|Sophie's World, "Hegel"
- Hegel rejected Kant's idea that the material world, "the
thing in itself" was beyond the human ability to directly perceive.
Even so, he asserted that the truth is subjective and changes from
generation to generation. He believed that there are no eternal
- Hegel believed the truth to be inherent in an evolving "world
spirit" which is the sum of human utterances, thought and
- Only through studying the history of ideas can we gain
insight into the way the world spirit is evolving and the forms it
has taken in different ages.
- Human actions can only be deemed to be right or wrong in relation
to their historical context. (ex slavery)
- Progress: Reason is progressive: the world spirit is
developing towards 'consciousness of itself': a state of greater
rationality and human freedom. The world spirit has passed through
two phases (the subjective and the objective) and it will culminate
in a third phase (the absolute).
- The Dialectic: the history of ideas progresses
through conflict: a thought generates its opposite and then a third
thought creatively synthesizes the two.
- For example,
(material substance is
(everything constantly changes)
synthesized both ideas in
his atomic theory.
Kant's synthesis of the two