Hegel Theory of Human History
Hegel’s theory of human history
The idea of change as the center of universe was present in Philosophy since ancient Greece. However, it was only after Hegel that the suggestion of humans as a changing reality and makers of change gains consistency, materializes (Marx and Engel) and achieves supremacy in other areas of philosophy that were not being considered worthy of deep reflection – as the case of human history. Hegel himself impeaches that historians and philosophers where not considering history, or the philosophy of history, as something extremely profound and significant. In Philosophy of History he starts by explaining how the approaches taken by others are improper in matters of capturing the true value of history; and how it becomes, in the hands of historians, a superficial subject. For him, history is anything but shallow. It holds the character - or essence - of human life and the truth about human existence. It is maybe the most insightful topic that philosophy can reflect on. But Hegel doesn’t denigrate other systems as unimportant or absolutely inutile. On the contrary, they are quite valuable in pursuing their purpose – describing historical facts, finding relation between historical events or verifying the plausibility of historical narrations – but they are inefficient in the pursue of truth about human life and existence. Truth is only attainable through dialectical thinking - Philosophy - and it is in that way that historians fail to conquer the supreme value of history: the meaning of history within itself. Attached to the these ideas of changing reality and of a proper dialectical exercise to capture it, Hegel introduces a core learning: that the process of change has a direction, it has a purpose. History, according to Hegel, is not unintended. The transformations of the forms of human life don’t just happen by chance but as part of a reasonable process....
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