The Philosophy of Hegel - The Dialectician and the Historian - Seeker's Thoughts

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The Philosophy of Hegel - The Dialectician and the Historian

 Hegel's political writings demonstrate "political rationalism". He rejects old concepts that no longer hold value and advocates constitutional reform of customary laws.

Hegel describes how modern society actualizes freedom through three dialectic stages: Abstract Right, Morality and Ethical Life (family, civil society and state). Hegel's method of articulation probes deeply into the inner meaning and necessary determinations of law or right.

The Dialectical Method

Hegel was known for his revolutionary dialectical method. This philosophical technique allowed him to move between concepts or forms with ease during a process of transition and development (PR SS80).

Hegel can examine other concepts or forms - like family, civil society or the state - by looking at both their rational and actual characteristics. By doing so, Hegel reveals ideas such as ethical life in communities as well as social contracts which necessitate law and justice within that framework.

However, some philosophers have used Hegel's method more controversially. They claim that Hegel's philosophy leads to metaphysical conclusions regarding knowledge and meaning; that an object in Hegel's system does not exist as such and therefore lacks a "philosophical core" (see Maybee 2010).

Hegel has often been mischaracterized as a metaphysical idealist with mystic ambitions, but we can use various features of Hegel's dialectic to refute such claims. First, its method does not rely on some new idea randomly appearing but instead moves between one determination to another as part of its structure or concept or form itself.

The Historical Method

Hegel was a philosopher renowned for taking an approach to knowledge that differs drastically from that of classical logic, which had long been used to guide thinking for two millennia. According to Hegel, in order to fully grasp an idea it must first be examined systematically or "dialectically", and for this purpose Hegel developed his unique method of reasoning known as logical judgments or "syllogisms".

Hegelian logic does not attempt to recreate Aristotle's logic; rather it offers an alternate form of logical thinking which Hegel believes will better assist him in understanding the nature of ideas. His judgments do not consist simply of deductive statements of fact but offer more in-depth analyses on how something comes to exist as it does now; Hegel uses this framework to demonstrate the relationship between concepts or ideas and their objective realities.

Hegel first published The Philosophy of Right as part of his essay collection Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaften in Grundrisse; Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts (Natural Law and Political Science in Brief; Foundations of Philosophie des Rechts). In this political essay Hegel explores the political situation in Wurttemberg and proposes replacing its feudal constitution with one more conducive to reform by replacing it with constitutional monarchy instead of reactant estates that appealed to old customary laws or special privileges with more rational systems of government.

The Logic of Reason

Hegel set out to go beyond Kant's skeptical outlook on knowledge by devising a dialectical account of how concepts and forms themselves drive history. He termed this process the "Spirit," or more specifically Geist in German which can be translated both ways - mind or spirit.

Hegel's spirit differs significantly from Kant's transcendental idealism in that its basis does not begin in abstract fragments of reality, but with life itself. From an initial understanding of an unwilling subject that arises through their individual self-consciousness to become the basis for Sittlichkeit: an objective model with cultural specificity and mutual recognition patterns.

Hegel used this model as the starting point for his philosophy of rights that examined how subjective mental lives developed over time and free self-determination emerged as essential human qualities. To do this, Hegel tracked what he called an adequate concept (Idea).

Hegel began this progression by rejecting Plato's argument that Forms cannot exist in our chaotic world, and brought rationality back into that universe by reframing rationality as comprising static universals, concepts or ideas; rather he used his concept of Aufhebung of parts to demonstrate this struggle for recognition among them.

The Ethics of Reason

Hegel saw right and humanity as two key aspects of his philosophy, exploring this relationship through Phenomenology of Spirit, Science of Logic and his teleological account of history.

Hegel's philosophy centers on a principle known as self-driving reason, yet this does not correspond with any particular interest, motives, or interests; rather, Hegel claims it to be part of our humanity and essential in understanding.

Hegel's perspective stands in stark contrast to humeanism, which places the fundamental at the lowest level. Instead, Hegel emphasizes taking an holistic approach in which all stages and "moments" must be seen as essential parts of an overall narrative even those that seem without intrinsic worth or value in themselves.

Hegel achieved this through dialectics that enabled us to distinguish the various aspects of a concept or its various manifestations in order to explain their relationships. This process, known as sublation or overcoming, allowed him to understand why certain concepts or forms took the shape they did.

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