Hegel-by-HyperText

Hegel Quotes

150 quotes from Hegel, linked to the context. — the only genuine source of Hegel quotes on the internet, where you can verify the quote and read it in its context.


The spirit of a nation is reflected in its history, its religion, and the degree of its political freedom. The improvement of individual morality is a matter involving one’s private religion, one’s parents, one’s personal efforts, and one’s individual situation. The cultivation of the spirit of the people as a whole requires in addition the respective contributions of folk religion and political institutions.
Prospects for a Folk Religion (1793)

Germany is no longer a state.
The German Constitution (1798)

Knowledge of the Idea of the absolute ethical order depends entirely on the establishment of perfect adequacy between intuition and concept, because the Idea itself is nothing other than the identity of the two. But if this identity is to be actually known, it must be thought as a made adequacy.
System of Ethical Life (1803-4)

In the tool the subjectivity of labour is raised to something universal. Anyone can make a similar tool and work with it. To this extent the tool is the persistent norm of labour.
System of Ethical Life (1803-4)

The master is in possession of a surplus of what is physically necessary; the servant lacks it, and indeed in such a way that the surplus and the lack of it are not accidental aspects but the indifference of necessary needs.
System of Ethical Life (1803-4)

This ideal and rational middle term is speech, the tool of reason, the child of intelligent beings.
System of Ethical Life (1803-4)

The spoken word unites the objectivity of the corporeal sign with the subjectivity of gesture, the articulation of the latter with the self-awareness of the former.
System of Ethical Life (1803-4)

Spirit is the “nature” of individuals, their immediate substance, and its movement and necessity; it is as much the personal consciousness in their existence as it is their pure consciousness, their life, their actuality.
Jena Lectures of 1805-6

The wealthy man is directly compelled to modify his relation of mastery, and even others’ distrust for it, by permitting a more general participation in it.
Jena Lectures of 1805-6

The universal is a people, a group of individuals in general, an existent whole, the universal force. It is of insurmountable strength against the individual, and is his necessity and the power oppressing him. And the strength that each one has in his being-recognized is that of a people. This strength, however, is effective only insofar as it is united into a unity, only as will. The universal will is the will as that of all and each, but as will it is simply this Self alone. The activity of the universal is a unity. The universal will has to gather itself into this unity. It has first to constitute itself as a universal will, out of the will of individuals, so that this appears as the principle and element. Yet on the other hand the universal will is primary and the essence – and individuals have to make themselves into the universal will through the negation of their own will, [in] externalization and cultivation. The universal will is prior to them, it is absolutely there for them – they are in no way immediately the same.
Jena Lectures of 1805-6

I saw the Emperor – this world-soul – riding out of the city on reconnaissance. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrated here at a single point, astride a horse, reaches out over the world and masters it.
Letter to Niethammer, 13 October 1806

The bud disappears when the blossom breaks through, and we might say that the former is refuted by the latter; in the same way when the fruit comes, the blossom may be explained to be a false form of the plant’s existence, for the fruit appears as its true nature in place of the blossom. The ceaseless activity of their own inherent nature makes these stages moments of an organic unity, where they not merely do not contradict one another, but where one is as necessary as the other; and constitutes thereby the life of the whole.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

Our epoch is a birth-time, and a period of transition. The spirit of man has broken with the old order of things hitherto prevailing, and with the old ways of thinking, and is in the mind to let them all sink into the depths of the past and to set about its own transformation.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

A building is not finished when its foundation is laid; and just as little, is the attainment of a general notion of a whole the whole itself. When we want to see an oak, we are not satisfied to be shown an acorn instead. In the same way science, the crowning glory of a spiritual world, is not found complete in its initial stages.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

To pit this single assertion, that “in the Absolute all is one,” against the organised whole of determinate and complete knowledge, or of knowledge which at least aims at and demands complete development – to give out its Absolute as the night in which, as we say, all cows are black – that is the very na´vetÚ of emptiness of knowledge.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

Everything depends on grasping and expressing the ultimate truth not as Substance but as Subject as well.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

If we say ‘all animals’, that does not pass for zoology; for the same reason we see at once that the words absolute, divine, eternal, and so on do not express what is implied in them.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

reason is purposive activity.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

The particular individual, so far as content is concerned, has also to go through the stages through which the general mind has passed, but as shapes once assumed by mind and now laid aside, as stages of a road which has been worked over and levelled out. Hence it is that, in the case of various kinds of knowledge, we find that what in former days occupied the energies of men of mature mental ability sinks to the level of information, exercises, and even pastimes, for children; and in this educational progress we can see the history of the world’s culture delineated in faint outline. This bygone mode of existence has already become an acquired possession of the general mind, which constitutes the substance of the individual, and, by thus appearing externally to him, furnishes his inorganic nature. In this respect culture or development of mind (Bildung), regarded from the side of the individual, consists in his acquiring what lies at his hand ready for him, in making its inorganic nature organic to himself, and taking possession of it for himself. Looked at, however, from the side of universal mind qua general spiritual substance, culture means nothing else than that this substance gives itself its own self-consciousness, brings about its own inherent process and its own reflection into self.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

For the nature of humanity is to impel men to agree with one another, and its very existence lies simply in the explicit realisation of a community of conscious life.
Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

Absolute substance ... is the unity of the different self-related and self-existent self-consciousnesses in the perfect freedom and independence of their opposition as component elements of that substance: Ego that is “we”, a plurality of Egos, and “we” that is a single Ego. Consciousness first finds in self-consciousness.
The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

The recollection of spiritual forms as they are in themselves and as they accomplish the organization of their spiritual kingdom ..., looked at from the side of their free existence appearing in the form of contingency, is History; looked at from the side of their intellectually comprehended organization, it is the Science of the ways in which knowledge appears.
The Phenomenology of Spirit (1807)

That one learns from logic how to think (the usefulness of logic and hence its purpose, were held to consist in this — just as if one could only learn how to digest and move about by studying anatomy and physiology).
The Science of Logic (1812)

Philosophy, if it would be a science, cannot borrow its method from a subordinate science like mathematics.
The Science of Logic (1812)

Reason is negative and dialectical, because it resolves the determinations of the understanding into nothing.
The Science of Logic (1812)

The development of all natural and spiritual life rests solely on the nature of the pure essentialities which constitute the content of logic.
The Science of Logic (1812)

It is this self-construing method alone which enables philosophy to be an objective, demonstrated science. It is in this way that I have tried to expound consciousness in the Phenomenology of Spirit. Consciousness is spirit as a concrete knowing, a knowing too, in which externality is involved; but the development of this object, like the development of all natural and spiritual life, rests solely on the nature of the pure essentialities which constitute the content of logic.
Preface to The Science of Logic (1812)

The forms of thought are, in the first instance, displayed and stored as human language.
The Science of Logic (1812)

Here and there in this mesh there are firm knots which give stability and direction to the life and consciousness of spirit.
The Science of Logic (1812)

Dialectic is here understood in the grasping of opposites in their unity or of the positive in the negative.
The Science of Logic (1812)

Logic, like grammar, appears in two different aspects or values. It is one thing for him who comes to it for the first time, but it is another thing for him who comes back to it from the sciences. He who begins the study of grammar finds in its forms and laws dry abstractions, arbitrary rules. On the other hand, he who has mastered a language and at the same time has a comparative knowledge of other languages, he alone can make contact with the spirit and culture of a people through the grammar of its language. Similarly, he who approaches this science at first finds in logic an isolated system of abstractions which, confined within itself, does not embrace within its scope the other knowledges and sciences.
The Science of Logic (1812)

It is only after profounder acquaintance with the other sciences that logic ceases to be for subjective spirit a merely abstract universal and reveals itself as the universal which embraces within itself the wealth of the particular – just as the same proverb, in the mouth of a youth who understands it quite well, does not possess the wide range of meaning which it has in the mind of a man with the experience of a lifetime behind him, for who, the meaning is expressed in all its power.
The Science of Logic (1812)

Just as little is seen in pure light as in pure darkness.
The Science of Logic (1812)

There is nothing which is not an intermediate state between being and nothing.
The Science of Logic (1812)

We call dialectic the higher movement of reason in which utterly separate terms pass over into each other spontaneously.
The Science of Logic (1812)

The very fact that something is determined as a limitation implies that the limitation is already transcended.
The Science of Logic (1812)

To understand how to put questions presupposes a certain education.
The Science of Logic (1812)

The richer in relationships thoughts become, the more confused and meaningless becomes their representation in such forms as numbers.
The Science of Logic (1812)

It shows an excessive tenderness for the world to remove contradiction from it and then to transfer the contradiction to reason, where it is allowed to remain unresolved.
The Science of Logic (1812)

There is nothing, nothing in heaven, or in nature or in mind or anywhere else which does not equally contain both immediacy and mediation.
The Science of Logic (1812)

Pure Being and pure nothing are, therefore, the same.
The Science of Logic (1812)

Even a slight experience in reflective thinking will make it apparent that if something has been defined as positive and one moves forward from this basis, then straightway the positive has secretly turned into a negative.
The Science of Logic (1813)

Everything is inherently contradictory.
The Science of Logic (1813)

It has become a common jest in history to let great effects arise from small causes.
The Science of Logic (1813)

I adhere to the view that the world spirit has given the age marching orders. These orders are being obeyed. The world spirit, this essential, proceeds irresistibly like a closely drawn armored phalanx advancing with imperceptible movement, much as the sun through thick and thin. Innumerable light troops flank it on all sides, throwing themselves into the balance for or against its progress, though most of them are entirely ignorant of what is at stake and merely take head blows as from an invisible hand.
Letter to Niethammer, 5 July 1816

At the approach of this kind of syllogism we are at once seized with a feeling of boredom.
The Science of Logic (1816)

Freedom is the truth of necessity.
The Science of Logic (1816)

To this extent the means is superior to the finite ends of external purposiveness: the plough is more honourable than are immediately the enjoyments procured by it and which are ends. The tool lasts, while the immediate enjoyments pass away and are forgotten. In his tools man possesses power over external nature, even though in respect of his ends he is, on the contrary, subject to it.
The Science of Logic (1816)

Dialectic has often been regarded as an art, as though it rested on a subjective talent and did not belong to the objectivity of the Notion.
The Science of Logic (1816)

That the whole form of the method is a triplicity, is merely the superficial external side of the mode of cognition; but to have demonstrated even this must also be regarded as an infinite merit of the Kantian philosophy.
The Science of Logic (1816)

Science exhibits itself as a circle returning upon itself, the end being wound back into the beginning, the simple ground, by the mediation; this circle is moreover a circle of circles, for each individual member as ensouled by the method is reflected into itself, so that in returning into the beginning it is at the same time the beginning of a new member. Links of this chain are the individual sciences [of logic, nature and spirit], each of which has an antecedent and a successor – or, expressed more accurately, has only the antecedent and indicates its successor in its conclusion.
The Science of Logic (1816)

The Idea, in positing itself as absolute unity of the pure Notion and its reality and thus contracting itself into the immediacy of being, is the totality in this form – Nature.
The Science of Logic (1816)

This Idea of Spinoza's we must allow to be in the main true and well-grounded; absolute substance is the truth, but it is not the whole truth; in order to be this it must also be thought of as in itself active and living, and by that very means it must determine itself as mind. But substance with Spinoza is only the universal and consequently the abstract determination of mind.
History of Philosophy (1817)

It may really be said: You are either a Spinozist or not a philosopher at all.
History of Philosophy (1817)

Man is free, this is certainly the substantial nature of man; and not only is this liberty not relinquished in the state, but it is actually in the state that it is first realised. The freedom of nature, the gift of freedom, is not anything real; for the state is the first realisation of freedom.
History of Philosophy (1817)

Although the state may originate in violence, it does not rest on it; violence, in producing the state, has bought into existence only what is justified in and for itself, namely, laws and a constitution.
The Philosophy of Spirit (1830)

There are two kinds of laws, laws of nature and laws of right.
Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821)

With us philosophy is not practised as a private art, as it was by the Greeks, but has a public place, and should therefore be employed only in the service of the state.
Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821)

What is rational is real and what is real is rational.
Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821)

Philosophy cannot teach the state what it should be, but only how it, the ethical universe, is to be known.
Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821)

As for the individual, every one is a son of his time; so philosophy also is its time apprehended in thoughts. It is just as foolish to fancy that any philosophy can transcend its present world, as that an individual could leap out of his time or jump over Rhodes.
Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821)

When philosophy paints its grey in grey, one form of life has become old, and by means of grey it cannot be rejuvenated, but only known. The owl of Minerva, takes its flight only when the shades of night are gathering.
Preface to The Philosophy of Right (1821)

The conception and its existence are two sides, distinct yet united, like soul and body. The body is the same life as the soul, and yet the two can be named independently. A soul without a body would not be a living thing, and vice versa. Thus the visible existence of the conception is its body, just as the body obeys the soul which produced it.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The science of right must develop the idea, which is the reason of an object, out of the conception. It is the same thing to say that it must regard the peculiar internal development of the thing itself. Since it is a part, it has a definite beginning, which is the result and truth of what goes before, and this, that goes before, constitutes its so-called proof.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Impulses must be freed from the form of direct subjection to nature.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The propulsion by the universality of thought is the absolute worth of civilisation.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The true process is found in the logic, and here in The Philosophy of Right is presupposed.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The sequence of the conceptions is at the same time a sequence of realisations.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Personality implies that as this person: I am completely determined on every side and so finite, yet nonetheless I am simply and solely self-relation, and therefore in finitude I know myself as something infinite, – universal, and free.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

‘Person’ is essentially different from ‘subject’, since ‘subject’ is only the possibility of personality; every living thing of any sort is a subject. A person, then, is a subject aware of this subjectivity, since in personality it is of myself alone that I am aware.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

‘Be a person and respect others as persons.’
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Personality is that which struggles to lift itself above the restriction of being only subjective and to give itself reality.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

A person must translate his freedom into an external sphere in order to exist as Idea.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Common property that may be owned by separate persons is an inherently dissoluble partnership in which the retention of my share is explicitly a matter of my arbitrary preference.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

I possess my life and my body, like other things, only in so far as my will is in them.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

From the point of view of others, I am in essence a free entity in my body.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

What and how much I possess is a matter of indifference so far as rights are concerned.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Those substantive characteristics which constitute my own private personality are inalienable.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

I can alienate to someone else and I can give him the use of my abilities only for a restricted period.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Existence as determinate being is in essence being for another.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Action has a multitude of consequences. Thus the will has the right to repudiate the imputation of all consequences except the first, since it alone was purposed.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

To impose on others is hypocrisy; while to impose on oneself is a stage beyond hypocrisy.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The family as a legal entity in relation to others must be represented by the husband as its head.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Once the children have come of age, they become recognised as persons.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The abstraction of one man’s production from another’s makes labour more and more mechanical, until finally man is able to step aside and install machines in his place.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

When a father inquired about the best method of educating his son in ethical conduct, a Pythagorean replied: ‘Make him a citizen of a state with good laws’.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The fact that society has become strong and sure of itself leads to a mitigation of its punishment.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

No act of revenge is justified.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The public authority takes the place of the family where the poor are concerned.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Society struggles to make charity less necessary, by discovering the causes of penury and means of its relief.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The inner dialectic of civil society drives it to push beyond its own limits and seek markets in other lands.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Colonial independence proves to be of the greatest advantage to the mother country, just as the emancipation of slaves turns out to the greatest advantage of the owners.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The Corporation comes on to the scene like a second family.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The state is the actuality of the ethical Idea.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The march of God in the world, that is what the state is.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The state is the actuality of concrete freedom.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The strength of the state is lies in the unity of its universal end with the particular interest of individual.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

In particularity and individuality, mind glimmers in them as the power of reason in necessity.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Mind is the nature of human beings en masse.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Necessity appears to itself in the shape of freedom.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The constitution of any given nation depends in general on the character and development of its self-consciousness.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The truth of subjectivity is attained only in a subject, and the truth of personality only in a person.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The sovereign works on the middle class at the top, and Corporations work on it at the bottom.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

As for popular suffrage, it may be further remarked that especially in large states it leads inevitably to electoral indifference, since the casting of a single vote is of no significance where there is a multitude of electors. Even if a voting qualification is highly valued and esteemed by those who are entitled to it, they still do not enter the polling booth.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Public opinion has common sense, but is infected by accidents of opinion, ignorance and perversity.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great or rational.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Free speech is assured by the innocuous character which it acquires as a result of the stability of government.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The individual's duty is to maintain the sovereignty of the state, at the risk and sacrifice of property and life.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Sacrifice on behalf of the state is the substantial tie between the state and all its members.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

If the state as such is in jeopardy, all its citizens are in duty bound to answer the summons to its defence.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

International law springs from the relations between autonomous states.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The nation state is Mind in its substantive rationality and immediate actuality — the absolute power on earth.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The fundamental proposition of international law is that treaties ought to be kept.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

It follows that if states disagree, the matter can only be settled by war.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

War should be not waged against domestic institutions, against the peace of family and private life.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Relations between states depend principally upon the customs of nations.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The Mind of the world, exercises its right in the ‘history of the world which is the world's court of judgement’.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

World history is a court of judgement.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

World history is not the verdict of mere might, but actualisation of the universal mind.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

The history of Mind is its own act.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

States, nations, and individuals are all the time the unconscious tools of the world mind at work within them.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Each stage of world-history is a necessary moment in the Idea of the World Mind.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

History is mind clothing itself with the form of events.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

World-historical actions, culminate with individuals as subjects — living instruments of the World Mind.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

It is the right of heroes to found states.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Civilised nations are justified in regarding as barbarians those who lag behind them in institutions.
Philosophy of Right (1821)

Spiritual culture, the modern intellect, produces this opposition in man which makes him an amphibious animal, because he now has to live in two worlds which contradict one another.
Introduction to the Lectures on Aesthetics (1826)

Art’s vocation is to unveil the truth in the form of sensuous artistic configuration, to set forth the reconciled opposition just mentioned [the common world of earthly temporality, and a realm of thought and freedom], and so to have its end and aim in itself, in this very setting forth and unveiling.
Introduction to the Lectures on Aesthetics (1826)

And so every work of art is a dialogue with everyone who confronts it.
Lectures on Aesthetics: The Idea of Artistic Beauty (1826)

A symbol is a sensuous object. There are two terms to be distinguished: the first is a conception of the mind; the second, a sensuous phenomenon, an image which address itself to the senses.
Lectures on Aesthetics: Symbolic Art (1826)

The sentiment of art like the religious sentiment, like scientific curiosity, is born of wonder; the man who wonders at nothing lives in a state of imbecility and stupidity.
Lectures on Aesthetics: Symbolic Art (1826)

The object of philosophy is an actuality of which social regulations and conditions, are only the superficial outside.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Introduction. (1830)

Those sciences, which thus got the name of philosophy, we call empirical sciences, for the reason that they take their departure from experience. In England this is still the usual signification of the term philosophy. Newton continues to be celebrated as the greatest of philosophers: and the name goes down as far as the price-lists of instrument-makers.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Introduction. (1830)

Experience is the real author of growth and advance of philosophy.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Introduction. (1830)

For these thousands of years the same Architect has directed the work: and that Architect is the one living Mind whose nature is to think.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Introduction. (1830)

Each of the parts of philosophy is a philosophical whole, a circle rounded and complete in itself. In each of these parts, however, the philosophical Idea is found in a particular specificality or medium. The single circle, because it is a real totality, bursts through the limits imposed by its special medium, and gives rise to a wider circle. The whole of philosophy in this way resembles a circle of circles. The Idea appears in each single circle, but, at the same time, the whole Idea is constituted by the system of these peculiar phases, and each is a necessary member of the organisation.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Introduction (1830)

By the act of reflection something is altered in the way in which the fact was originally presented in sensation, perception, or conception. Thus, as it appears, an alteration must be interposed before the true nature of the object can be discovered.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Preliminiary Notion (1830)

The divorce between thought and thing is mainly the work of the Critical Philosophy, and runs counter to the conviction of all previous ages, that their agreement was a matter of course.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Preliminiary Notion (1830)

‘Think for yourself’ is a phrase which people often use as if it had some special significance. The fact is, no man can think for another, any more than he can eat or drink for him. In point of contents, thought is only true in proportion as it sinks itself in the facts; and in point of form it is no private act of the subject, but rather that attitude of consciousness where the abstract self, freed from all the special limitations to which its ordinary states are liable, restricts itself to that universal action in which it is identical with all individuals.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Preliminiary Notion (1830)

Thoughts may be termed Objective Thoughts, thoughts accredited able to express the essential reality of things.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Preliminiary Notion (1830)

In my Phenomenology of the Spirit, which on that account was at its publication described as the first part of the System of Philosophy, the method adopted was to begin with the first and simplest phase of mind, immediate consciousness, and to show how that stage gradually of necessity worked onward to the philosophical point of view, the necessity of that view being proved by the process. But in these circumstances it was impossible to restrict the quest to the mere form of consciousness. For the stage of philosophical knowledge is the richest in material and organisation, and therefore, as it came before us in the shape of a result, it presupposed the existence of the concrete formations of consciousness, such as individual and social morality, art and religion. In the development of consciousness, which at first sight appears limited to the point of form merely, there is thus at the same time included the development of the matter or of the objects discussed in the special branches of philosophy. But the latter process must, so to speak, go on behind consciousness, since those facts are the essential nucleus which is raised into consciousness. The exposition accordingly is rendered more intricate, because so much that properly belongs to the concrete branches is prematurely dragged into the introduction. The survey which follows in the present work has even more the inconvenience of being only historical and inferential in its method. But it tries especially to show how the questions men have proposed, outside the school, on the nature of Knowledge, Faith, and the like - questions which they imagine to have no connection with abstract thoughts - are really reducible to the simple categories, which first get cleared up in Logic.
Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences. Preliminiary Notion. (1830)

To know what free thought means go to Greek philosophy.
Shorter Logic. (1830)

What we want is to combine in our process of inquiry the action of the forms of thought with a criticism of them. The forms of thought must be studied in their essential nature and complete development: they are at once the object of research and the action of that object. This is Dialectic, instead of being brought to bear upon the categories from without, it is immanent in their own action.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The Christian faith comprises in it an authority of the Church: but the faith of Jacobi’s philosophy has no other authority than that of a personal revelation. And, secondly, the Christian faith is a copious body of objective truth, a system of knowledge and doctrine: while the scope of the philosophic faith is so utterly indefinite, that, while it has room for the faith of the Christian, it equally admits a belief in the divinity of the Dalai Lama, the ox, or the monkey — thus, so far as it goes, narrowing Deity down to its simplest terms, a ‘Supreme Being’.
Shorter Logic. (1830)

Religion and morals, however much they may be faith or immediate knowledge, are still on every side conditioned by the mediating process which is termed development, education, training.
Shorter Logic (1830)

It is the fashion of youth to dash about in abstractions – but the man who has learnt to know life steers clear of the abstract ‘either‑or’, and keeps to the concrete.
Shorter Logic (1830)

All the categories of logic may be looked upon as definitions of the Absolute, or metaphysical definitions of God.
Shorter Logic (1830)

In the history of philosophy the different stages of the logical idea assume the shape of successive systems, each based on a particular definition of the Absolute. As the logical Idea is seen to unfold itself in a process from the abstract to the concrete, so in the history of philosophy the earliest systems are the most abstract, and thus at the same time the poorest. The relation too of the earlier to the later systems of philosophy is much like the relation of the corresponding stages of the logical Idea: in other words, the earlier are preserved in the later: but subordinated and submerged. This is the true meaning of a much misunderstood phenomenon in the history of philosophy – the refutation of one system by another, of an earlier by a later. Most commonly the refutation is taken in a purely negative sense to mean that the system refuted has ceased to count for anything, has been set aside and done for. Were it so, the history of philosophy would be, of all studies, most saddening, displaying, as it does, the refutation of every system which time has brought forth. Now although it may be admitted that every philosophy has been refuted, it must be in an equal degree maintained that no philosophy has been refuted. And that in two ways. For first, every philosophy that deserves the name always embodies the Idea: and secondly, every system represents one particular factor or particular stage in the evolution of the Idea. The refutation of a philosophy, therefore, only means that its barriers are crossed, and its special principle reduced to a factor in the completer principle that follows.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Pure Being, as it is mere abstraction, is just Nothing. In fact this definition is implied in saying that God is only the supreme Being and nothing more. The Nothing which the Buddhists make the universal principle, as well as the final aim and goal of everything, is the same abstraction.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The word ‘reality’ is used to mean that something behaves conformably to its essential characteristic or notion. For example, we use the expression: ‘This is a real man’. Here the term does not merely mean outward and immediate existence: but rather that some existence agrees with its notion. In this sense, reality is not distinct from ideality .
Shorter Logic (1830)

Newton gave physics an express warning to beware of metaphysics, it is true, but to his honour be it said, he did not by any means obey his own warning.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Thus the man, in himself, is the child. And what the child has to do is to rise out of this abstract and undeveloped 'in-himself' and become 'for himself' what he is at first only 'in-himself' – a free and reasonable being.
Shorter Logic (1830)

We have all reason to rejoice that the things which environ us are appearances and not steadfast and independent existences; since in that case we should soon perish of hunger, both bodily and mental.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The problem of science, and especially of philosophy, consists in eliciting the necessity concealed under the semblance of contingency.
Shorter Logic (1830)

That the manners of the Spartans are the cause of their constitution and their constitution conversely the cause of their manners, may no doubt be in a way correct. But, as we have comprehended neither the manners nor the constitution of the nation, the result of such reflections can never be final or satisfactory. The satisfactory point will be reached only when these two, as well as all other, special aspects of Spartan life and Spartan history are seen to be founded in a Notion.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Actuality and thought (or Idea) are often absurdly opposed. It is necessary energetically to protest against these doctrines, for on the one hand Ideas are not confined to our heads merely, nor is the Idea, on the whole, so feeble as to leave the question of its actualisation or non-actualisation dependent on our will. The Idea is rather the absolutely active as well as actual
Shorter Logic (1830)

The truth of necessity is, therefore, Freedom.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Necessity is blind only so long as it is not understood.
Shorter Logic (1830)

A good man is aware that the tenor of his conduct is essentially necessary.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The notion is the principle of all life, and thus possesses at the same time a character of thorough concreteness. The notion is what contains all the earlier categories of thought merged in it, an infinite and creative form which includes, but at the same time releases from itself, the fullness of all content. And so too the notion may, if it be wished, be styled abstract, if the name concrete is restricted to the concrete facts of sense or of immediate perception. For the notion is not palpable to the touch, and when we are engaged with it, hearing and seeing must quite fail us. And yet, the notion is a true concrete.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Logic is usually treated without in the least touching the question whether anything is true. If the logical forms of the notion were really dead and inert receptacles of conceptions and thoughts, careless of what they contained, knowledge about them would be an idle curiosity which the truth might dispense with.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The Greeks, in other respects so advanced, knew neither God nor even man in their true universality. The gods of the Greeks were only particular powers of the mind.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The universal ... cost thousands of years to enter the consciousness of men.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The distinction between what is merely in common, and what is truly universal, is strikingly expressed by Rousseau in his famous Contrat social, when he says that the laws of a state must spring from the universal will, but need not on that account be the will of all. Rousseau would have made a sounder contribution towards a theory of the state if he had always kept this distinction in sight.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The notion is what is mediated through itself and with itself. It is a mistake to imagine that the objects which form the content of our mental ideas come first and that our subjective agency then supervenes, and by the aforesaid operation of abstraction, and by colligating the points possessed in common by the objects, frames notions of them. Rather the notion is the genuine first; and things are what they are through the action of the notion, immanent in them, and revealing itself in them.
Shorter Logic (1830)

A study of Logic is no more necessary to teach us how to draw correct conclusions, than a previous study of anatomy and physiology is required in order to digest.
Shorter Logic (1830)

In their objective sense, the three figures of the syllogism declare that everything rational is manifested as a triple syllogism; that is to say, each one of the members takes in turn the place of the extremes, as well as of the mean which reconciles them. Such, for example, is the case with the three branches of philosophy: the Logical Idea, Nature, and Mind. As we first see them, Nature is the middle term which links the others together. Nature, the totality immediately before us, unfolds itself into the two extremes of the Logical Idea and Mind. But Mind is Mind only when it is mediated through nature. Then, in the second place, Mind, which we know as the principle of individuality, or as the actualising principle, is the mean; and Nature and the Logical Idea are the extremes. It is Mind which cognises the Logical Idea in Nature and which thus raises Nature to its essence. In the third place again the Logical Idea itself becomes the mean: it is the absolute substance both of mind and of nature, the universal and all-pervading principle.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The theory which regards the Object as Absolute expresses the point of view of superstition and slavish fear.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Animal wants and appetites are felt contradiction.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Reason is as cunning as it is powerful. Cunning may be said to lie in the intermediative action which, while it permits the objects to follow their own bent and act upon one another till they waste away, and does not itself directly interfere in the process, is nevertheless only working out its own aims.
Shorter Logic (1830)

A bad man is an untrue man, a man who does not behave as his notion or his vocation requires. Nothing however can subsist, if it be wholly devoid of identity between the notion and reality. Even bad and untrue things have being, in so far as their reality still, somehow, conforms to their notion.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Every individual being is some one aspect of the Idea.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Logic shows that the subjective which is to be subjective only, the finite which would be finite only, the infinite which would be infinite only, and so on, have no truth, but contradict themselves, and pass over into their opposites
Shorter Logic (1830)

The single members of the body are what they are only by and in relation to their unity. A hand e.g. when hewn off from the body is, as Aristotle has observed, a hand in name only, not in fact.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The chemist places a piece of flesh in his retort, tortures it in many ways, and then informs us that it consists of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, etc. True: but these abstract matters have ceased to be flesh.
Shorter Logic (1830)

All unsatisfied endeavour ceases when we recognise that the final purpose of the world is accomplished no less than ever accomplishing itself. Generally speaking, this is the man’s way of looking; while the young imagine that the world is utterly sunk in wickedness, and that the first thing needful is a thorough transformation. The religious mind, on the contrary, views the world as ruled by Divine Providence, and therefore correspondent with what it ought to be.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The Idea, as unity of the Subjective and Objective Idea, is the absolute and all truth, the Idea which thinks itself.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The absolute idea may in this respect be compared to the old man who utters the same creed as the child, but for whom it is pregnant with the significance of a lifetime. Even if the child understands the truths of religion, he cannot but imagine them to be something outside of which lies the whole of life and the whole of the world.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The same may be said to be the case with human life as a whole and the occurrences with which it is fraught. All work is directed only to the aim or end; and when it is attained, people are surprised to find nothing else but just the very thing which they had wished for. The interest lies in the whole movement.
Shorter Logic (1830)

The method is not an extraneous form, but the soul and notion of the content.
Shorter Logic (1830)

Enjoying however an absolute liberty, the Idea does not merely pass over into life: in its own absolute truth it resolves to let the ‘moment’ of its particularity, or of the first characterisation and other-being, the immediate idea, as its reflected image, go forth freely as Nature.
Concluding paragraph of The Shorter Logic (1830)

Fire is materialised time.
Philosophy of Nature (1830)

Life is essentially the concept which realises itself only through self-division and reunification.
Philosophy of Nature (1830)

The plant brings forth its light as its own self in the blossom.
Philosophy of Nature (1830)

Only what is living feels a lack.
Philosophy of Nature (1830)

The animal's subjectivity is only the concept in itself but not itself for itself .
Philosophy of Nature (1830)

Nature passes over into its truth, the subjectivity of the concept, whose objectivity is itself the suspended immediacy of individuality, the concrete generality, the concept which has the concept as its existence — into the Spirit.
Philosophy of Nature (1830)

The History of the World travels from East to West, for Europe is absolutely the end of History, Asia the beginning.
Lectures on the Philosophy of History (1831)

The East knew and to the present day knows only that One is Free; the Greek and Roman world, that some are free; the German World knows that All are free. The first political form therefore which we observe in History, is Despotism, the second Democracy and Aristocracy, the third Monarchy.
Lectures on the Philosophy of History (1831)

The Mohammedan principle – the enlightenment of the Oriental World – is the first to contravene this barbarism and caprice [of the real world]. We find it developing itself later and more rapidly than Christianity; for the latter needed eight centuries to grow up into a political form.
Lectures on the Philosophy of History (1831)

Reason governs the world and has consequently governed its history. In relation to this Reason, which is universal and substantial, in and for itself, all else is subordinate, subservient, and the means for its actualization. Moreover, this Reason is immanent in historical existence and reaches its own perfection in and through this existence.
General Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831)

The morality of the individual, then, consists in his fulfilling the duties of his social position.
General Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831)

Each individual is the child of a people at a definite stage of its development. One cannot skip over the spirit of his people any more than one can skip over the earth. But only through his own effort can he be in harmony with his substance; he must bring the will demanded by his people to his own consciousness, to articulation. The individual does not invent his own content; he is what he is by acting out the universal as his own content. This universal content everyone must activate within himself.
General Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831)

In the course of history two factors are important. One is the preservation of a people, a state, of the well-ordered spheres of life. This is the activity of individuals participating in the common effort and helping to bring about its particular manifestations. The other important factor, however, is the decline of a state. The existence of a national spirit is broken when it has used up and exhausted itself. This development is connected with the degradation, destruction, annihilation of the preceding mode of actuality which the concept of the Spirit had evolved. This is the result, on the one hand, of the inner development of the Idea and, on the other, of the activity of individuals, who are its agents and bring about its actualization. It is at this point that appear those momentous collisions between existing, acknowledged duties, laws, and rights and those possibilities which are adverse to this system, violate it, and even destroy its foundations and existence.
General Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831)

Man is an end in himself only by virtue of the divine in him – that which we designated at the outset as Reason, or, insofar as it has activity and power of self-determination, as Freedom.
General Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1831)

It is not the general idea that is implicated in opposition and combat, and that is exposed to danger. It remains in the background, untouched and uninjured. This may be called the cunning of reason, – that it sets the passions to work for itself, while that which develops its existence through such impulsion pays the penalty and suffers loss. Yet no lingering lies or make-believe strokes in the air can achieve anything against it. They can perhaps reach the shoelaces of this colossus, and smear on a bit of boot wax or mud, but they cannot untie the laces.
Philosophy of History (1831)

In Nature there happens ‘nothing new under the sun’.
Philosophy of History (1831)

The only Thought which Philosophy brings with it to the contemplation of History, is the simple conception of Reason; that Reason is the Sovereign of the World; that the history of the world, therefore, presents us with a rational process.
Philosophy of History (1831)

America is therefore the land of the future, where, in the ages that lie before us, the burden of the World’s History shall reveal itself – perhaps in a contest between North and South America. It is a land of desire for all those who are weary of the historical lumber-room of old Europe.
Philosophy of History (1831)