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Introduction to the Philosophy of History

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Book Overview: 

The introduction to Hegel's lectures on the philosophy of world history is often used to introduce students to Hegel's philosophy, in part because Hegel's sometimes difficult style is muted in the lectures, and he discourses on accessible themes such as world events in order to explain his philosophy. Much of the work is spent defining and characterizing Geist or spirit. Geist is similar to the culture of people, and is constantly reworking itself to keep up with the changes of society, while at the same time working to produce those changes through what Hegel called the "cunning of reason". Another important theme of the text is the focus on world history, rather than regional or state history.

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Community Reviews

The best thing I have to say about this work is that the Libravox audio version is a very relaxing read. This was my bedtime story for several months, because the narration mixed with the simultaneously dry and obscure subject matter never failed to put me to sleep within 30 minutes (which is fast f

Is it easy to understand? No. Are the ideas something every reader should feel compelled to engage with? No. Is it a fun read? No. Would I recommend this book to anyone? No. Is Georg a little bit racist? Yes. Did I learn anything? Maybe!

So glad I didn't have to try to work my way through the entirety of this! Germans tend to be super dense and convoluted from this time...translations don't help. Hegel's dialectical understanding of history, emphasizing the world-history figure, divinity, and the political, was extremely influential

An absolute bore, made me miss reading Kant

Hegel is so hard to read. So many terms he used interchangeably without explaining himself. I was happy in sections that I understood what he was trying to say, but I wished there was consistency in his language.

I think Hegel is trying to argue that Reason (or the Idea or Spirit) is ruling through h

the more coherent hegel becomes, the less i agree with him.
i think this account of history is one that is immediately seductive. it is comforting to think of history as one long, necessary march that we are really really close to getting through. i think this way of thinking is the predominant one

Hegel’s idea of an eternal Spirit that manifests itself through world history is fascinating. It’s as if he took history and turned it into a science which in turn is the ultimate tool for understanding human society and evolution. Would’ve given it five stars if it weren’t so difficult to read. Per

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