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A History of Philosophy in Epitome by Schwegler

In the conclusion of the Phenomenology


its own pure being in its objects

and their determinations, and for which therefore every other thing than itself has, as such, no significance, becomes the self-like Ego, and rises to the truth and certainty of itself to self-consciousness. The self-consciousness become universal, or as reason, now traverses also a series of development-steps, until it manifests itself as spirit, as the reason which, in accord with all rationality, and satisfied with the rational world without, extends itself over the natural and intellectual universe as _its_ kingdom, in which it finds itself at home. Mind now passes through its stages of unconstrained morality, culture and refinement, ethics and the ethical view of the world to religion; and religion itself in its perfection, as revealed religion becomes absolute knowledge. At this last stage being and thought are no more separate, being is no longer an object for the thought, but the thought itself is the object of the thought. Science is nothing other than the true knowledge of the mind concerning itself. In the conclusion of the "_Phenomenology_," Hegel casts the following retrospect on the course which he has laid down: "The goal which is to be reached, viz., absolute knowledge, or the mind knowing itself as mind, requires us to take notice of minds as they are in themselves, and the organization of their kingdom. These elements are preserved, and furnished to us either by history, where we look at the side of the mind's free existence as it accidentally appears, or by
the science of phenomenal knowledge, where we look at the side of the mind's ideal organization. These two sources taken together, as the ideal history, give us the real history and the true being of the absolute spirit, the actuality, truth, and certainty of his throne, without which he were lifeless and alone; only 'from the cup of this kingdom of minds does there stream forth for him his infinity.'"

SECTION XLV.

HEGEL.

_George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel_ was born at Stuttgart, the 27th of August, 1770. In his eighteenth year he entered the university of Tuebingen, in order to devote himself to the study of theology. During his course of study here, he attracted no marked attention; Schelling, who was his junior in years, shone far beyond all his contemporaries. After leaving Tuebingen, he took a situation as private tutor, first in Switzerland, and afterwards in Frankfort-on-the-Main till 1801, when he settled down at Jena. At first he was regarded as a disciple, and defender of Schelling's philosophy, and as such he wrote in 1801 his first minor treatise on the "_Difference between Fichte and Schelling_." Soon afterwards he became associated with Schelling in publishing the "_Critical Journal of Philosophy_," 1802-3, for which he furnished a number of important articles. His labors as an academical teacher met at first with but little encouragement; he gave his first lecture to only four hearers. Yet in 1806 he became professor in the university, though the political catastrophe in which the country was soon afterwards involved, deprived him again of the place. Amid the cannon's thunder of the battle of Jena he finished "_the Phenomenology of the Mind_," his first great and independent work, the crown of his Jena labors. He was subsequently in the habit of calling this book which appeared in 1807, his "voyage of discovery." From Jena, Hegel for want of the means of subsistence went to Bamberg, where for two years he was editor of a political journal published there. In the fall of 1808, he became rector of the gymnasium at Nuremberg. In this situation he wrote his _Logic_, 1812-16. All his works were produced slowly, and he first properly began his literary activity as Schelling finished his. In 1816, he received a call to a professorship of philosophy at Heidelberg, where in 1817 he published his "_Encyclopaedia of the philosophical sciences_," in which for the first time he showed the whole circuit of his system. But his peculiar fame, and his far-reaching activity, dates first from his call to Berlin in 1818. It was at Berlin that he surrounded himself with an extensive and very actively scientific school, and where through his connection with the Prussian government he gained a political influence and acquired a reputation for his philosophy, as _the_ philosophy of the State, though this neither speaks favorably for its inner purity, nor its moral credit. Yet in his "_Philosophy of Rights_," which appeared in 1821 (a time, to be sure, when the Prussian State had not yet shown any decidedly anti-constitutional tendency), Hegel does not deny the political demands of the present age; he declares in favor of popular representation, freedom of the press, and publicity of judicial proceedings, trial by jury, and an administrative independence of corporations.


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