Nineteenth Century Philosophy

Friedrich Hegel

What happens after absolute knowledge is attained?

Friedrich Hegel’s science is aimed at uniting Immanuel Kant’s (1724–1804) system of transcendental categories to Aristotle’s (384–322 B.C.E.) logic about the real world. Hegel divides his thought process into treatments of being, essence, and concept, which are each divided into three parts, and so on. The contradictions in each category of nature require resolution leading to the categories that succeed it.

According to Hegel, nature itself has developed in a logical way, leading to ever greater abstractions in the form of our knowledge of nature. Hegel did not make clear distinctions between things in themselves in an ordinary, realist sense, and our knowledge of those things. For Hegel, then, the progression toward more complexity in nature corresponds with a progression in human knowledge.


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