Hegel and Historical Cause and Effect
Theory of Knowledge
Who was Hegel?
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German philosopher who wrote during the beginning of the 19th Century. His great achievement was to introduce for the first time in philosophy the idea that History and the concrete are important in getting out of the circle of the perennial problems of philosophy. Also, for the first time in the history of philosophy he realized the importance of the Other in the coming to be of self-consciousness.
The Dialectic (Thesis, antithesis, and synthesis)
In classical philosophy, dialectic is an exchange of propositions (theses) and counter-propositions (antitheses) resulting in a synthesis of the opposing assertions, or at least a qualitative transformation in the direction of the dialogue. It is one of the three original liberal arts (the other members are rhetoric and grammar) in Western culture. In ancient and medieval times, both rhetoric and dialectic were understood to aim at being persuasive (through dialogue). The aim of the dialectical method, often known as dialectic or dialectics, is to try to resolve the disagreement through rational discussion. One way — the Socratic Method — is to show that a given hypothesis (with other admissions) leads to a contradiction; thus, forcing the withdrawal of the hypothesis as a candidate for truth. Another way of trying to resolve a disagreement is by denying some presupposition of the contending thesis and antithesis; thereby moving to a third (syn) thesis. Hegel's dialectic, which he usually presented in a threefold manner, as comprising three dialectical stages of development: a thesis, giving rise to its reaction, an antithesis which contradicts or negates the thesis, and the tension between the two being resolved by means of a synthesis. For Hegel, the whole of history is one tremendous dialectic, major stages of which chart a progression from self-alienation as slavery to self-unification and...
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