The Philosophy of History by G. W. F. Hegel, J. Sibree, Charles Hegel

By G. W. F. Hegel, J. Sibree, Charles Hegel

One of many nice classics of Western inspiration develops idea that background isn't probability yet a rational technique, working in accordance with the legislation of evolution, and embodying the spirit of freedom. Translated through J. Sibree. creation via Carl Friedrich.

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What makes men morally discontented (a discontent, by the bye, on which they somewhat pride themselves), is that they do not find the present adapted to the realization of aims which they hold to be right and just (more especially in modern times, ideals of political constitutions); they contrast unfavorably things as they are, with their idea of things as they ought to be. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History, 50 adopts a position not merely of discontent, but of open revolt against the actual condition of the world.

It strives after the realization of its Idea; for in Unity it exists ideally. Spirit, on the contrary, may be defined as that which has its centre in itself. It has not a unity outside itself, but has already found it; it exists in and with itself. Matter has its essence out of itself; Spirit is self-contained existence (Bei-sich-selbst-seyn). Now this is Freedom, exactly. For if I am dependent, my being is referred to something else which I am not; I cannot exist independently of something external.

For that Spirit which had taken this fresh step in history is the inmost soul of all individuals; but in a state of unconsciousness which the great men in question aroused. Their fellows, therefore, follow these soul-leaders; for they feel the irresistible power of their own inner Spirit thus embodied. If we go on to cast a look at the fate of these World-Historical persons, whose vocation it was to be the agents of the World-Spirit — we shall find it to have been no happy one. They attained no calm enjoyment; their whole life was labor and trouble; their whole nature was nought else but their master-passion.

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