Hegel’s Philosophy of History


The subject of this course of Lectures is the Philosophical History of the World. And by this must be understood, not a collection of general observations respecting it, suggested by the study of its records, and proposed to be illustrated by its facts, but Universal History itself.

I cannot mention any work that will serve as a compendium of the course, but I may remark that in my The Philosophy of Right . 341-360, I have already given a definition of such a Universal History as it is proposed to develop, and a syllabus of the chief elements or periods into which it naturally divides itself.

To gain a clear idea at the outset, of the nature of our task, it seems necessary to begin with an examination of the other methods of treating History. The various methods may be ranged under three heads:

I.   Original History
II.  Reflective History
III. Philosophical History

i.   Reason Governs the World
ii.  Essential destiny of Reason

(1) The Abstract Characteristics of the Nature of Spirit
(2) The Means Spirit Uses to Realize Its Idea
(3) The Embodiment Spirit Assumes - the State

iii. The Course of the World's History

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