separate and from which that which is separate is separate.

A quantum is of a certain size, which can always be expressed by a number . The concept of number therefore belongs to the category of quantum. A number has two moments: it is determined as a number and as a unit . The concept of number as a sum of units includes the concept of separation, while the concept of unity includes continuity.

A quantum can be an “intensive” or “extensive” quantity. An intense variable (e.g. color sensation, feeling of warmth) can be characterized with the help of the term degree - a degree that has more or less intensity depending on the size. Extensive quantities (e.g. length or volume) have neither degree nor intensity. About extensive quantity is decided by means of an applied scale. Intensive quantities, on the other hand, cannot be determined by any measure outside of them. The physicalist theory that every intensive quantity can be reduced to an extensive quantity is rejected by Hegel.


The doctrine of "measure" deals with the unity of "quality" and "quantity". Hegel uses clear examples to explain the character of this unit. For example, the quantitative change in the temperature of the water leads to a qualitative change in its condition. It freezes or turns into steam (LI 440). This results in the determination of an underlying, indifferent “substrate” whose “states” change according to the proportions. The thought of something that is differentiated in this way into “substrate” and “states” leads to the second part of logic, the “doctrine of essence”.

Doctrine of essence

The doctrine of essence is considered the most difficult part of logic and was modified several times by Hegel. Hegel could not lean on the philosophical tradition here to the same extent as in the other two books ( Doctrine of Being , Doctrine of Concept ). The " transcendental logic " of Kant exerted the greatest influence , whose theoretical elements (modal and relational categories, concepts of reflection and antinomies) Hegel tried to derive conceptually consistent in a new context.

The concept of essence

Hegel paraphrases the concept of essence through that of “memory”, which he understands in the literal sense as “becoming inward” and “going into oneself”. It describes a sphere that lies deeper than the external immediacy of being, the surface of which must first be "pierced" in order to get to the essence. The logical determinations of being are different from that of being. In contrast to the categories based on the logic of being, they preferably appear in pairs and are determined by their relation to their respective other: essential and inessential, identity and difference, positive and negative, ground and grounded, form and matter, form and content, conditioned and unconditional etc.


Hegel begins with the treatise of the "reflection determinations", "identity", "difference", "contradiction" and "reason". He analyzes the determinations of reflection in their relationship to one another and shows that in their isolation from one another there is no truth in them. The most important reflection determination is that of "contradiction". Hegel attaches great importance to the fact that the contradiction should not be "pushed into subjective reflection" as in Kant (L II 75). This would mean “too much tenderness” (LI 276) for things. Rather, the contradiction belongs to the things themselves. It is "the principle of all self-movement" (L II 76) and therefore also present in all movement.

The principle of contradiction does not only apply to external movement, but is the basic principle of all living things: "Something is therefore alive, only insofar as it contains the contradiction in itself, namely this power is to grasp the contradiction in itself and to endure it" - otherwise it “dies in the contradiction”. This principle is particularly valid for the sphere of thinking: "Speculative thinking consists only in the fact that thinking holds on to the contradiction and in it itself" (L II 76). For Hegel, the contradiction is the structure of logical, natural, and spiritual reality in general.


In the second section of the essence logic, “The Appearance”, Hegel explicitly deals with Kant and the problem of the “ thing in itself ”. His intention is not only to eliminate the difference between “thing in itself” and “appearance”, but also to declare “appearance” to be the truth of the “thing in itself”: “Appearance is what the thing is about is itself, or its truth ”(L II 124–125).

What something is in itself is nowhere to be seen for Hegel but in its appearance and it is therefore pointless to build up a realm of the “in-itself” “behind it”. The “appearance” is the “higher truth” both against the “thing in itself” and against immediate existence, since it is the “essential, whereas the [immediate] existence is the as yet unsubstantial appearance” (L II 148).


In the third section, “The Reality”, Hegel discusses key lessons of the logical and metaphysical tradition. A central theme is the examination of Spinoza's concept of the absolute .

Hegel sees in the absolute on the one hand “all determinateness of essence and existence or of being in general as well as of reflection dissolved” (L II 187), since otherwise it could not be understood as the absolutely unconditional. But if it were only thought of as the negation of all predicates, then it would only be emptiness - although it should be thought of as its opposite, namely as fullness per se. But thinking cannot confront this absolute as an external reflection, because this would suspend the concept of the absolute. The interpretation of the Absolute can therefore not fall into an external reflection, but must rather be its own interpretation: "In fact, however, the interpretation of the Absolute is his own doing, and that begins with itself as it matters with itself" (L. II 190).

Doctrine of the concept

The third book of the science of logic develops a logic of the "concept", which is divided into the three sections "subjectivity", "objectivity" and "idea".

The subjectivity

In the section “Subjectivity”, Hegel deals with the classic doctrine of concept, judgment and conclusion.

To explain the “concept of the concept ”, Hegel recalls the “nature of the ego”. There is a structural analogy between the concept and the ego: like the concept, the ego is “a self-related unity, and this is not directly, but by abstracting from all determinateness and content and into freedom of unlimited equality with itself goes back ”(L II 253).

Hegel's use of the term “term” differs from what is commonly understood by a term. For him the concept is not an abstraction disregarding empirical content, but the concrete. An essential aspect of the concept is its “negativity”. Hegel rejects the concept of absolute identity on which the usual conceptual understanding is based, since for him the concept of identity necessarily includes the concept of difference.

Hegel's “concept” has three elements: generality, particularity (separation) and particularity (individuality). To negate means to determine and limit. The result of the negation of the general is that which is separate (particularity), which as a result of the negation of this negation (i.e. the negation of the particularity) is identical with the general, since the particularity returns to the original unity and becomes individuality.

For Hegel the concept is the unity of the general and the individual. This unity is explicated in the judgment “S is P”, where “S” is the subject, the individual, and “P” the predicate, the general.

According to Hegel, a sentence can very well have the grammatical form of a judgment without being a judgment. The sentence “Aristotle died in the 73rd year of his age, in the 4th year of the 115th Olympiad” (L II 305) is not a judgment. Although it shows the syntax of the judgment, it does not combine a general concept with the individual and thus does not meet the logical requirements of the judgment. Nevertheless, the above sentence can be a judgment, namely, if the sentence is used in a situation in which one doubted what year Aristotle died or how old he was, and the ending of the doubt is expressed in the sentence discussed here.

For Justus Hartnack, this means that Hegel actually - “without formulating it like that - introduces the analytical distinction between a sentence and its use. The same sentence can be used as an imperative, as a warning or threat, as a request, etc. ”.

In the end there is a unity of judgment and concept. Hegel considers the following example (from L II 383):

  1. All people are mortal
  2. Now Cajus is human
  3. Ergo, Cajus is mortal

The particular term (the particular) here is “people”, the individual (the particular) is Cajus, and the term “mortal” is the general. The result is a unity of the individual subject and the general or universal predicate, that is, the predicate in the judgment "Cajus is mortal".

The objectivity

For Hegel, the concept of the object can only be understood insofar as it has a necessary connection to the concept of the subject. In this respect, it is also the subject of the “science of logic”. Hegel's philosophical analysis leads step by step from a “mechanical” through a “chemical” to a “teleological” way of looking at the object. In the teleological object the processes that lead to the end and the end itself can no longer become different from each other. Subjectivity itself is objectified in it. Hegel calls this unity of subjectivity and objectivity the idea.

The idea

In the concept of the idea all determinations of the logic of being and essence as well as that of the logic of the concept are “canceled”. The idea is the true (L II 367); it is thus identical with everything that the science of logic explains in relation to the logical structure of being. All categories are integrated in the idea; with it the so-called movement of the concept ends.

Hegel distinguishes three aspects of the idea: life, knowledge and the absolute idea.

In life , the idea can be understood as a unity of soul and body. The soul makes an organism one in the first place. The various parts of an organism are what they are solely because of their relationship to the unity of the organism.

In knowledge (of the true and the good ) the knowing subject strives for knowledge of a given object. The object of knowledge is at the same time differentiated from the subject and identical with it.

Finally, in the absolute idea - as the culmination of philosophical thought - consciousness sees the identity of the subjective and the objective - of in-itself and for-itself. The subject recognizes itself as an object and the object is therefore the subject.

Natural philosophy

Nature and philosophy of nature

The transition from the idea to nature

According to Wandschneider, the transition from the idea to nature is one of the darkest passages in Hegel's work. At this point it is about the "notorious problem of metaphysics [...] what reason a divine Absolute might well have to perish in the creation of an imperfect world".

At the end of Logic, Hegel notes that the absolute idea as the final “logical” determination is still “included in the pure thought, the science of the divine concept only”. As it is still “included in subjectivity, it is the drive to abolish it” (L II 572) and “decides” to “free itself as nature from itself” (EI 393).

The logical has to emerge from itself due to its own dialectical character and oppose its other, nature, which is characterized by lack of concept and isolation. This alienation of the logical takes place ultimately to its own perfection.

The concept of nature

Hegel defines nature as “the idea in the form of otherness” (E II 24). With Hegel, nature as the non-logical remains dialectically tied back to the logical. As the other of the logical, it is basically itself still determined by this, i.e. H. Nature is non-logical only in its external appearance; by its nature it is "reason in itself". The intrinsically logical essence of nature is expressed in the laws of nature . These are the basis of "natural things" and determine their behavior, but without being a "natural thing" themselves. Laws of nature are not perceptible by the senses, but in turn have a logical existence; they exist in the thinking of the nature-knowing spirit.

In contrast to Schelling's early natural philosophy, Hegel does not see the relationship between idea and nature as being of equal weight; rather, for him, nature takes precedence over the idea. Nature is not simply an “idea” or “spirit”, but the “other”. In nature the idea is “external to itself”, but not the other way around, for example, nature is external to the idea.

Since for Hegel the spiritual as a whole belongs to a higher level than the merely natural, for him evil is to be ranked even higher than nature. The lack of nature shows itself, as it were, in the fact that it cannot even be evil: “But if spiritual randomness, arbitrariness, continues to the point of evil, this is itself an infinitely higher level than the regular change of the stars or than innocence the plant; for what is so lost is still spirit ”(E II 29).

In keeping with Kant's transcendental philosophy, Hegel does not understand nature as something merely "objective" and "immediate". It is not simply given to consciousness from the outside, but something that has always been grasped spiritually. At the same time, Hegel never plays off this known nature, which is also always constituted by the achievements of subjectivity, against a “nature in itself”. For Hegel it is pointless to ascribe to nature a "true" but not recognizable being that goes beyond consciousness.

Hegel regards nature "as a system of stages [...], one of which necessarily follows from the other and is the closest truth to that from which it results" (E II 31). The natural phenomena show "a tendency towards increasing coherence and ideality [.] - from the elementary separation to the ideality of the psychic".

However, the Hegelian concept of stages in nature should not be misunderstood as a theory of evolution. For Hegel, the succession of the stages “does not arise in such a way that one is naturally produced from the other, but rather in the inner idea which constitutes the basis of nature. The metamorphosis only applies to the concept as such, since its change is only development ”(E II 31).

Natural philosophy

Hegel understands natural philosophy as a "material" discipline, not as a mere theory of science . Like natural science, it addresses nature, but has a question that is different from it. It is not about a mere theoretical understanding of any object or phenomenon of "nature", but about its position on the path of the spirit to itself. For Hegel, "nature" is not just "objective". Understanding them always involves the mind's understanding of itself.

In his natural philosophy, Hegel differentiates - as was customary in the middle of the 19th century - the three disciplines, mechanics, physics and organic physics. Mechanics is the mathematical part of physics - in particular the changes in location - which had been separated from traditional Aristotelian physics since the 18th century and became increasingly independent. Physics, on the other hand, describes all other phenomena that are subject to change: the transformation processes of matter and the organic. Organic physics regards its objects, earth, plants and animals, as one organism.

Mechanics and physics

space and time
Categories of mechanics and physics

Space → time →
movement → mass

In contrast to Kant, Hegel does not understand space and time as mere forms of perception belonging to subjective knowledge . Rather, they also have reality, since they are constituted by the absolute idea.

For Hegel, space and time are not completely different, but rather closely interlinked: "Space is self-contradicting itself and creates itself at the time". “One is the creation of the other”. Only "in our imagination we let this fall apart". In his early natural philosophy (Jena period), which was still strongly influenced by Schelling , Hegel derived the concept of space itself from an even more original concept of the ether ; Only then did Hegel begin his post-Jena natural philosophy with the concept of space.

For Hegel, the three-dimensionality of space can be derived a priori. The category of the room must first of all be defined as the “abstract outside one another (E II 41). In its abstractness, this is synonymous with complete indifference. As such, however, it is no longer “apart” at all, because apart can only be what is distinguishable. The category of pure disagreement thus changes dialectically into that of the point that is defined as “not apart”. Nonetheless, the point, according to its “origin” from the pure separation, remains related to this. That is, the point is related to other points, which in turn are related to points. This reciprocal relationship of points is the line , which at the same time represents itself as a synthesis of apart and not apart. This still “point-like” character of the line results in the abolition of this form of non-separation and thus the “stretching” of the line into a surface . The two-dimensional surface, as the perfect form of non-disassembly, represents the limit of three-dimensional space, which must therefore be considered the actual form of the disagreement.

Hegel's concept of time is directly linked to the previously developed concept of space. The space is essentially determined by the fact that it is delimited from another space into which it “passes”. This negativity, which is already contained in the concept of space but not yet explicit, represents a “lack of space” (E II 47 Z), which now motivates the introduction of the concept of time.

Time is ever only be ascertainable by Hegel that something permanent can have, d. H. alternating at the same time is also preserved and so the “now is fixed as being” (E II 51). Such a fixation is only possible in a spatial form. In this respect, the concept of time remains essentially related to the concept of space.

On the other hand, duration includes change: “If things last, time goes by and does not rest; here time appears as independent and different from things ”(E II 49 Z). By changing other things in the meantime, however, they allow time to become visible, to which ultimately everything must fall: namely, because “things are finite, therefore they are in time; not because they are in time that is why they perish, but things themselves are temporal; to be like this is their objective destiny. So the process of real things itself makes time ”.

The three time modes, past, present and future, are what Hegel calls "dimensions of time" (E II 50). In the real sense of being, only the now of the present is of it, which, however, constantly becomes non-being. Past and future, on the other hand, have no existence at all. They are only in the subjective memory or in fear and hope (E II 51).

Eternity must be distinguished from time as the totality of past, present and future . Hegel does not understand eternity as something beyond that which must come after time; for in this way “eternity would be made into the future, a moment of time” (E II 49): “Eternity is not before or after time, not before the creation of the world, nor when it perishes; but eternity is absolute present, the now without before and after ”(E II 25).

Matter and movement

According to Hegel, with the categories of space and time, the category of movement is initially further involved. But movement only has meaning relative to something that is not in motion, i.e. H. the category of movement always implies that of rest . But only something can be at rest if it is identical in motion and thus defines a specific, individual place as a reference instance of motion. Such an individual that is identically preserved in motion is, according to Hegel, the mass . The “logic” of the concept of movement also demands the category of mass.

A mass itself can also be moved relative to another mass. In this case, the relation of motion is symmetrical: each of the two masses can be regarded as either stationary or moving, thus formulating the principle of relativity of motion.

According to the relativity principle of motion, a mass can either be viewed as stationary, namely in relation to itself, or as moving, namely in relation to another mass (moved relative to it). In principle, the mass can be either stationary or moving. It is therefore, according to Hegel, “indifferent to both” and in this sense sluggish : “Insofar as it rests, it rests and does not go into motion by itself; if it is in motion, it is in motion and does not pass into rest for itself ”(E II 65 Z). The dynamic is a possibility inherent in matter itself; it is “the own essence of matter, which itself also belongs to its inwardness” (E II 68 Z).


The "organics" contains Hegel's theory of life. According to Hegel, life has chemical processes as a prerequisite and is at the same time their “truth”. In chemical processes, the unification and separation of substances still fall apart, in organic processes both sides are inextricably linked. The individual inorganic processes are independent of each other - one process follows the other in the organism. In addition, the organism is fundamentally structured reflexively, while a mere interaction takes place in the chemical reactions. Hegel considers this reflexive structure to be the decisive criterion of life: "If the products of the chemical process themselves began to work again, they would be life" (E II 333 Z).

The "vegetable nature"

For Hegel, the characteristic of the plant is its only “formal subjectivity” (E II 337). It is not centered in itself, its members are therefore relatively independent: "the part - the bud, branch, etc. - is also the whole plant" (E II 371). According to Hegel, this lack of concrete subjectivity is the reason for the direct unity of the plant with its environment, which is evident in the uninterrupted consumption of non-individualized food, in the lack of movement, animal warmth and feeling (E II 373 f.). The plant is also dependent on light, which Hegel describes as “its external self” (E II 412).

The "animal organism"

The animal or the animal organism represents the highest level of realization of the organic. It is the "true organism" (E II 429). Its main characteristic is that its members lose their independence and it thus becomes a concrete subject (E II 337).

The animal's relationship to its environment is characterized by greater independence compared to the plant, which is expressed in its ability to change location and to interrupt eating. The animal also has a voice with which it can express its inwardness, warmth and sensation (E II 431 Z).

With the reproduction of individuals, “the species as such has entered into reality for itself and has become something higher than nature”. The general turns out to be the truth of the particular. However, this general is connected with the death of the individual organism. The new organism is also a single one, which must therefore also die. Only in the spirit is the general positively united with the individual and d. H. Known by him as such: “In animals, however, the species does not exist, but is only in itself; only in the spirit is it in and for itself in its eternity ”(E II 520).

The animal reaches its highest point in reproduction - precisely because of this it has to die: “Lower animal organisms, e.g. B. Butterflies therefore die immediately after copulation, because they have canceled their individuality in the species, and their individuality is their life ”(E II 518 f. Z).

For the individual organism, "its inappropriateness to the general public [...] is its original illness and (the) innate germ of death" (E II 535). In death the highest point of nature, and thus nature as a whole, is negated - of course only in an abstract way. “Death is only the abstract negation of what is inherently negative; it is itself nothing, the obvious nothingness. But the posited nullity is at the same time the repealed and the return to the positive ”(Rel I 175f.). This same affirmative negation of nature, which also has no truth as an organism, is, according to Hegel, the spirit: "Nature's ultimate being outside of itself is abolished, and the concept that is only in itself in it has thus become for itself" (E II 537) .

Philosophy of mind

The concept of mind

For Hegel, the spirit is the truth and the “absolute first” of nature (E III 16). In it the alienation of the concept is abolished, the idea arrives "to be for itself" (E III 16).

While nature always remains something different and immediate from the spirit, even as something permeated with thinking, to which “the concept” is directed, object and concept coincide in spirit. “Spirit” is that which comprehends and that which is conceived; he has “the concept for his existence” (E II 537).

The spirit, which is directed towards the spiritual, is with itself and therefore free. All forms of the mind have a fundamentally self-referential structure. It already appears in the forms of the subjective mind, but only finds its characteristic shape where the mind is "objectified" and becomes "objective mind". Finally, in the form of the “absolute spirit”, knowledge and the object of the spirit coincide to form the “unity of the objectivity of the spirit that exists in and for itself” (E III 32).

Subjective mind

Stages of mental development

natural soul → feeling soul → real soul

From a systematic point of view, the first part of the philosophy of the subjective spirit is represented by what Hegel calls "anthropology". Its theme is not the human being as such, but the soul , which Hegel distinguishes from consciousness and spirit. The subjective mind is here “in itself or directly”, whereas in consciousness it appears as “mediated for itself” and in the mind as “self-determining” (E III 38).

Hegel turns firmly against the modern dualism of body and soul . For him the soul is immaterial, but it is not in opposition to nature. Rather, it is “the general immateriality of nature, its simple ideal life” (E III 43). As such, it is always related to “nature”. The soul is only there where there is corporeality ; it represents the principle of movement to transcend corporeality in the direction of consciousness.

The development of the soul goes through the three stages of a "natural", a "feeling" and a "real soul" (E III 49).

The "natural soul" is still completely interwoven with nature and not even reflected in itself in an immediate way. The world, which has not yet come to itself through an act of abstraction, cannot be detached from it, but forms a part of it.

The “feeling soul” differs from the “natural” one in that it is more reflective. In this context, Hegel essentially deals with parapsychological phenomena, mental illnesses and the phenomenon of habit.

Hegel considers phenomena such as " animal magnetism " ( Mesmer ) and "artificial somnambulism " ( Puységur ) to be evidence of the ideal nature of the soul. In contrast to Mesmer, Hegel already interprets these phenomena psychologically, like Puységur and later James Braid . Their connection between the natural and the spiritual forms the general basis of mental illness for him . The "pure spirit" cannot be sick; only through the persistence in the particularity of its self-esteem, through its “particular embodiment” is the “subject formed to an intelligent consciousness still capable of illness” (E III 161). The madness contains "essentially the contradiction of a bodily, having become feeling against the totality of the mediations which the concrete consciousness is" (E III 162 A). To this extent, mental illnesses are always of a psychosomatic nature for Hegel. To cure them, Hegel recommends that the doctor should go into his patient's delusions and then reduce them to absurdity by pointing out their impossible consequences (E III 181f. Z).

By habit , the various feelings become a "second nature", d. H. to an "immediacy set by the soul" (E III 184 A). The moment of their naturalness means a bondage; at the same time, however, it relieves the burden of immediate sensations and opens the soul "for further activity and occupation - of sensation and the consciousness of the spirit in general" (E III 184).

The “real soul” arises in the process of liberating the spirit from naturalness. In it the corporeality finally becomes mere "externality [...] in which the subject only refers to itself" (E III 192). For Hegel, the spiritual does not stand abstractly next to the corporeal, but it permeates it. In this context, Hegel speaks of a “spiritual tone poured out over the whole, which directly reveals the body as the externality of a higher nature” (E III 192).


The middle section of the philosophy of the subjective mind has consciousness or its “subject” (E III 202), the ego , as its object. The soul becomes the I by reflecting in itself and drawing a boundary between itself and the object. While the soul is not yet able to reflect itself out of its content, the sensations, the ego is precisely defined by the “differentiating itself from itself” (E III 199 Z).

Because of this ability to abstract, the ego is empty and lonely - for every objective content is outside of it. But the ego also refers to what it excludes, in that the understanding “accepts the differences as independent and at the same time also establishes their relativity”, but “does not bring these thoughts together, does not unite them into a concept” (EI 236 A). Consciousness is therefore “the contradiction between the independence of both sides and their identity in which they are suspended” (E III 201).

The ego's dependence on its object is based precisely on the fact that it has to “repel” the object from itself in order to be an ego. This is evident in the development of consciousness in the fact that a change in its object corresponds to a change in itself - and vice versa (E III 202). The goal of the development is that the ego also expressly recognizes the object, which is always identical to it, as such - that it also understands itself in the content of the object, which is initially foreign to it.

The final stage of consciousness, in which an “identity of the subjectivity of the concept and its objectivity” (E III 228) is reached, is reason - the “concept of spirit” (E III 204), which leads to psychology.

Forms of the (subjective) mind
subjektiver Geist
├── theoretischer Geist
│  ├── Anschauung
│  │  ├── Gefühl
│  │  ├── Aufmerksamkeit
│  │  └── eigentliche Anschauung
│  ├── Vorstellung
│  └── Denken
├── praktischer Geist
│  ├── praktisches Gefühl
│  ├── Triebe und Willkür
│  └── Glückseligkeit
└── freier Geist

The subject of Hegel's "Psychology" is the spirit in the real sense. While the soul was still bound to nature, the consciousness to an external object, the spirit is no longer subject to foreign bindings. From now on, Hegel's system is no longer about the knowledge of an "object", but about the knowledge of the spirit of itself: "The spirit therefore only begins with its own being and only relates to its own determinations" (E III 229). It first becomes a theoretical, practical, and free spirit, and later finally an objective and absolute spirit.

Theoretical and practical mind

Hegel's definition of the relationship between theoretical and practical spirit is ambivalent. On the one hand, he sees a priority of the theoretical mind, since the “will” (practical mind) is more limited than the “intelligence” (theoretical mind). While the will “gets involved in battle with the external, resisting matter, with the exclusive particularity of the real, and at the same time has to face other human wills”, the intelligence “goes in its expression only up to the word - this fleeting, vanishing, in a completely ideal realization that takes place without resistance ”, thus remains“ completely self-contained in its expression ”and“ self-satisfied ”(E III 239 Z). Dealing with material reality is described by Hegel as exhausting and laborious - the practical spirit is therefore devalued compared to the theoretical. The theoretical spirit, on the other hand, is an end in itself that remains.

On the other hand, Hegel evaluates the practical mind as an advance over the theoretical and even makes it the real-philosophical counterpart of its highest logical category, the idea: “The practical mind not only has ideas, but is the living idea itself. It is self-determining and spirit giving external reality to its determinations. A distinction must be made between the ego, how it only theoretically or ideally and how it makes itself an object, practically or real, into objectivity ”(NS 57).

The language

Language is an essential element of the theoretical mind . It is the activity of the “imagination that creates symbols” (E III 268). For Hegel, language essentially has a designative function . With it, the spirit gives the ideas formed from the images of perception “a second, higher […] existence” (E III 271). Language is essential for thinking . According to Hegel, memory is linguistic memory; it does not contain images but names in which meanings and symbols coincide (E III 277f.). The reproductive memory recognizes without intuition or image , solely on the basis of the name and thus enables thinking: “With the name lion we neither need to see such an animal nor even the image itself, but the name, in which we understand it, is without images simple imagination. It is in names that we think ”(E III 278).

Hegel repeatedly emphasizes that it is impossible to fix the details of a thing in language. Language inevitably transforms - against the inner intention of the speaker - all sensual determinations into something general and is to that extent more intelligent than our own opinion (PG 85). In addition, language transcends the isolation of the ego by canceling out my merely subjective opinion of the individual: “Since language is the work of thought, nothing can be said in it that is not general. What I only mean is mine, belongs to me as this special individual; but if the language expresses only general things, then I cannot say what I only mean ”(EI 74).

Although Hegel recognizes the linguistic nature of thinking, for him thinking nevertheless has a primary existence over language. Thinking does not depend on language, but conversely, language depends on thinking (E III 272). The reason congealed in language is to be discovered - analogous to reason in myth . For Hegel, philosophy has a language-normalizing function (L II 407).

Drive, inclination, passion

Hegel emphasizes the "rational nature" of drives , inclinations, and passions , which he regards as a form of the practical mind. They have “on the one hand the rational nature of the mind as their foundation”, but on the other hand are “afflicted with randomness”. They limit the will to one determination among many in which the “subject lays the whole living interest of his spirit, talent, character, pleasure”. Yet for Hegel “nothing great has been accomplished without passion, nor can it be accomplished without it. It is only a dead morality, even too often hypocritical, which goes against the form of passion as such ”(E III 296).

Hegel defends himself against any moral evaluation of passion and inclinations. For him there is generally no activity “without interest”. Hegel therefore attributes a “formal reasonableness” to the passions; they have the tendency to “cancel subjectivity through the activity of the subject itself” and thus “to be realized” (E III 297).

Objective mind

The best-known area of ​​Hegelian philosophy is his philosophy of the objective mind. In the "objective mind" the "subjective mind" becomes objective. Hegel regards "law", "morality" and "morality" as forms of social life.

Natural law and positive law

Hegel is close to the natural law tradition. For him, however, the term “ natural law ” is wrong because it contains the ambiguity “that it means 1) the essence and concept of something and 2) unconscious, immediate nature as such”. For Hegel, the ground of validity of norms cannot be nature, but only reason .

Natural law and positive law are complementary for Hegel . Positive law is more concrete than natural law, since it must be related to empirical framework conditions. The foundation of positive law can only take place by means of natural law.

Freedom and justice

The constituent principle of natural law norms is free will (R 46). The will can only be free if it has itself as its content: Only “free will that wants free will” (R 79) is truly autonomous, since the content is set in it by thinking. This will no longer relates to anything foreign; it is both subjective and objective (R 76f.). According to Hegel, right is identical with free will. It is therefore not a barrier to freedom, but its consummation. The negation of arbitrariness by the law is in truth a liberation. In this context, Hegel criticizes Rousseau's and Kant's legal conception, which would have interpreted the law as something secondary, and criticizes their “shallowness of thoughts” (cf. R 80f.).

The person

The basic concept of abstract law is the person . The person is abstracted from all particularity; it is general, formal self-reference. This abstractness is on the one hand a prerequisite for equality among people, on the other hand the reason that the spirit as a person “does not yet have its particularity and fulfillment in itself but in an external thing” (E III 306).

Ownership and Contract

Hegel justifies the necessity of property with the fact that the person “in order to be as an idea” (R 102) must have an external existence. For Hegel, nature is not a direct legal subject . Everything natural can become the property of man - nature has no right to his will: animals “have no right to their life because they do not want it” (R 11 Z). Property is not just a means of satisfying needs, but an end in itself, since it represents a form of freedom.

The alienation of property occurs in the contract . Work and intellectual products can also be sold. For Hegel goods are inalienable "which make up my own person and the general essence of my self-confidence, like my personality in general, my general freedom of will, morality, religion" (R 141); likewise “the right to live” (R 144 Z).

The contract is the truth of property; in it the intersubjective relation of property is expressed. The essence of the contract consists in the agreement of two people to form a common will. In it the contradiction is “conveyed”, “that I am and remain the owner for myself, excluding the other will, as I cease to be owner in a will that is identical with the other” (R 155).


Following Kant, Hegel advocates an "absolute" theory of punishment : Punishment is given because an injustice has occurred ("quia peccatum est") and not - as is common in contemporary relative theory of punishment - so that further injustice does not occur ("ne peccetur") . Hegel justifies his approach with the need to restore the violated right. Violated law must be restored, otherwise the law would be revoked and instead the crime would apply (R 187 et seq.). The necessary restoration of the violated right can only take place by negating its violation, the punishment .

The restoration of justice through punishment is not something that would happen against the will of the criminal. The will that is in itself violated by the criminal is also his own reasonable will: “The injury that happens to the criminal is not only just in itself - as just it is at the same time his will that is in itself, an existence of his freedom, his right "(R 190).


Hegel did not develop his own ethics . His remarks on “ morality ” contain critical reflections on ethical tradition and elements of a theory of action .

Hegel distinguishes between a general right will that is in itself and the subjective will that is for itself. These two wills can be in opposition to one another, which results in a violation of the law. In order to convey their opposition, a “moral will” is required, which mediates both forms of will with one another.

Since the (subjective) will is always directed towards a content or purpose, it cannot be viewed on its own. The relationship to its external content only enables the will to relate to itself. Through its external content, the will is “determined for me as mine in such a way that it contains in its identity not only my inner purpose, but also, insofar as it has received external objectivity, my subjectivity for me” (R 208).

Intent and guilt

In the analysis of “ intent ” and “ guilt ”, Hegel deals with the different dimensions of the problem of imputation . Hegel advocates a broad concept of fault that also extends to cases that are not caused by my "deed" but, for example, by my property. Hegel thus anticipates the concept of strict liability , which was only developed at the end of the 19th century and plays an important role in today's civil law .

The moment of intent separates the concept of action from that of deed . Nevertheless, Hegel does not just take the concept of intent in a subjective way. It also includes in it the consequences that are directly related to the purpose of the action. In the area of ​​criminal law, Hegel therefore demands that the success of an intentional act should be taken into account when determining the sentence (R 218f. A).

Intention and good

Hegel turns against the tendency of his time to presuppose a break between the "objective of the actions" and the "subjective of the motives, of the inner". For him, purposes that are valid in and of themselves and subjective satisfaction cannot be separated. There is a right of the individual to satisfy the needs that he has as an organic being: "There is nothing degrading in the fact that someone lives, and there is no higher spirituality opposite him in which one could exist" (R 232 Z) .

The good and the conscience

Hegel criticizes Kant's categorical imperative as meaningless. Everything and nothing can be justified with him - everything if you make certain conditions, nothing if you don't make them. So it is of course a contradiction to steal if property is supposed to exist; if this precondition is not met, then stealing is not contradictory: "The fact that there is no property contains just as little a contradiction as that this or that individual people, family, etc. does not exist or that no people live at all." (R 252 A ).

The decision about what should apply concretely falls into the subjective conscience . However, this has no fixed provisions, since these can only be given from the standpoint of morality. Only the true conscience, as a unity of subjective knowledge and objective norm, is what Hegel regards as a "sanctuary which would be violated". The conscience must be subjected to the judgment “whether it is true or not”. The state “can therefore not recognize conscience in its peculiar form, ie as subjective knowledge, any more than in science the subjective opinion, the assurance and appeal to a subjective opinion, has a validity” (R 254 A).

For Hegel, evil is the purely subjective conscience in which one's own particular will makes itself the principle of action. It represents an intermediate form between naturalness and spirituality. On the one hand, evil is no longer nature; because the purely natural will is “neither good nor bad” (R 262 A), since it is not yet reflected in itself. On the other hand, evil is also not an act of true spirituality, since the evil will holds on to the natural instincts and inclinations with all the power of subjectivity: “Man is therefore at the same time evil both in himself or by nature and through his reflection in himself, so that neither the Nature as such, that is, if it were not the naturalness of the will that remains in its special content, nor the reflection going into itself, the knowledge in general, if it were not held in that opposition, is evil for itself ”(R 260 et seq ).


The third and most important part of the philosophy of the objective spirit constitutes for Hegel " morality ". It is the "concept of freedom that has become the existing world and the nature of self-consciousness" (R 142). Its institutions are the family, civil society and the state.

Morality has a contradicting structure. Its “laws and powers” ​​do not initially have the character of freedom for the individual subject, but are “an absolute, infinitely more stable authority and power than the being of nature” (R 295). On the other hand, they are the very own product of the will itself. The forms of the will (family, society, state) are indeed subject to historical development; For Hegel, however, they did not arise arbitrarily, but constitute the “substance” of the will. Hegel is thus an opponent of the social models of contract theory that have been common since the early modern period .

The family

The basis of the family is the feeling of love (R 307). Hegel emphasizes the contradictory character of love: it is the "most monstrous contradiction that the understanding cannot resolve, as there is nothing harder than this punctuality of self-consciousness, which is negated and which I should nevertheless have as affirmative" (R 307 Z ). In the family one has rights only with regard to their external aspects (assets) or when they are dissolved (R 308); love itself cannot be the object of law (cf. R 366 Z).

The marriage has its starting point in sexuality , she has but transform it into a spiritual unity (R 309f.). Hegel opposes both a contract-theoretical and a naturalistic reduction of marriage. Both interpretations fail to recognize the intermediate character of marriage, on the one hand being constituted by an act of will and yet not being an arbitrary contractual relationship, on the other hand not being mere nature, but still having a natural moment in itself.

Love as a relationship between the spouses is objectified in the children and becomes a person itself (R 325). Only with them is the marriage completed and becomes a family in the true sense of the word. According to Hegel, children are legal subjects; they have the right “to be fed and brought up” (R 326). They are “in themselves free” and “therefore belong neither to others nor to their parents as things” (R 327).

The child's relationship to the world has always been mediated by the traditions of the parents: “The world does not come to this consciousness as something becoming, as it has been up to now, in the absolute form of an external one, but through the form of consciousness; its inorganic nature is the knowledge of the parents, the world is already prepared; and the form of ideality is what comes to the child ”. For Hösle, Hegel anticipates “the basic idea of ​​the (transcendental) hermeneutics of Peirce and Royce ”: “There is no direct subject-object relation; rather, this relation is interwoven and permeated by the subject-subject relation of tradition ”.

Hegel does not consider marriage indissoluble (R 313); nevertheless, they can only be separated by a moral authority such as the state or the church. If the divorce is too easy, there is a moment when the “state is dissolved” (R 321). Hegel therefore assumes that institutions have a right to hold on to marriage even if the spouses no longer want it: the right against its dissolution is a "right of the marriage itself, not of the individual person as such" (R 308) .

Civil society

Hegel is considered to be the one who "for the first time made the concept of bourgeois society a subject of principle and raised it to a conceptual awareness of itself". He addresses society as an area of ​​the social that represents a reality of its own in relation to family and state in Hegel on the “ground of mediation” between the individual and the state. This mediation is primarily carried out by the so-called “system of needs” (R 346), by which Hegel understands the system of bourgeois economy .

  • The "system of needs"

Hegel highlights the alienated character of modern production and modern consumption . He attributes this to the increasing education in bourgeois society, in which the natural basic needs of humans and thus the means of satisfying them are increasingly differentiated and refined (R 347 ff.). As a result, an ever-more particularization carried out the work (R 351) that an ever increasing division of labor makes necessary and eventually replaces the man by the machine (R f 352nd). This replacement of human work by the machine is, on the one hand, a relief, but on the other hand, it means that by subjugating nature, man also humiliates himself: “But every deception that he exercises against nature and with which he stops within its individuality takes revenge on himself; what he gains from it, the more he subjugates it, the lower he himself becomes ”(GW 6, 321).

With the increasing division of labor, work becomes “more and more mechanical” (R. 353); it is no longer directed towards living nature; Work and product no longer have anything to do with each other. People become more dependent on one another (R 352); because “people no longer work out what they need or no longer need what they have worked for” (GW 6, 321 f.).

Despite this criticism of alienation, for Hegel the spirit can only come to itself in the system of modern economy. Through work he can free himself from his direct dependence on nature (cf. R 344 f. A). People's loss of autonomy through their mutual dependence on one another also has the positive side that “subjective selfishness turns into a contribution to the satisfaction of the needs of all others” in that “everyone acquires, produces and enjoys for himself, he just for the pleasure the rest produces and purchases ”(R 353).

  • Litigation and police law

Hegel represents the general equality of rights for all citizens (R 360 A). The law must be formulated in the form of laws, because this is the only way to achieve generality and specificity (R 361 f.). Hegel rejects English customary law , arguing that in this way the judges would become legislators (R 363).

The law is only real if it can be enforced in court . It is therefore the duty and right of the state and the citizens to institute courts and answer them before them.

Hegel recognizes the great importance of procedural law , which for him has the same status as material laws (GW 8, 248). He advocates the settlement of cases under civil law (R 375 f.), The public administration of justice (R 376) and the establishment of jury courts (R 380 f.).

The police have to promote the welfare of the individual within the law. (R 381 Z). It has to perform security, regulatory, social, economic and health policy tasks (R 385 Z). The police also have the right to prohibit actions that are only possibly harmful and that Hegel clearly distinguishes from crimes (R 383). Basically, however, Hegel calls for a liberal state that trusts that the citizen "does not have to be restricted by a concept and by virtue of a law not to modify the other's modifiable matter" (JS 86).

  • Economic liberalism and the "rabble"

Despite all police regulations, civil society and participation in it remain “subject to chance”, the more so, the more it “presupposes the conditions of skill, health, capital, etc.” (R § 200). Hegel states that bourgeois society on the one hand increases wealth, but on the other hand increases "the isolation and limitation of special work and thus the dependence and hardship of the class bound to this work" (R § 242). Civil society tears individuals from their family ties (R 386). The increasing division of labor and constant overproduction lead to unemployment and a further increase in poverty. This leads to the formation of the “ rabble ”, a disintegrated social class, which is characterized by “internal outrage against the rich, against society, the government” and becomes “reckless and work-shy”: “This creates the evil in the rabble, that he does not have the honor to find his subsistence through his work, and yet to find his subsistence when his right speaks ”(R § 242 + addition). It is therefore "a particularly moving and tormenting" question of modern societies, "how to alleviate poverty" (R 389f. Z).

To solve the social question raised by him, Hegel only suggests two approaches: the expansion of civil society by opening up new sales markets (R 391) and the establishment of corporations , i.e. H. professional, cooperative organizations. As a last resort, Hegel recommends “leaving the poor to their fate and instructing them to beg in public ” (R 390 Z).

The State

Hegel ascribes a godlike character to the state : "It is the course of God in the world that the state is; its ground is the power of reason which is realized as will" (R 403 Z). Hegel is primarily concerned with the idea of ​​the state, not with actually existing states.

The state represents the reality of law. Freedom is realized and perfected in it. Precisely for this reason it is “the highest duty [...] to be a member of the state” (R 399), which is why it must not be “dependent on the arbitrariness of the individual” to leave the state again (R 159 Z).

The relationship between law and state is twofold: on the one hand, the law represents the basis of the state; on the other hand, law can only become a reality in the state and thus a change from mere morality to morality can take place.

For Hegel, the state has an end in itself. There must be an institution in which “the interests of the individual as such” is not the “ultimate purpose” (R 399 A). Objective and subjective freedom penetrate one another in it. The supreme principle of the state should be an objective will, the claim to validity of which does not depend on whether or not what is reasonable is "recognized by individuals and willed at their discretion" (R 401).

The well-ordered state brings the interests of the individual and the general interest into harmony. In it the concrete freedom is realized, in which "neither the general is valid and accomplished without the special interest, knowledge and willing, nor the individuals only live for the latter as private persons and do not at the same time want in and for the general" (R 407 ).

  • The authorities

Hegel attaches great importance to the fact that one of the prerequisites for a good state, in addition to a corresponding attitude of the citizens, is above all the establishment of efficient institutions. For example, the example of Marcus Aurelius shows that the poor condition of the Roman Empire could not be changed by a morally exemplary ruler (“Philosopher on the Throne”, GP II 35) (GP II 295).

For Hegel, the ideal form of government is the constitutional monarchy . In it there should be a legislative, a government and a “princely power” (R 435).

The prince represents the unity of the state. With his signature he must ultimately confirm all decisions of the legislative power. Hegel advocates a hereditary monarchy because on the one hand it expresses the fact that it does not matter who becomes a monarch, and on the other hand his appointment is withdrawn from human arbitrariness (R 451 f.).

The government stands between the princely and the legislative power. It has to carry out and apply the princely individual decisions. Hegel also subordinates the "judicial and police powers" (R 457) directly to government powers. Hegel advocates a professional civil service which, however, should not be recruited on the basis of birth, but solely on the basis of qualifications (R 460f.).

According to Hegel, the legislative power should be exercised within the framework of a class representation . Hegel advocates a two-chamber system . The first chamber is to be formed by the “state of natural morality” (R 474f.), I.e. noble landowners who are called to their task by birth. The second chamber is made up of the "movable side of civil society" (R 476). Its members are representatives of certain "spheres" of civil society appointed by their corporations. Insofar as Hegel's estates represent basically nothing else than organizational forms of various major economic and social concerns, one could also think of the political parties in the attempt to translate the ideas and ideals underlying Hegel's formulations into terms that are easier to understand today, those in the democratic The constitutional state primarily has the function of representing and mediating social pluralism of interests and state unity of action. Against this background, Hegel has recently been reinterpreted as a kind of “critical friend of the parties”.

  • External constitutional law

Among the most heavily criticized parts of Hegel's work are his reflections on “external constitutional law”. Hegel assumes that for ontological reasons there must necessarily be several states. The state is an "organism" that exists for itself and as such is related to other states (R 490f.). There is so necessarily a multitude of states; According to Hegel, their relationship to one another can best be characterized by the concept of the state of nature . There is no supranational power and legislative body. They are therefore not in any legal relationship to one another and they cannot do one another injustice. Their disputes can therefore "only be decided by war "; Hegel considers the Kantian idea of ​​a previous arbitration by a confederation to be absurd (R 500).

Furthermore, Hegel does not consider war to be an “absolute evil”, but recognizes it as a “moral factor” (R 492). He gives the governments the advice to ignite wars from time to time: In order not to fix the isolated communities within the state, to let the whole thing fall apart and the spirit to evaporate, the government has them inside from time to time to shake the wars, to violate and confuse their adjusted order and right of independence in this way, but to the individuals who tear themselves deeply from the whole and strive for the inviolable being for themselves and the security of the person, in that imposed work their master Death to feel ”(PG 335).

The world history

World history represents the highest level of the objective spirit . It is "the spiritual reality in its full extent of inwardness and outwardness" (R 503).

In world history and the rise and fall of individual states, the objective spirit becomes the general “ world spirit ” (R 508). He uses the finite forms of the subjective and objective mind as tools of his own realization. Hegel describes this process as the “ world judgment ” (R 503), which represents the highest and absolute right .

The ultimate purpose of world history is the final reconciliation of nature and spirit (VPhW 12, 56). Linked to this is the establishment of an " eternal peace " in which all peoples can find their fulfillment as special states. In this peace the judgment of history is over; "Because only that which is not in accordance with the concept goes into judgment" (VPhW 12, 56).

"The principle of development begins with the history of Persia, and that is why this actually marks the beginning of world history."

The great events and lines of development in world history can only be understood in the light of the idea of ​​freedom, the development of which is necessary for the attainment of eternal peace. The essential characteristics of the spirit of a particular historical epoch are revealed in the great events which represent important advances in the greater freedom of peoples.

Hegel distinguishes “four realms” or worlds, which follow one another like the periods of a person's life. The oriental world is compared with childhood and boyhood, the Greek with youth, the Roman with manhood, and the Germanic - by which Western Europe is meant - with old age.

Europe itself has three parts: the area around the Mediterranean , which is its youth; the heart ( Western Europe ) with France, England and Germany as the most important world-historical states and northeastern Europe, which developed late and is still strongly connected with prehistoric Asia.

The history of peoples usually takes place in three different periods:

  1. the period of "producing". In it “a people lives for its work” and produces “what its inner principle is” (VPhW 12, 45). It is a period of great activity, without conflict, in which individuals are completely absorbed in the collective work.
  2. the period when “the spirit has what it wants” and “no longer needs its activity” (VPhW 12, 46). The people live here "in the transition from manhood to old age, enjoying what has been achieved [...] in the habit of their being" (VPhW 12, 46). The unchanged survival of a people in this period of the needless continuation of the habit amounts to a "natural death".
  3. the period of “reflection” and “subjectivity” (VPhW 12, 50f.). It is lived through by peoples with a role in world history. The existing ideas of virtue and morality are being questioned; generally valid justifications for them are sought. It is the time of science and philosophy to blossom. This search for ideal satisfaction is “the path on which the folk spirit prepares its downfall from the bottom” (VPhW 12, 51).

A people can only play a role in world history once, because it can only go through this third period once. The higher level that follows afterwards is "again something natural, appears as a new people" (VPhW 12, 55).

Absolute spirit

Hegel's philosophy of "absolute mind" encompasses his theory of art , religion, and philosophy. It was hardly worked out in the works he published himself and can be found predominantly in the lecture notes.

The spirit only becomes the absolute spirit of the principle of the world, i.e. H. of the absolute idea, conscious (E III 366). The absolute spirit is present in art, religion and philosophy - albeit in a different form. While in art the Absolute looked at is, it is in religion presented and philosophy thought .

In art , subject and object fall apart. The work of art is “a very common external object that does not feel itself and does not know itself”; the consciousness of its beauty falls into the looking subject (Rel I 137). In addition, the absolute appears in art only in the form of its beauty and can therefore only be “looked at”.

The object of religion , on the other hand, no longer has anything natural about it. The absolute is no longer present in it as an external object, but as an idea in the religious subject; it is “transferred from the objectivity of art into the inwardness of the subject” (Ä I 142). The religious idea, however, still occupies an intermediate position between sensuality and concept, to which it stands “in constant restlessness”. This intermediate position is evident for Hegel et al. a. in that for religion stories, e.g. B. "the story of Jesus Christ", are of great importance, although in them a "timeless event" is meant (Rel I 141f.).

In philosophy, on the other hand, the absolute is recognized for what it actually is. It understands the inner unity of the manifold religious ideas in a purely conceptual way and "through systematic thinking" appropriates that "which is otherwise only the content of subjective feelings or ideas". To this extent, philosophy also represents the synthesis of art and religion; In it “the two sides of art and religion are united: the objectivity of art, which here has indeed lost its external sensuality, but has therefore exchanged it for the highest form of the objective, with the form of thought, and the subjectivity of religion, which is purified to the subjectivity of thinking ”(Ä I 143f.).


The specific object of art is beauty . The beautiful is “the sensual shining of the idea” (Ä I 151). In this respect, art, like religion and philosophy, has a relation to truth - the idea. For Hegel, beauty and truth are “on the one hand the same”, since the beautiful must be “true in itself”. However, in the beautiful, the idea is not thought of as it is in "its per se and general principle". Rather, the idea should “be realized externally” and “gain natural and spiritual objectivity” (Ä I 51).

Hegel rejects the Enlightenment view that aesthetics primarily have to imitate nature : “The truth of art must therefore not be a mere correctness, to which the so-called imitation of nature is limited, but the outside must coincide with something inside, that in itself coincides and precisely through this can reveal itself as itself externally ”(Ä I 205). Rather, the task of art is to make the essence of reality appear.

In contrast to Plato's view, art is not a mere illusion . In contrast to empirical reality, it has rather “the higher reality and the truer existence”. By taking away "the appearance and the deception", it reveals the "true content of the appearances" and thus gives them "a higher, spirit-born reality" (Ä I 22).

Art Forms

Hegel distinguishes three different ways in which the idea is represented in art: the symbolic, classical and romantic "art form". These correspond to the three basic epochs of Oriental, Greco-Roman and Christian art.

The art forms differ in the way in which the "different relationships of content and form" are represented (Ä I 107). Hegel assumes that they have developed with an inner necessity and that specific characteristics can be assigned to each of them.

In symbolic art , which is based on a natural religion, the absolute is not presented as a concrete figure, but only as a vague abstraction. It is therefore “more of a mere search for visualization than a faculty of true representation. The idea has not yet found the form in itself and thus remains only the struggle and striving for it ”(Ä I 107).

In the classical art form, on the other hand, the idea comes about "according to its concept related shape". In it the idea is not expressed in something foreign, but is rather “that which is self-significant and thus also self-interpreting” (Ä II 13). The classical art form represents the "completion" of art (NS 364). If there is “something deficient in it, it is only art itself and the limitations of the art sphere” (Ä I 111). Their finiteness consists in the fact that the spirit is absorbed in its necessarily special and natural body and does not at the same time stand above it (Ä I 391f.).

In the romantic art form , content and form, which had come together in classical art, fall apart again, albeit on a higher level. The romantic art form pursues “art going beyond itself”, but paradoxically “within its own field in the form of art itself” (Ä I 113).

The system of the arts

Hegel distinguishes between five arts: architecture, sculpture, painting, music and poetry. They can be assigned to the three art forms and differ according to the degree of refinement of the sensuality and their liberation from their underlying material.

In the architecture , which Hegel assigns to the symbolic art form, the idea is only presented “as an exterior” and thus remains “impenetrable” (Ä I 117). The material of architecture is “heavy matter that can only be shaped according to the laws of gravity” (Ä II 259). Among the arts, it is most likely to have to do with a practical need (Ä II 268).

The plastic indeed, part of the classical art form of shares, with the architecture of the material, but not the form and the object that is the human being in the majority of cases. In this respect the spiritual plays a bigger role in it. It withdraws from the “inorganic” into the “interior, which now appears for itself in its higher truth, unmixed with the inorganic” (Ä II 351). However, it remains related to the architecture in which it alone has its place (Ä II 352f.)

Finally, in painting, music and poetry, the romantic art forms, the subjective and the individual predominate “at the expense of the objective generality of the content as well as the fusion with the directly sensual” (Ä I 120).

The painting removed from the materials of architecture and sculpture. It reduces the “three dimensions of space” to the “surface” and “represents the spatial distances and shapes through the shining of the color” (Ä II 260).

In music , the reference to an objectivity is completely eliminated. It is the most subjective of the arts; Like no other art, it can affect the individual. She itself abolishes the two-dimensional spatiality of painting (Ä III 133) and processes the sound that extends over time (Ä III 134).

On the one hand, poetry has an even more spiritual character than music in that it is even less tied to the material in which it expresses itself: for them it “only has the value of a means, even if it is artistically treated, for expressing the spirit to the spirit ”(Ä II 261); it is the spiritual forms of inner imagining and looking themselves that "take the place of the sensual and give up the material to be shaped [...]" (Ä III 229). On the other hand, poetry is returning to a higher objectivity. It spreads "in the field of inner imagining, looking and feeling itself to an objective world" because it "the totality of an event, a sequence, a change of emotions, passions, ideas and the completed course of an action more completely than any other Art is able to develop ”(Ä III 224).


The multifaceted engagement with the subject of religion and especially with Christianity accompanies Hegel's entire philosophical thinking. According to him, the task of philosophy as a whole is to be understood as none other than God: “The object of religion, like philosophy, is eternal truth in its objectivity itself, God and nothing but God and the explication of God” (Rel I 28). To this extent, for Hegel the whole of philosophy itself is theology: "In philosophy, which is theology, the only thing to do is to show the reason of religion" (Rel II 341).

Basic provisions of religion

Religion is "the self-consciousness of the absolute spirit" (Rel I 197f.). God himself works in religious faith ; conversely, the believer participates in faith in God. God is not only an object of faith, but v. a. present in its execution. Knowledge of God must become knowledge of oneself in God. “Man only knows about God insofar as God knows about himself in man” (Rel I 480). Conversely, however, God is "only God insofar as he knows himself". His self-knowledge is “his self-consciousness in man and man's knowledge of God, which goes on to man's self-knowledge in God” (E III 374 A).

Forms of the religions and Christianity

The course of development of religion in its various historical forms is determined by the different notions of the absolute on which it is based. For Hegel, the history of religions is a learning history, at the end of which is Christianity. He differentiates between three basic forms of religion: natural religions, "religions of spiritual individuality" and the "perfect religion".

In the natural religions , God is thought of in direct unity with nature. Initially, magic, ghost and death cults are in the foreground (indigenous people, China). The "religion of fantasy" (India) and the "religion of light" (Parsi religion) represent a further stage of development.

In the "religions of spiritual individuality" God is understood as a primarily spiritual being who is not nature, but rules over nature and determines it. Hegel assigned the Jewish, Greek and Roman religions to these religions.

Finally, Christianity is the "perfect religion" for Hegel . In it God is presented as the trinitarian unity of Father, Son and Spirit. Christianity is aware of the differentiation immanent in God himself, which is why for Hegel it takes the decisive step beyond the other religions.

In the person of the “Father”, Christians consider God “as it were before or beyond the creation of the world” (Rel II 218); H. as pure thought and divine principle. God is understood as universal, which also includes the distinction, the positing of his other, the “son” and the cancellation of the difference (cf. Rel II 223).

The Incarnation is for Hegel necessary part of the Divine. An essential part of the human appearance of God is the death of Jesus , for Hegel the “highest proof of humanity” (Rel II 289) of the Son of God. This again seems inconceivable to him without the " resurrection ". With the overcoming of finitude, the negation of the negation of God takes place. The risen Christ shows "that it is God who killed death" (R II 292), a death that is the expression of his radically other, the finite.

Philosophy as the “concept” of the absolute spirit

Philosophy is the ultimate form of the absolute spirit. Hegel calls it the “thinking, recognized concept of art and religion” (E III 378). Philosophy is the knowledge of art and religion raised into the conceptual form. In contrast to their forms of knowledge, intuition and representation, philosophy as conceptual knowledge is a knowledge of the necessity of the absolute content itself. Thought does not first produce this content; it is “only the formal aspect of the absolute content” (E III 378). It produces in the term “the truth”, but it “recognizes this truth as something that is not produced at the same time, as truth that is in and for itself”.

History of philosophy

The history of philosophy is for Hegel "something sensible" and "must itself be philosophical." It cannot be a “collection of accidental opinions” (GP I 15) because the term “philosophical opinion” is self-contradicting: “But philosophy contains no opinions; there are no philosophical opinions. ”(GP I 30). A merely philological history of philosophy is pointless for Hegel (GP I 33). The history of philosophy always presupposes the knowledge of truth through philosophy in order to be able to claim any meaning. In addition, the demand “to tell the facts without partiality, without any particular interest or purpose” is illusory. You can only tell what you have understood; the history of philosophy can therefore only be understood by those who have understood what philosophy is: without a concept of philosophy, “history itself will necessarily be something fluctuating” (GP I 16f.).

The history of philosophy goes through the most opposing positions, but at the same time represents a unity. In this respect, the history of philosophy is “not a change, a becoming to another, but also a going into oneself, a deepening of oneself” (GP I 47). The deeper reason for the historicity of philosophy is that the mind itself has a history. As forms of the spirit, the individual philosophies cannot fundamentally contradict each other, but integrate themselves “into the whole form” (GP I 53f.). It follows from this that “the whole of the history of philosophy is an inherently necessary, consistent progression; it is reasonable in itself, determined by its idea. Randomness must be given up on entering philosophy. Just as the development of concepts is necessary in philosophy, so is their history "(GP I 55 f.)

Overview of the philosophical system

logic the idea in and of itself
Be Concept in itself
Certainty (quality) inner determination
Size (quantity) external definiteness
Measure (qualitative quantity) size-dependent being
Essence Term for itself
Reflection in itself
term Concept in and of itself
nature the idea in its otherness
mechanics Matter at all
space and time
Matter and movement
Absolute mechanics
physics specific matter
Physics of general individuality
Physics of special individuality
Physics of total individuality
Organics living matter
geological nature "The ground and soil of life" (E II 340)
vegetable nature Individuals who are related with their organs to a common external center (plants)
animal organism Individuals with their organs related to a common center within themselves (animals)
ghost the idea that returns from its otherness
Subjective mind  
soul the simple spiritual substance; the mind in its immediacy
awareness the appearing spirit in relation to others and to oneself
ghost the spirit in its truth
Objective mind  
Civil society
Absolute spirit  
art the immediate, sensual knowledge of the absolute mind
religion the imaginary knowledge of the absolute mind
philosophy the free thinking of the absolute mind


Postage stamp 1948 from the series Politics, Art and Science
1970 postage stamp

From the beginning of his Berlin years there was vehement criticism of Hegel's philosophy. This criticism arose partly from various motives of academic, school-based and ideological rivalry (especially in the case of Schopenhauer ). It brought Hegel the disrespectful title of "Prussian state philosopher". Hegel and his ideas were also the target of invectives . A well-known example is Joseph Victor von Scheffel's poem Guano , in which Hegel is associated with faecal birds.

Political philosophy

As a political philosopher, Hegel was held liable for his state, and as a rationally optimistic historical philosopher for the history of this state, in retrospect; d. H. the personal disappointment with the political development of Prussia, and then Germany, were blamed with preference on Hegel's philosophy. The objection to this is that "the blind formula of the 'Prussian state philosopher' [...] identifies the policy of the Altenstein Ministry, which is always controversial, with the 'Prussian state'" and thus ignores "the different, even contradicting political groups and aspirations of these years". A comparable criticism comes from Reinhold Schneider in 1946 , who sees a clear connection between Hegel's conceptions in his “Philosophy of World History” and the “Volksgeist” evoked during the Nazi era : “This Germanic empire would be nothing other than the consummation of history on this side , the kingdom of God on earth - a conception which, if we understand the language of the century that has passed since then, has responded to history with terrible scorn. ”Schneider calls Friedrich Nietzsche a“ poor servant of the Hegelian world spirit ”.

The political philosophy of the English idealists ( Thomas Hill Green , Bernard Bosanquet ) took up above all the anti-liberal tendencies of the Hegelian legal philosophy: the independent principle of the state, the predominance of the general.

In Italy ( Benedetto Croce , Giovanni Gentile , Sergio Panuncio ) Hegel's organic conception of the state was used to hold down liberalism, which was rather weakly developed in the country; this favored the rapprochement with fascism . By the intellectual representatives of National Socialism in Germany, however, Hegel was fiercely opposed because of the rule of reason in politics and the principle of the rule of law, and in this respect, right-wing Hegelian attempts at overthrow were not very successful.


“The theory of bourgeois society and Hegel are the two main roots of German sociology; what influenced them in older social science efforts in political science, cameralistics, natural law etc. only passed through these two filters. "

In his history of the social movement in France from 1789 to our days (Leipz. 1850, 3 vol.) Lorenz von Stein made Hegel's dialectic fruitful for sociology. But as early as 1852 he revoked the attempt to base social theory on economic contradictions.

A dialectical theory of society based on Hegel's and Marx 's teachings was designed primarily by the philosopher Theodor W. Adorno .

The German cultural sociology from Georg Simmel , Ernst Troeltsch , Alfred Weber to Karl Mannheim integrated Hegel's folk spirit into a philosophy of life . Although it saw itself as empirically based, in a polemical demarcation from Hegel's realization of reason in history, it understood as the "given" a metaphysics that utilized the ideas of Schopenhauer , Nietzsche and historicism .

Cultural history

Studies in cultural history received a tremendous boost from Hegel, who instructed a generation of German scholars in the historical approach to philosophy and literature, religion and art; and his students became the teachers not only of Germany but of the Western world.

“Hegel's understanding of Greek tragedy far exceeded that of most of his detractors. He realized that at the center of the greatest tragedies of Aeschylus and Sophocles we find not a tragic hero but a tragic collision, and that the conflict is not between good and evil, but between one-sided positions, each of which contains something good. "

When it came to music, Hegel came under fire. The music critic Eduard Hanslick accused him of having often mislead in discussing the art of music by confusing his predominantly art-historical standpoint with the purely aesthetic one and not taking historical understanding into account. He tried to prove determinations in music that it never had in itself.

Natural philosophy

Hegel fell into disrepute among the materialistically minded natural scientists up to individual representatives of Neo-Kantianism because he had ignored certain results that corresponded to the state of the art. Or in the field of formal logic and mathematics he is accused of never having understood certain procedures correctly, especially because of his view that mathematics only deals with quantities. While Hegel understood “speculative” to be the most excellent method of philosophical knowledge and proof, the common understanding quickly turned it into an empirically unfounded, abstract conceptual thinking about God and the world.

An example is the early, well-founded polemics of the natural scientist Matthias Jacob Schleiden from 1844. In it Schleiden quotes examples from Hegel's Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences, including this definition:

“The blood, as the ax-turning, self-chasing movement (!), This absolute shaking within itself, is the individual life of the whole, in which nothing is differentiated - the animal time. Then this ax-turning movement is divided into cometary and atmospheric and volcanic processes. The lung is the animal leaf which is related to the atmosphere and which makes this process of interrupting and producing itself, exhaling and inhaling. The liver, on the other hand, is that from the cometary to the for-self, into the lunar return, it is the for-for-self seeking its center, the heat of for-for-self, the anger against the otherwise-for-self and the burning of it. "

Schleiden comments smugly: “I would like to know what an examination committee would say if the candidate for the medical state examination were asked: what is the liver? the above definition would give the answer. "Hegel's relationship to natural science, which was characterized by misunderstanding and incomprehension even after the state of the art at the time, he attacks:" That all sounds very uncommon and high, but wouldn't it be better, your dear little child is only going to school and did you learn something decent before you write down natural philosophies about things of which you have not the faintest idea? ”Schleiden expresses a similar criticism as later Bertrand Russell (see below). The Hegel researcher Wolfgang Neuser judges: “Schleiden's arguments are among the sharpest and most comprehensive criticisms of Hegel and Schelling. He collects and pointed out the objections that were formulated before him; in the substance of his criticism, no one later went beyond Schleiden either. "

Individual recipients

Karl Marx

Hegel's philosophy is (alongside French materialism and socialism and English national economy ) one of the three main sources of the political economy developed by Karl Marx and of historical materialism .

"Without the precedent of German philosophy, namely Hegel, German scientific socialism - the only scientific socialism that has ever existed - would never have come about."

Above all, the examination of Hegel's dialectic shaped Marx's thinking ( dialectic in Marx and Engels ). The subject of domination and servitude in the phenomenology of the mind and the system of needs is of particular importance to Marx . Following on from this, Marx developed his materialistic worldview by inverting Hegel's idealism, although he stuck to the dialectical method developed by Hegel. Fascinated by Ludwig Feuerbach , Marx switched from the idealistic dialectic of Hegel to materialism , which, in contrast to idealism , traces all ideas, conceptions, thoughts, sensations, etc. back to modes of development of matter and to material practice.

“The philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways ; but it depends on changing them . "

- Karl Marx

Marx turns the Hegelian dialectic “upside down”: because he takes as a starting point that objective reality can be explained by its material existence and its development, not as the realization of an absolute idea or as a product of human thought. So he does not focus his attention on the development of the idea, but on the so-called “material conditions”, which have to be recognized in the form of economic laws, that is, made aware . These determine the social formations in their essential functions.

"It is not the consciousness of people that determines their being, but, conversely, their social being that determines their consciousness."

- Karl Marx

A comprehensive critique of religion, law and morality is derived from this. Marx understands the latter as products of the respective material conditions, the change of which they are subordinate to. Religion, law and morality therefore do not have universal validity, whatever claim they always assert. Marx understands the opposites, which are merely spiritual in idealism, as the image and expression of real, material opposites: These too depend on one another and are in constant reciprocal movement.

Karl Popper

For Karl Popper , the truth of a statement is not dependent on its origin, i.e. whoever claims it; in the case of Hegel, however, he made an exception to this rule. With his dialectic, Hegel systematically violates the principle of excluded contradiction ; this " double entrenched dogmatism " makes a rational discussion of his individual arguments impossible. Popper criticizes such rules as: Contra principia negantem disputari non potest as a “myth of the framework”; because an argument between different views is basically always and about everything possible. But growing up in a tradition of Hegelianism destroys intelligence and critical thinking. Popper even refers to Marx, who was harshly judged by the mystifications of Hegelia . According to Popper, Hegel is both an absolutist and a relativist; he passed relativism on to the sociology of knowledge . Popper's criticism itself was subject to violent attacks. He was accused of “inaccurate reading”, “totalitarianism” and “statement (s) that border on defamation”. Popper emphasized in his late work that his theory of the three-worlds theory had a lot “in common” with Hegel's Objective Spirit, but that the theories would differ “in some decisive points”. According to Popper, Hegel rejected the consciousness-independent Platonic “World 3”: “He mixed thought processes and objects of thought. So he - which had devastating consequences - attributed consciousness to the objective spirit and deified it. "Although Popper later expressed something like regret that he had judged Hegel so harshly, even in his later work he remained with his" negative attitude "towards Hegel and up until his death he held fast to his fundamental criticism of Hegel, which he expressed above all in the second volume of The Open Society and Its Enemies .

Bertrand Russell

Bertrand Russell described Hegel's philosophy as "absurd", but his followers would not recognize it because Hegel expressed himself so darkly and vaguely that one had to consider it profound. Russell summarizes Hegel's definition of the "absolute idea" as: "The absolute idea is pure thinking over pure thinking."

Russell further criticizes that Hegel failed to explain why human history followed the purely logical " dialectical " process and why this process was limited to our planet and traditional history. Both Karl Marx and the National Socialists had adopted the belief from Hegel that history was a logical process that worked in their favor, and that since one was in league with cosmic forces, any means of coercion were right against opponents. According to Hegel, in contrast to democracy, a strong government can force people to act for the common good .

Russell further scoffed that Hegel was convinced that the philosopher in the study could know more about the real world than the politician or scientist. Allegedly, Hegel published a proof that there must be exactly seven planets a week before the eighth was discovered. In his lectures on the history of philosophy, even more than two hundred years after the publication of the pamphlet Discorso intorno all'opere di messer Gioseffo Zarlino ("Treatise on the works of Mr. Gioseffo Zarlino") by the music theorist Vincenzo Galilei and Zarlino, Hegel wrongly assumed that that the legend of Pythagoras in the forge is physically and historically based on truths.


The comprehensive work of the entire system of Hegel is the encyclopedia of the philosophical sciences (from 1816). This results in the following structure of the systematic overall work:

I. Science of Logic (1812-1816, revised 1831)

II. Natural Philosophy

III. Philosophy of mind

    • Phenomenology of Mind (1806/07; originally as the first part of an unfinished earlier system)
    • Basics of the Philosophy of Law (1821)
    • Lectures on the philosophy of history (held 1822–1831, posthumously edited from notes and transcripts in 1837 by Eduard Gans )
    • Lectures on the philosophy of religion (held 1821–1831, posthumously edited from notes and transcripts in 1832 by Philipp Konrad Marheineke )
    • Lectures on aesthetics (held 1820–1829, from notes and transcripts 1835–1838 edited posthumously by Heinrich Gustav Hotho )
    • Lectures on the history of philosophy (held 1805/06 in Jena, 1816–1818 in Heidelberg and 1819–1831 in Berlin, from notes and transcripts 1833–1836 posthumously published by Karl Ludwig Michelet )

Fonts outside the system:

  • The positivity of the Christian religion (1795/96)
  • The oldest system program of German idealism (1796/97, fragmentary)
  • The Spirit of Christianity and Its Fate (1799/1800)
  • The Constitution of Germany (1800–1802)
  • Various forms that occur in current philosophizing (1801)
  • The difference between Fichte's and Schelling's systems of philosophy (1801)
  • On the nature of philosophical criticism (1802)
  • How Common Sense Takes Philosophy (1802)
  • Relationship between skepticism and philosophy (1802)
  • Belief and knowledge or the philosophy of reflection of subjectivity in the completeness of its forms as Kantian, Jacobian and Fichtean philosophy (1803)
  • About the scientific treatment of natural law (1803)
  • Who thinks abstractly? (1807)
  • Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi's works (1817)
  • Negotiations in the Assembly of the Estates of the Kingdom of Württemberg in 1815 and 1816 (1817)
  • Solger's posthumous writings and correspondence (1828)
  • Hamann's writings (1828)
  • About the basis, structure and chronology of world history. By Joseph von Görres (1830)
  • About the English Reform Bill (1831)


Some of the “works” that appeared in the first edition from 1832–1845 after Hegel's death were lecture transcripts and notes that had been heavily revised by the editors. The “academy edition” (from 1968) instead publishes the unprocessed lecture transcripts and notes, as far as they are preserved.

  • Works. Complete edition by an association of friends of the eternal. 18 volumes. Berlin 1832-1845.
  • Complete Works. Anniversary edition in twenty volumes. Newly published by Hermann Glockner . Stuttgart 1927-1940; Reprint: Frommann-Holzboog, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1964–1974, ISBN 978-3-7728-0171-6
  • Complete Works. Edited by Georg Lasson , later by Johannes Hoffmeister . Meiner, Leipzig 1911 ff. (Incomplete)
  • Works in 20 volumes. Re-edited on the basis of the works from 1832 to 1845. Editing: Eva Moldenhauer , Karl Markus Michel . Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1969–1971. In addition Helmut Reinicke : Register. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1986, ISBN 3-518-28221-2 .
  • Collected works (academy edition; GW). Published by the Rheinisch-Westfälische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Meiner, Hamburg 1968 ff.


On August 6, 2020, the first day of issue, Deutsche Post AG issued a special postage stamp worth 270 euro cents for Hegel's 250th birthday . The design comes from the graphic artist Thomas Meyfried from Munich.


Philosophy bibliography : Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - Additional references on the topic

To the whole work and to the person

Introductions and manuals


  • Kuno Fischer : Hegel's life, works and teaching . Kraus, Nendeln 1973 (reprint of the Berlin 1911 edition)
  • Arseni Gulyga: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel . Reclam, Leipzig 1974
  • Christoph Helferich: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel . Metzler, Stuttgart 1979
  • Mechthild Lemcke, Christa Hackenesch (eds.): Hegel in Tübingen . Bankruptcy book, Tübingen 1986, ISBN 3-88769-021-4 .
  • Karl Rosenkranz : Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel's Life . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1977 (reprint of the Berlin 1844 edition)
  • Klaus Vieweg : Hegel. The philosopher of freedom. Biography. Beck, Munich 2019, ISBN 978-3-406-74235-4 .
  • Franz Wiedmann: Hegel . 20th edition, Rowohlt, Reinbek 2003, ISBN 3-499-50110-4 .


On individual aspects of the Hegelian philosophy


Natural philosophy


  • Thomas Collmer : Hegel's Dialectic of Negativity - Investigations for a self-critical theory of dialectics: “self” as 'absolute' form expression, identity criticism, negation theory, signs and 'being-in-itself'. Focus, Giessen 2002, ISBN 3-88349-501-8 .
  • Tilman Wegerhoff: Hegel's Dialectic. A theory of positional difference . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2008, ISBN 3-525-30161-8 .
  • Bernhard Lakebrink : Hegel's dialectical ontology and the Thomistic analectic. 2nd edition, Henn, Ratingen 1968.
  • Karin Weingartz-Perschel: Hegel's anthropological axiomatics: on the topicality of the Hegelian dialectic . Tectum Verlag, Baden-Baden 2020. ISBN 978-382884-417-9 .


Practical philosophy

  • Dieter Wolf: Hegel's theory of civil society . Hamburg 1980
  • Andreas Dorschel : The idealistic critique of the will: attempt on the theory of practical subjectivity in Kant and Hegel (= writings on transcendental philosophy 10). Meiner, Hamburg 1992, ISBN 3-7873-1046-0 .
  • Christoph Binkelmann: Theory of practical freedom. Spruce - Hegel . De Gruyter, Berlin 2007, ISBN 3-11-020098-8 .
  • Ina Schildbach: Poverty as injustice. On the topicality of Hegel's perspective on self-realization, poverty and the welfare state. Transcript, Bielefeld 2018, ISBN 978-3-8376-4443-2 (also dissertation University Erlangen 2017).

Philosophy of religion

  • Walter Jaeschke: Hegel's philosophy of religion . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1983.
  • Herta Nagl-Docekal , Wolfgang Kaltenbacher, Ludwig Nagl (eds.): Many religions - one reason? A dispute on Hegel (= Vienna series. Topics of Philosophy , Volume 14). Böhlau, Vienna and Akademie Verlag, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-05-004526-9 .

History of philosophy

  • Christoph Asmuth : Interpretation - Transformation. The image of Plato in Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, Schleiermacher and Schopenhauer and the problem of legitimation in the history of philosophy. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-525-30152-4 .
  • Klaus Düsing: Hegel and the history of philosophy. Ontology and dialectics in ancient and modern times . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1983.
  • Dietmar H. Heidemann, Christian Krijnen (Ed.): Hegel and the history of philosophy . Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2007, ISBN 3-534-18560-9 .
  • Thomas Sören Hoffmann: The absolute form: modality, individuality and the principle of philosophy according to Kant and Hegel . De Gruyter, Berlin 1991, ISBN 3-11-012875-6 .


  • Bulletin of the Hegel Society of Great Britain , 1980-2012
  • Hegel Archive , 1912–1916
  • Hegel Bulletin , since 2013
  • Hegel yearbook , since 1961
  • Hegel studies , since 1965
  • Yearbook for Hegel Research , since 1995

Web links


Commons : Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikisource: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel  - Sources and full texts


Forums and societies

Audios and videos

Individual evidence

Unless otherwise stated, Hegel is quoted on the basis of the theoretical work edition by Eva Moldenhauer and Karl Markus Michel, Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1979. The additions “A” and “Z” refer to the annotation or additional part of the corresponding text passage.

abbreviation tape plant
FS 1 Early writings
JS 2 Jena writings
PG 3 phenomenology of the Spirit
NS 4th Nuremberg and Heidelberg writings
LI 5 Science of Logic I
L II 6th Science of Logic II
R. 7th Basic lines of the philosophy of law
EGG 8th Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences I.
E II 9 Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences II
E III 10 Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences III
BS 11 Berlin writings 1818–1831
PGh 12 Lectures on the philosophy of history
Ä I 13 Lectures on Aesthetics I
Ä II 14th Lectures on Aesthetics II
Ä III 15th Lectures on Aesthetics III
Rel I 16 Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion I.
Rel II 17th Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion II
GP I 18th Lectures on the history of philosophy I.
GP II 19th Lectures on the history of philosophy II
GP III 20th Lectures on the history of philosophy III
  1. See Johannes Hirschberger: History of Philosophy . Volume 2, p. 798. In: Bertram, M. (Ed.). Digital Library Volume 3: History of Philosophy . Directmedia, Berlin 2000. p. 10521.
  2. ^ Walter Jaeschke: Hegel-Handbuch , Stuttgart 2003, p. 1 f.
  3. ^ Dietrich von Engelhardt : Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich. In: Werner E. Gerabek , Bernhard D. Haage, Gundolf Keil , Wolfgang Wegner (eds.): Enzyklopädie Medizingeschichte. De Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2005, ISBN 3-11-015714-4 , pp. 544 f .; here: p. 544.
  4. Review of his former fellow student Christian Philipp Friedrich Leutwein.
  5. See Ferdinand Tönnies , Hegels Naturrecht , [1932], in: Ferdinand Tönnies Gesamtausgabe , Volume 22, Berlin / New York 1998, pp. 247-265.
  6. ^ Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel: Dissertatio Philosophica de orbitis planetarum. Philosophical discussion of the planetary orbits. Translated, introduced u. commented v. W. Neuser. Weinheim 1986.
  7. ^ E. Craig, M. Hoskin, Hegel and the seven planets, Journal of the History of Astronomy, Volume 23, 1992, p. XXIII, online ; Dieter B. Herrmann , Hegel's dissertation and the number seven of planets, stars and space. Controversies and legends about an alleged error. Stars and Space, Volume 31, 1992, pp. 688-691
  8. Quoted from Walter Jaeschke, Hegel Handbuch, Leben - Werk - Wirken , Stuttgart 2003, p. 24.
  9. See P. Prechtl (ed.): Philosophy , Stuttgart 2005, p. 218.
  10. ^ A b c Jürgen Walter: Maria Hegel, née von Tucher . In: Frauengestalten in Franken , ed. by Inge Meidinger-Geise. Weidlich Verlag, Würzburg 1985. ISBN 3-8035-1242-5 . Pp. 141-145.
  11. Werner Kraft : Time out of joint. Records . S. Fischer Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1968, pp. 191–198, here p. 194 f.
  12. Werner Kraft, Zeit aus den Fugen , p. 191 f.
  13. Anton Hügli and Poul Lübcke (eds.): Philosophy-Lexicon , Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, 4th edition 2001 Hamburg, p. 259.
  14. See also Helmut Neuhaus : In the shadow of the father. The historian Karl Hegel (1813–1901) and history in the 19th century. In: Historische Zeitschrift, Vol. 286 (2008), pp. 63–89, Marion Kreis: Karl Hegel. Historical significance and scientific history location (= series of publications of the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Vol. 84). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen et al. 2012, especially pp. 25–95 as well as Helmut Neuhaus (ed.): Karl Hegel - Historiker im 19. Jahrhundert. With the collaboration of Katja Dotzler, Christoph Hübner, Thomas Joswiak, Marion Kreis, Bruno Kuntke, Jörg Sandreuther and Christian Schöffel (= Erlanger Studies on History. Volume 7). Palm and Enke, Erlangen et al. 2001, especially pp. 23–40.
  15. See last Marion Kreis: Karl Hegel. Historical significance and scientific history location (= series of publications of the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Vol. 84). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen et al. 2012, ISBN 978-3-525-36077-4 . (See e-book and reading sample )
  16. ^ Marion circle: Karl Hegel. Historical significance and scientific history location (= series of publications of the Historical Commission at the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Vol. 84). Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen et al. 2012, pp. 43–50.
  17. Werner Kraft, Zeit aus den Fugen , p. 197.
  18. Detlef Berentzen : Hegel - The Philosopher as Educator (PDF; 140 kB) , broadcast by SWR2 on May 20, 2011, broadcast manuscript p. 8, accessed on April 22, 2013.
  19. See Wiedmann, Franz (1965): Hegel. Hamburg. P. 45 f.
  21. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, March 3, 2006, p. 37.
  22. ^ So the "Philosophy-Lexicon", edited by Anton Hügli and Poul Lübcke, 4th edition 2001, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Hamburg, p. 259.
  23. A similar opinion is held e.g. B. Horst Althaus in Hegel and The heroic years of philosophy. Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich, ISBN 3-446-16556-8 , pp. 579-581. As a result, Hegel died of an acute outbreak of chronic gastric disease.
  24. On the family's reaction to his death, cf. especially Helmut Neuhaus (ed.): Karl Hegel - Historians in the 19th Century. With the collaboration of Katja Dotzler, Christoph Hübner, Thomas Joswiak, Marion Kreis, Bruno Kuntke, Jörg Sandreuther and Christian Schöffel (= Erlanger Studies on History. Volume 7). Palm and Enke, Erlangen et al. 2001, ISBN 3-7896-0660-X , pp. 23-40.
  25. Friedrich Engels: "Schelling and the Revelation". MEW, EB2, p. 177.
  26. The Times, December 24, 1838, p. 4. The magazine mentioned is called Son of the Country and may have been written in English .
  27. For the structure cf. Paul Cobben (ed.): Hegel-Lexikon , p. 7 f.
  28. Cf. Dina Emundts, Rolf-Peter Horstmann: GWF Hegel. An introduction , pp. 16-19.
  29. Immanuel Kant, Collected Writings. Ed .: Vol. 1-22 Prussian Academy of Sciences, Vol. 23 German Academy of Sciences in Berlin, from Vol. 24 Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, Berlin 1900ff., AA III, 265 .
  30. ^ Herbert Schnädelbach: Hegel for an introduction . Junius Verlag, Hamburg, 1st edition 1999, p. 85.
  31. Taylor, Charles: Hegel . Suhrkamp 1978, p. 156.
  32. B. Greuter: Hegel's philosophy as thinking of the concept in its development
  33. Historical dictionary of philosophy , philosophy . Vol. 7, p. 718.
  34. See Hartnack: Hegel's Logic , p. 31 f.
  35. On the following cf. Jaeschke: Hegel-Handbuch , Stuttgart 2003, p. 238 ff.
  36. ^ Hartnack: Hegel's Logic. An introduction , p. 86.
  37. On the following cf. Dieter Wandschneider: The position of nature in the overall draft of the Hegelian philosophy , in Michael John Petry (ed.): Hegel and the natural sciences , frommann-Holzboog 1987, pp. 33-64.
  38. Wandschneider: The position of nature in the overall draft of the Hegelian philosophy , p. 43.
  39. Wandschneider: Hegel's natural ontological design - today , Hegel Studies 36 (2001), p. 160.
  40. See Jaeschke: Hegel-Handbuch , Stuttgart 2003, p. 336.
  41. ^ Hegel: Lectures: Selected Postscripts and Manuscripts , Vol. 16, p. 205 .
  42. Stefan Gruner: Hegel's theory of ether . VDM Verlag , Saarbrücken 2010, ISBN 978-3-639-28451-5 .
  43. ^ Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline (1817) § 291.
  44. “The sick subject comes from there and after this state is under the power of another, the magnetizer, so that in this psychic connection between the two, the selfless individual, not as personally real, has the consciousness of that prudent individual in addition to his subjective consciousness, that this other whose present subjective soul, whose genius is, who can also fill it with content. "(E III 136)
  45. Dirk Stederoth: Hegel's Philosophy of Subjective Mind , Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 2001, p. 252 ( google books )
  46. ^ Hegel: Lectures: Selected Postscripts and Manuscripts , Vol. 1, p. 6
  47. See Hösle, Hegel's System , p. 513.
  48. ^ Hegel: Lectures on the Philosophy of Law , Vol. 3, p. 378.
  49. Hegel: Jenaer Schriften , p. 304
  50. ^ Hösle: Hegel's System , p. 536.
  51. ^ Manfred Riedel: Civil society and state. Neuwied / Berlin 1970, p. 67. Herbert Marcuse ( Reason and Revolution. Hegel and the Origin of Social Theory. Darmstadt / Neuwied 1976) and George Lukács ( The young Hegel and the problems of capitalist society. Berlin 1986 [1948]) argue similarly .
  52. ^ Hegel: Lectures on Philosophy of Law. Edited by K.-H. Polecat. Vol. 3. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt 1974, p. 567.
  53. Philipp Erbentraut: A critical friend of the parties. Hegel's view of the political party was more nuanced than previously assumed, in: Hegel Studies 48 (2014), pp. 95–123.
  54. See e.g. B. Hubert Kieswetter: From Hegel to Hitler , Hamburg 1974.
  55. Hegel: Lectures on the Philosophy of World History , Felix Meiner Edition (blue series)
  56. Hegel GWF; Lectures on the Philosophy of World History, Volume II, Meiner 1919, p. 416.
  57. ^ Hegel: lectures. Selected manuscripts and postscripts , ed. v. Walter Jaeschke, Vol. 5: On the Philosophy of Religion , p. 268.
  58. ^ Hegel: Lectures: Selected Postscripts and Manuscripts , Vol. 6, p. 14.
  59. ^ Heinz Dieter Kittsteiner: German Idealism . In: Etienne François, Hagen Schulze (ed.): German places of memory . Volume 1. CH Beck, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-406-59141-9 , p. 175 ( limited preview in the Google book search).
  60. ^ So by Rudolf Haym : Hegel and his time. Lectures on the origin and development, nature and value of Hegel's philosophy . Berlin 1857; on Rosenzweig's turning away from Hegelianism after the First World War experience, cf. Paul-Laurent Assoun: Foreword to Franz Rosenzweig : Hegel et l'État . Presses Universitaires de France, Paris 1991, ISBN 2-13-043504-1 ; first: Munich 1920.
  61. ^ Walter Jaeschke: Hegel manual . Stuttgart 2003, p. 46.
  62. Reinhold Schneider: The homecoming of the German spirit. About the image of Christ in the German philosophy of the 19th century, Verlag Hans Bühler Jr., Baden-Baden 1946 ( Memento from March 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ).
  63. ^ Herbert Marcuse: Reason and Revolution. Writings, Vol. 4. Suhrkamp Frankfurt / M. 1st edition 1989, p. 344 ff.
  64. ^ Herbert Marcuse: Reason and Revolution. Writings, Vol. 4. Suhrkamp Frankfurt / M. 1st edition 1989, p. 354 ff.
  65. Another image of history and a different line of descent are set up by Hubert Kiesewetter: Von Hegel zu Hitler. An analysis of the Hegelian ideology of the power state and the history of the political impact of right-wing Hegelianism. With a foreword by Ernst Topitsch, Hamburg 1974, and following on from it by Ernst Topitsch: Hegel's social philosophy as a doctrine of salvation and ideology of rule. Munich 1981.
  66. Helmut Schelsky: Location determination of German sociology. Cologne 3rd edition 1967 (first 1959), p. 12.
  67. ^ Herbert Marcuse: Reason and Revolution. Writings, Vol. 4. Suhrkamp Frankfurt / M. 1st edition 1989, p. 330 ff.
  68. Kurt Lenk : Marx in the sociology of knowledge. Studies on the reception of Marx's criticism of ideology. Neuwied Berlin 1972.
  69. ^ Walter Kaufmann : Tragedy and Philosophy. JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck) Tübingen 1980, p. 100. ISBN 3-16-942682-6 (first New York 1969)
  70. ^ Walter Kaufmann: Tragedy and Philosophy. JCB Mohr (Paul Siebeck) Tübingen 1980, p. 223. ISBN 3-16-942682-6 (first New York 1969)
  71. ^ Eduard Hanslick: Vom Musikalisch-Schönen - A contribution to the revision of the aesthetics of music . Chapter III: The musically beautiful . Page 49, Breitkopf and Härtel, Leipzig, 13th to 15th edition (1922), 1st edition from 1851.
  72. Manfred Pascher: Introduction to Neo-Kantianism . Munich 1997. UTB 1962.
  73. Renate Wahsner: On the criticism of Hegel's natural philosophy. About their meaning in the light of today's knowledge of nature . Frankfurt 1996; Horst-Heino v. Borzeszkowski, Renate Wahsner: Physical dualism and dialectical contradiction. Studies on the physical concept of movement . Darmstadt 1989; D. Lamb (ed.): Hegel and Modern Science . Manchester 1987.
  74. ^ Georg Klaus : Rationality - Integration - Information . VEB Dt. Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1974, p. 42.
  75. Matthias Jacob Schleiden: Schelling's and Hegel's relationship to natural science: To the relationship of physicalistic natural science to speculative natural philosophy . 1844; Reprints including Severus-Verlag 2012, ISBN 978-3-86347-298-6 ).
  76. Hegel: Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences , p. 573.
  77. ^ Matthias Jacob Schleiden: Schelling's and Hegel's relationship to natural science: To the relationship between physical science and speculative natural philosophy , 1844, p. 60 f. All quotations in original spelling. The “(!)” In the Hegel quote is from Schleiden.
  78. Wolfgang Neuser: The knowledge method of mathematical natural philosophy. Schleiden's criticism of Schelling's and Hegel's relationship to natural science . In: Neuser, Wolfgang: Nature and Concept. Studies on the constitution of theory and the history of concepts from Newton to Hegel . Verlag JB Metzler, Stuttgart / Weimar 1995, ISBN 3-476-01281-6 ; New edition: nature and concept. Studies on the constitution of theory and the history of concepts from Newton to Hegel . 2nd edition, Springer Verlag, Wiesbaden 2017, ISBN 978-3-658-15142-3 , p. 200; Valentin Kanawrow: Schleiden's criticism of Schellingschen and Hegelian natural philosophy. Why do philosophy and natural philosophy continue to alienate each other? Research focus on the history of science and the theory of science of the Förderungsgesellschaft Wissenschaftliche Neuvorhaben mbH, Munich 1995.
  79. Lenin : Three Sources and Three Components of Marxism. , March 1913.
  80. Lenin: What to do? Burning questions in our movement. , Berlin 1962, p. 57.
  81. Karl Marx: Theses on Feuerbach . In: Marx-Engels-Werke , Volume 3, Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1969, p. 533 ff. ( Digitized version ).
  82. Karl Marx: On the Critique of Political Economy (Preface) . Quoted from: Marx-Engels-Werke, Volume 13, Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1961, p. 9 ff. ( Digitized version ).
  83. “Now I do not believe that the classification of a work as belonging to a particular school means that it has been completed; in the case of Hegelian historicism, however, this approach seems to me permissible; the reasons for this will be discussed in the second volume of this work. ”(Karl R. Popper: The open society and their enemies. Vol . 1: The magic of Platons. Munich 6th edition 1980, first: 1944, p. 285)
  84. ^ Karl Popper : What is dialectic? (PDF; 325 kB), in: Ernst Topitsch (Ed.): Logic of the Social Sciences , Volume 5, 1958, pp. 262–290.
  85. ^ Karl Popper: The Myth of the Framework. London New York 1994, p. 70.
  86. Edna Kryger: The system of dialectics in Hegel (according to Kojeve and Popper) (PDF; 3.5 MB), in: Hegel-Jahrbuch , 1972, p. 162.
  87. Reinhart Maurer : Popper and totalitarian democracy (PDF; 907 kB), in: Der Staat , Berlin 1964, p. 477.
  88. Walter Kaufmann : Hegel - Legend and Reality (PDF; 2.2 MB). in: Journal for philosophical research 10 , 1956, p. 191.
  89. ^ Karl R. Popper: Objective knowledge (1st edition, Hoffmann and Campe, 1993. Original 1973), p. 110 and p. 159.
  90. ^ Joseph Agassi: A Philosopher's Apprentice (1993), p. 185.
  91. ^ Karl R. Popper: Objective knowledge (1st edition, Hoffmann and Campe, 1993. Original 1973), p. 109.
  92. ^ Bertrand Russell: Unpopular Essays. George Allen & Unwin, London, 1950. Chapter 1: Philosophy and Politics and Chapter 4: Philosophy's Ulterior Motives .
  93. Werner Keil: Basic Texts of Music Aesthetics and Music Theory , Basic Knowledge of Music, Volume 8359, UTB, Paderborn (2007), p. 343, ISBN 978-3-8252-8359-9 .
  94. ↑ In the judgment of Jürgen Habermas, the second volume is one of the most important works since 1950 .