Hegel’s Philosophy of History (4/4): The Age of Liberty and Moral Love

We last left off with Hegel’s philosophy of history with the failure of the Aristocratic Age to produce universal freedom.  If we recall, the Aristocratic Age, that age of great movement, creativity, and the arts, and the dialectic between the aristocrats and plebeians, failed because there was no notion that all men were equal.  This … Continue reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History (4/4): The Age of Liberty and Moral Love

Hegel’s Philosophy of History (2/4): The Role of Religion and Culture in History

Continuing with Hegel’s philosophy of history we will move into one of the most important, but often neglected, aspects of Hegel’s philosophy: the role of religion as the source of society and culture.  Throughout his works, Hegel comments on religion, the power of religion, and the role of religion in society and shaping national character and spirit.  … Continue reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History (2/4): The Role of Religion and Culture in History

Hegel’s Philosophy of History (1/4): The Age of Heroes and the Orient

Hegel is considered the father of History in some circles, or the father of Historicism.  By History, rather than history, scholars and philosophers refer to History as Historicism – the notion that History is unfolding in its particular epoch toward an ultimate goal.  History has a telos, it is moved by dialectical advance to its … Continue reading Hegel’s Philosophy of History (1/4): The Age of Heroes and the Orient

Johann Hamann: Poetry, Language, and Human Nature

Johann Hamann is one of the most understudied and unknown philosophers, especially in the English-speaking world.  A figure of tremendous importance to history, who was called the “brightest star” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Hamann came to be an influential father of the Sturm und Drang  movement in Germany, a key father figure in the litany … Continue reading Johann Hamann: Poetry, Language, and Human Nature

German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 5: Hegel

While Johann Fichte and Friedrich Schelling were luminaries of German idealism in their time, the most famous son of German Idealism known to posterity is Georg W.F. Hegel. Hegel did not share the same early fame as Fichte and Schelling and only became a major figure in German philosophy with the publication of his famous … Continue reading German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 5: Hegel

German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 4: Friedrich Schelling

While influenced by Kant and Fichte, Schelling deviates from them insofar that he does not start with mind (as Kant and Fichte) but with nature (per Goethe). Therefore, Schelling’s axiomatic foundation is not the mind, the rational (or transcendental) but the natural; nature. The mind, for Schelling, is an outgrowth of the forces of conflict … Continue reading German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 4: Friedrich Schelling

German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 3: Herder and Goethe

Two figures stand in importance to understanding Schelling; Johann von Herder and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Herder is important for having recontextualized and published his philosophy of consciousness through the “Great Chain of Being.” The Great Chain of Being was an ancient Greek to Christian understanding of wholeness in the world. Man, of course, being … Continue reading German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 3: Herder and Goethe

German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 2: Johann Fichte

Johann Fichte was a student of Kant’s philosophy. Although little known in the English-speaking world, Fichte was one of the most important philosophers in 1790s and early 1800s until his death in 1814. If English-speakers have any awareness of Fichte, it will likely be through his “Address to the German Nation,” given during the Napoleonic … Continue reading German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 2: Johann Fichte

German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 1: Kant

The world of philosophy that German Idealism is responding and reacting against is the world of the so-called new science, Enlightenment philosophy, which can roughly be said to have begun with the publication of Sir Francis Bacon’s Novum Organum, the New Science, in 1620. Tied to the new science is Rene Descartes and his Meditations … Continue reading German Idealism, From Kant to Hegel, Part 1: Kant