Talk:Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel page.


Wikiquote no longer allows unsourced quotations, and they are in process of being removed from our pages (see Wikiquote:Limits on quotations); but if you can provide a reliable and precise source for any quote on this list please move it to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. --Antiquary 15:50, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Abstraktionen in der Wirklichkeit geltend machen, heißt Wirklichkeit zerstören.
    • To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality.
  • Was das Individuum betrifft, so ist ohnehin jedes ein Sohn seiner Zeit; so ist auch Philosophie ihre Zeit in Gedanken erfaßt.
    • As far as the individual is concerned, each individual is in any case a child of his time; thus, philosophy, too, is its own time comprehended in thoughts.

  • Any philosopher who uses the word "and" too often cannot be a good philosopher.
  • I saw the Emperor — that world-soul — ride through the town to reconnoitre. It is indeed a strange feeling to see such a person, who here, from a single point, sitting on his horse, reaches over and masters the world!
    • On first seeing Napoleon
    • Variant: I saw the World Spirit seated on a horse.
  • It is remarkable when a nation loses its Metaphysics, when the Spirit which contemplates its own Pure Essence is no longer a present reality in the life of a nation.
  • Logic is to be understood as the System of Pure Reason, as the realm of Pure Thought. This realm is Truth as it is without veil, and in its own Absolute nature. It can therefore be said that this Content is the exposition of God as God is in God's eternal essence before the creation of Nature and a finite mind.
  • The science of logic which constitutes Metaphysics proper or purely speculative philosophy, has hitherto still been much neglected.
  • This is the simple insight, that Being is within the Concept.
  • Hegel says somewhere that philosophy represents the mirror image of a society.
  • So much the worse for the facts!
    • i.e when they contradict the theory? But see Leszek Kolakowski, ‘From Truth to Truth’, in Modernity on Endless Trial, p. 125:‘In the event that an ideology includes elements that are formulated as empirical truths and may be critically examined, yet simply turn out to be false, one may say, as Lukacs and Bloch did (following the example of Fichte), “All the worse for the facts”, and continue to adhere steadfastly to one’s belief.’
  • The spirit cheats us, the spirit intrigues, the spirit lies, the spirit triumphs.
    • paraphrase?

Marx, the farce and the tragedy[edit]

  • "Hegel remarks somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce." - Karl Marx
    • This is true, but how is the actual quote? Where is this "somewhere"? Hedman (talk) 21:42, 20 October 2012 (UTC)


  • If Nietzsche and Hegel serve as alibis to the masters of Dachau and Karaganda, that does not condemn their entire philosophy. But it does lead to the suspicion that one aspect of their thought, or of their logic, can lead to these appalling conclusions
  • The secret of Hegel's dialectic lies ultimately in this alone, that it negates theology through philosophy in order then to negate philosophy through theology. Both the beginning and the end are constituted by theology; philosophy stands in the middle as the negation of the first positedness, but the negation of the negation is again theology.
  • Dr. J. O. Wisdom once observed to me that he knew people who thought there was no philosophy after Hegel, and others who thought there was none before Wittgenstein; and he saw no reason for excluding the possibility that both were right.
  • Altogether, Hegel's conversation was always a kind of monologue, sighed forth by fits and starts in a toneless voice. The baroqueness of his expressions often started me, and I remember many of them. On beautiful starry-skied evening, we two stood next to each other at a window, and I, a young man of twenty-two who had eaten well and had good coffee, enthused about the stars and called them the abode of the bessed. But the master grumbled to himself: "The stars, hum! hum! the stars are only a gleaming leprosy in the sky." For God's sake, I shouted, then is no happy locality up there to reward virtue after death? But he, starring at me with his pale eyes, said cuttingly: "So you want to get a tip for having nursed your sick mother and not having poisoned your dear brother?" — Saying that, he looked around anxiously, but he immediately seemed reassured when he saw that it was only Heinrich Beer, who had approached to invite him to play whist...
  • A philosophy like Hegel's is a self-revelation of the psychic background and, philosophically, a presumption. Psychologically it amounts to an invasion by the Unconscious. The peculiar, high-flown language Hegel uses bears out this view — it is reminiscent of the megalomaniac language of schizophrenics, who use terrific, spellbinding words to reduce the transcendent to subjective form, to give banalities the charm of novelty, or pass off commonplaces as searching wisdom. So bombastic a terminology is a symptom of weakness, ineptitude, and lack of substance.
  • The criticism of the German philosophy of state and right, which attained its most consistent, richest, and last formulation through Hegel, is both a critical analysis of the modern state and of the reality connected with it, and the resolute negation of the whole manner of the German consciousness in politics and right as practiced hereto, the most distinguished, most universal expression of which, raised to the level of science, is the speculative philosophy of right itself.
    • Karl Marx in A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right (1844) Introduction
  • However rebellious against the ways of the Seminary Hegel became, he remained the industrious, serious fellow he always was; his friends at the Seminary referred to him by the nickname 'the old man'... He was not content with simply pub crawling, carousing and making merry; he was still reading quite a bit and still remained extremely serious about learning.
  • Hegel found that in the Homeric epics the depiction of physical objects, however detailed and stylized, did not intrude upon the rhythm and vitality of the poem. Descriptive writing in modern literature, on the other hand, struck him as contingent and lifeless…. Compared to Homeric or even to medieval times, modern man inhabits the physical world like a rapacious stranger. These ideas greatly influenced Marx and Engels. It contributed to their own theory of the ‘alienation’ of the individual under capitalist modes of production.
  • We will never be finished with the reading or rereading of Hegel.
    • Jacques Derrida Positions: Revised Edition (Alan Bass, trans. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2004) p. 65
  • ...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...
  • The height of audacity in serving up pure nonsense, in stringing together senseless and extravagant mazes of words, such as had been only previously known in madhouses, was finally reached in Hegel, and became the instrument of the most barefaced, general mystification that has ever taken place, with a result which will appear fabulous to posterity, as a monument to German stupidity.
  • In the sphere of thought, absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is suspended only for brief periods.
  • ...that clumsy and nauseating charlatan, that pernicious person, who completely disorganized and ruined the minds of a whole generation.
  • What was senseless and without meaning at once took refuge in obscure exposition and language. Fichte was the first to grasp and make use of this privilege; Schelling at best equalled him in this, and a host of hungry scribblers without intellect or honesty soon surpassed them both. But the greatest effrontery in serving up sheer nonsense, in scrabbling together senseless and maddening webs of words, such as had previously been heard only in madhouses, finally appeared in Hegel...
  • ...a commonplace, inane, loathsome, repulsive and ignorant charlatan, who with unparalleled effrontery compiled a system of crazy nonsense that was trumpeted abroad as immortal wisdom by his mercenary followers...
  • If I were to say that the so-called philosophy of this fellow Hegel is 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, I should be quite right. Further, if I were to say that this summus philosophus ... scribbled nonsense quite unlike any mortal before him, so that whoever could read his most eulogized work, the so-called Phenomenology of the Mind, without feeling as if he were in a madhouse, would qualify as an inmate for Bedlam, I should be no less right.
  • If Hegel had written the whole of his logic and then said, in the preface or some other place, that it was merely an experiment in thought in which he had even begged the question in many places, then he would certainly have been the greatest thinker who had ever lived. As it is, he is merely comic.