George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel In 1770 A.D. an inspiring German idealist philosopher, who became one of the most influential thinkers of the 19th century. Hegel was born in Stuttgart on August 27, 1770, the son of a revenue officer with the civil service. He was brought up in an atmosphere of Protestant Pietism and became thoroughly acquainted with the Greek and Roman classics while studying at the Stuttgart gymnasium. Encouraged by his father to become a clergyman, Hegel entered the seminary at the University of Tübingen in 1788. There he developed friendships with the poet Friedrich Hölderlin and the philosopher Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling. Having completed a course of study in philosophy and theology and having decided not
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The Right Hegelians were Christian fundamentalists. They found Christian inspiration in Hegel's philosophy, and they condemned David Strauss' progressive New Testament critique, THE LIFE OF JESUS. Strauss also took his inspiration from Hegel. He showed how the earliest Christian communities altered the Gospels with their local traditions. Scholars for generations have reviewed the arguments of the Left and Right Hegelians, and are still divided on the question: Was Hegel a Christian or an atheist?
Hegel believed that by studying the relationships of concrete objects, which he held to be inter-related throughout the universe, genuine "rational" truths would be discovered. Hegel taught that abstraction inherently leads to the isolation of parts from the whole, until no further isolation is possible. Eventually, abstraction leads to the point where physical items and phenomenal concepts have no value. For example, “the atoms that make a man are just atoms by themselves, with no inherent value.” It is the whole that must be evaluated.
“This is the meaning of reality for Hegel -- that reality is the whole truth, grasped by our rational concepts. Reality is the absolute truth, it is the totality and synthesis of all partial and limited truth. Reality, properly understood, is the totality of truth of absolute mind. This breathtaking vision of absolute total reality is linked to the method by which it is known. This is the famous method of dialectic....”