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Selina Pascale

Selina Pascale


Total Article : 213

About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!

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Hegel Part 1

Hegel Part 1

Hegel is renowned for his strong critique of Kant and his influence on future theorists such as Marx and Fanon. Hegel concerns himself with freedom and defines it as self-knowledge, the ability to know thyself. Hegel is socially dependant and believes people are shaped by their social background.

Hegel was born in Germany in 1770 into a middle class family; he worked as a tutor then a lecturer at the University of Jena for free. In 1818 he took the place as a philosophy lecturer at the University of Berlin. Hegel lived in the aftermath of the French revolution which inevitably played a role in his theories and is reflected in his ideas. Hegel is seen as one of the key influences of communitarian politics, in contrast to Kant’s cosmopolitan political stance.

Hegel concerns himself with dialectical process, a feature which will be adopted by Marx along with alienation. Dialectic can be described as a method of argument where both sides offer different, opposing arguments but reach a joint position or resolution by synthesising their views. Both history and politics are dialectal according to Hegel.

Contradiction is a universal category, everything consists in contradictions and all contradictions depend on each other for meaning (e.g. yes/no). The unity of synthesis comes from contradiction. Hegel agrees with Kant’s intuition that all humans are divided by reason and instinct but, unlike Kant, he does not believe one can overcome this. For Hegel man remains governed by both, one side cannot preside over the other.


Hegel thinks of history in terms of stages, each containing ideas of contradiction to other stages (Marx). History is composed by different types of communities. Hegel’s idea of progress differs from that of the enlightenment: one cannot remake society entirely through reason, throwing off tradition and culture as this would be a ‘technical and engineering approach to politics’. He heavily critiques the attempts made by the French Revolution to empty society of its culture and history. Hegel sees humans as becoming free by a process of struggle, sometimes a violent one at that. Struggle and self-actualization are possible in communities, seen as conflict regions with struggles of recognition.

Hegel vs Kant

Kant produced a type of morality coined 'moralitet', an abstract morality cut loose from nature and anything which is grounded, therefore it is empty and vacuous; his theory lacks proper political content.  Hegel critics Kant’s individualism which sees that each person follows the dictates of reason on their own. Hegel accepts the Aristotelian maximum according to which man is a social animal and then proposes a richer conception of morality, providing a new perspective on philosophical thought.


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