. G.W.F. Hegel on World History - Dictionary of Arguments

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World history: World history encompasses the study of human events, developments, and interactions across diverse civilizations, cultures, and regions globally. It examines the interconnectedness of societies, economies, ideas, and conflicts over time, exploring the evolution of civilizations, technological advancements, cultural exchanges, and the impact of historical events on shaping the present world. See also Historiography, Universal history, History, Civilization, Culture.
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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

G.W.F. Hegel on World History - Dictionary of Arguments

Höffe I 337
World History/Hegel/Höffe: World history is certainly a synthesis of internal and external constitutional law, which undoubtedly amounts to an (...) increase, even to its completion.
Cf. >State/Hegel
.
However (...) the increase consists in a merely subjective "court", which is expressly not considered reasonable. On the contrary, it is said in the Lectures on the Philosophy of History(1), world history is a "slaughterhouse on which the happiness of peoples, the wisdom of states, and the virtue of individuals have been sacrificed. Nevertheless, Hegel insists
Höffe I 338
on his philosophical basic idea that general reason asserts itself against the particular arbitrariness (of peoples, states and individuals).
>Peace/Hegel.
Progress: In order to accomplish progress, according to Hegel, reason makes use of two "unconscious tools," the "world-historical individuals" (...) as well as the "spirits of the people," by which, in the sense of Montesquieu or Herder, is to be understood the way in which peoples organize their law and their constitution.
People/peoples: Hegel speaks of the "special national character of a people"(2). Both subjects, the individuals and the popular spirits, follow their own interests and nevertheless, according to the cunning of reason, help reason qua free will to succeed.
Weltgeist: When Hegel speaks here of Weltgeist, he does not mean an abstruse force, but rather the entire moral world of mankind, namely the whole of law, the family, the economic world, and the community.
Sequence of four "world-historical empires": the Oriental, the Greek, the Roman, and the Germanic empires. Steps/levels:
1) (...) the oriental empire does not meet the criteria that apply to the preceding part, the "internal state law". Because in the "Oriental Empire" the constitution and legislation of the state are mixed up with religion and the "individual personality is without rights", even the conditions of the systematic first part, the "abstract law", are not met(3).
>Law/Hegel.
Höffe I 339
2) (...) in the "beautiful moral individuality" of the "Greek empire" the Weltgeist finds "to individual spirituality, to beauty, and to free serene morality"(4).
3) On the next level, the "abstract generality" of the "Roman Empire", moral life is "torn apart into the extremes of personal private self-consciousness and abstract generality"(5).
4) Finally, in the "Germanic Empire," the "Nordic principle of the Germanic peoples" (...) true reconciliation has become objective, according to Hegel(6). For here, so the basic lines conclude, the State unfolds to the "image and reality of reason"(7).
>Weltgeist/Hegel, >History/Hegel.

1. G.W.F. Hegel, Vorlesungen zur Philosophie der Geschichte 1821-32 ed. by E. Gans 1837
2. Hegel, Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts oder Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaft im Grundriss, 1820, § 3
3. Ibid. § 355
4. Ibid. § 356
5. Ibid. § 357
6. Ibid. § 358
7. Ibid. § 360

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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Höffe I
Otfried Höffe
Geschichte des politischen Denkens München 2016


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2024-05-21
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