It ‘God’, as does Hegel frequently. But he himself

It is impossible to understand Hegel’s philosophy of history without some grasp of his overall philosophy approach, yet this is famously difficult to understand fully. This is partly because his thinking functions at a markedly abstract level – namely in the domain of ultimate Being, or ‘Ontology’, where behind the empirical relatives we perceive is the higher realm of the logic or ‘Reason’ pervading existence. It is the bringing together of the world as we know it, it is the phenomenological character, with this underlying ontological dimension of Absolute Reality, which Hegel calls ‘philosophy’. ‘Philosophy’, then is the key to understanding reality, for it is his abiding belief that what we call ‘Existence’ or ‘Actuality’ is imbued with ‘Mind’ or ‘Reason’.

The task of philosophy is to discover this ‘Reason’ inherent in the world as we know it. We may call it reason ‘Mind’ or ‘God’, as does Hegel frequently. But he himself argued that religious notions of ‘God’ are but symbolic expressions of rational truths, so when he uses the term ‘God’, he means it philosophically as one term amongst others (e.g., Absolute) to denote ultimate realty. The religious expression of this belief is the symbolic notion that ‘God’ create the world, the even symbolically this is simplistic, vague, and possibly misleading. It is too simple because it suggests a note off act of self-manifestation of Mind, whereas for Hegel ‘Creation’, ‘Mind’ objectification if itself in/as the actual world, is a process of development of distinct stages.

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It is too vague because it gives no indications of the mechanism driving the developmental process nor transcendent ‘Mind’ or agent, above and beyond the world, in some undefined sense causing and governing it.  I stress ‘possibly’ because this is a contravention aspect of Hegel’s philosophy. The issue is this: is Hegel’s God or Mind some transcendent force, or is it co-equal with the universe as the immanent principles of the constitution and workings? This is latter theory – namely, equating God with his creation –  is call pantheism in theology and is the regard ad religious heresy’s Christians. Both Spinoza and Schelling for example were accused for it.

It is important because, for many, it is the cruy on which depends whether Hegel’s philosophy is worth of study or whether it should be dismissed as the indulgences of a philosophy dreamer. Why is this so. Many will think that , if construed as a transcendent Being responsible for willing and designing the universe, God should be removed altogether from rational, scientific explanatory discourse (the portion of both classical and modern materialists and atheist) the ground either that in such ‘Being’ exists, or that if it does, its disconnection from the universe other than through an unknowable, hence unintelligible, act of willful creation makes it an absurd thing to appeal to in trying to explain existence.  The alternative is the immanentist position, ethic construes ‘God’ as synonymous with the known principles inherent in Existence. The analogy of a spontaneously involved system may help.

Such system for example the ecological system is not design by anymore, yet the interconnections between its parts can be explained via cause and effect. Alternatively, however, the different laws interplaying within the pated of the system can be seen as implying an overall logic which encompasses but is not exhausted by its component parts.

This so pervades his entire philosophy that according to one scholar, it causes many believe that in Hegel the profoundest thoughts of god become articulated in man, in other words, that in exposing the nature and workings if Mind, Hegel’s philosophy is nothing less than ‘god’ explaining himself to himself, i.e., through the vehicle of Hegel’s thinking.  To understand Hegel, then we need to grasp this central notion of Mind objectifying itself. In one sense this is a familiar notion if we leave aside ‘Mind’ as GOD or the Absolute and think instead of an individual human mind. Here we can say that any artefact created by an individual is the product of his mind. He has an idea and objectifies it by making an actual object.

The object realizes or actualize his idea. Two points can be added to this straightforward example.