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Hegel wrote this classic as an introduction to a series of lectures on the "philosophy of history." With this work, he created the history of philosophy as a scientific study. He reveals philosophical theory as neither an accident nor an artificial construct, but as an exemplar of its age.
Published: Dover Publications on
ISBN: 9780486119007
List price: $12.95
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How on earth can I 'review' this beast of an author, much less give his works a star rating? I'll try anyway.

This is one of his more accessible works, thankfully. If you have to read him, start here.

To take the shorter way out of this, I'll say that Hegel views History as Freedom. Some of his conceptions of the history of non-European states are incredibly misinformed, but that's just something that you have to take in mind.

The Introduction and Preface are astounding - German idealism, etched in stone tablets and given from the Mount of Sinai. Interesting ideas about Spirit and the Dialectic and The Meaning of History and other things. I need to reread a huge chunk of my philosophy section, now that I've actually read Hegel and not just summaries of him in order to get a background.

The preface and introduction are necessary for students of history and philosophy, regardless of orientation. The rest is up to you.more
One of Hegel's more straight-forward works. "The Philosophy of History" was created out of a series of lectures given by Hegel on the subject of progress and history. Beginning with Africa, a continent with no history, Hegel outlines the pros and cons of the major empires throughout history. The bureaucratic nature of the Chinese empire and the barbarousness of the Romans are highlighted of reasons for their eventual collapse. Naturally, Hegel chooses Germany as the nation that will eventually "end" history as such and he will be its final historian and philosopher. Though the prose is often difficult (though easy by Hegelian standards), I think that this is a worthwhile read for those interested in contemporary philosophical debates surrounding history as well as those interested in Marxist theory. "The Philosophy of History" is an interesting case of history as narrative. The progressive agenda behind this book may help those understand the foundations of Marxist historiography. A difficult, though worthwhile read.more
Portentous as fuck. The number-one thing I got out of this book was a timely reminder that it's not just the poststructuralists, dude, and a certain strain of continental philosophy has always equated obscurity with depth.Other than that? Well, the parts where he spends half a page explaining why we call(ed) the Orient the Orient and the West the West even though the Earth is a ball, and why we call the New World new (hint: it's NOT ACTUALLY ANY NEWER) are fun, but let's face it: at, not with.The abstract castlebuilding on God and "Spirit" I read with great inattention and in some cases only notionally, and it still got through to me by the end because he managed to spend FOUR HUNDRED PAGES stentoring it at me (like getting hit with a pillow for aeons and aeons . . .), and in the end it was worth about four sentences and even those weren't really worth enough for me to try to sketch/parse them here. I'll give you one word, and it won't surprise you to hear that it's "theodicy."Some of the stuff about the Greeks and the Romans and the good ol' dialectical contradictions that brought them down was interesting and new, no doubt. And the stuff about China and India and the "German World" (including France and Spain, in Hegel's estimation) was interesting in a "the way we were" kind of way. Aaand his concept as a whole, world-historical peoples and the development of Spirit and passing of the torch is kind of aesthetically, or no, ergonomically pleasing, as long as you don't ask there to be any reality to it whatsoever.But dude, if I could coin one term to describe whatever the term is for a unity of imagined author with experienced text (and please don't ask me to coin a term for that too) for this book, it would be . . . "Anti-fresh air." Schopenhauer called Hegel's philosophy (and this was selected by me and Heidi from a wealth of similar statements by many dudes) ". . . a colossal piece of mystification which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudo-philosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage..." He was basically right.more
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Reviews

How on earth can I 'review' this beast of an author, much less give his works a star rating? I'll try anyway.

This is one of his more accessible works, thankfully. If you have to read him, start here.

To take the shorter way out of this, I'll say that Hegel views History as Freedom. Some of his conceptions of the history of non-European states are incredibly misinformed, but that's just something that you have to take in mind.

The Introduction and Preface are astounding - German idealism, etched in stone tablets and given from the Mount of Sinai. Interesting ideas about Spirit and the Dialectic and The Meaning of History and other things. I need to reread a huge chunk of my philosophy section, now that I've actually read Hegel and not just summaries of him in order to get a background.

The preface and introduction are necessary for students of history and philosophy, regardless of orientation. The rest is up to you.more
One of Hegel's more straight-forward works. "The Philosophy of History" was created out of a series of lectures given by Hegel on the subject of progress and history. Beginning with Africa, a continent with no history, Hegel outlines the pros and cons of the major empires throughout history. The bureaucratic nature of the Chinese empire and the barbarousness of the Romans are highlighted of reasons for their eventual collapse. Naturally, Hegel chooses Germany as the nation that will eventually "end" history as such and he will be its final historian and philosopher. Though the prose is often difficult (though easy by Hegelian standards), I think that this is a worthwhile read for those interested in contemporary philosophical debates surrounding history as well as those interested in Marxist theory. "The Philosophy of History" is an interesting case of history as narrative. The progressive agenda behind this book may help those understand the foundations of Marxist historiography. A difficult, though worthwhile read.more
Portentous as fuck. The number-one thing I got out of this book was a timely reminder that it's not just the poststructuralists, dude, and a certain strain of continental philosophy has always equated obscurity with depth.Other than that? Well, the parts where he spends half a page explaining why we call(ed) the Orient the Orient and the West the West even though the Earth is a ball, and why we call the New World new (hint: it's NOT ACTUALLY ANY NEWER) are fun, but let's face it: at, not with.The abstract castlebuilding on God and "Spirit" I read with great inattention and in some cases only notionally, and it still got through to me by the end because he managed to spend FOUR HUNDRED PAGES stentoring it at me (like getting hit with a pillow for aeons and aeons . . .), and in the end it was worth about four sentences and even those weren't really worth enough for me to try to sketch/parse them here. I'll give you one word, and it won't surprise you to hear that it's "theodicy."Some of the stuff about the Greeks and the Romans and the good ol' dialectical contradictions that brought them down was interesting and new, no doubt. And the stuff about China and India and the "German World" (including France and Spain, in Hegel's estimation) was interesting in a "the way we were" kind of way. Aaand his concept as a whole, world-historical peoples and the development of Spirit and passing of the torch is kind of aesthetically, or no, ergonomically pleasing, as long as you don't ask there to be any reality to it whatsoever.But dude, if I could coin one term to describe whatever the term is for a unity of imagined author with experienced text (and please don't ask me to coin a term for that too) for this book, it would be . . . "Anti-fresh air." Schopenhauer called Hegel's philosophy (and this was selected by me and Heidi from a wealth of similar statements by many dudes) ". . . a colossal piece of mystification which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudo-philosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage..." He was basically right.more
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