Nineteenth Century Philosophy

Friedrich Hegel

Where does the human mind fit into Hegel’s idealism?

Human Geist, or mind, or spirit, is made up of the same categories that form reality, according to Friedrich Hegel. These categories, as ideas, develop in the individual life and in humanity as a whole over time. There are three stages of spirit, with the second higher than the first, and the third higher than the second. The first stage is subjective spirit, which is individual psychology. The second stage of Geist is objective spirit, or the traditions, rules, and institutions of society. The third stage of Geist is Absolute Spirit, evident in the arts, religion, and philosophy. As spirit understands itself, it becomes free and aware of itself, or self-conscious. Spirit preserves, destroys, and raises up what is not spirit.


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