chapter  12
Hegel
Pages 16

G.W.F.Hegel (1770-1831) was influenced by three separate intellectual movements: first, and most importantly, by postKantian idealism and by Kant himself. Secondly, by Christianity, and in particular by New Testament theology, to the subject of which much of Hegel’s early writing was devoted. (Hegel sought to give the complete exposition of the thought that ‘in the beginning was the Word’.) Finally, in his outlook and manner, by the literature of late German romanticism, for which he provided an elaborate philosophical justification. Hegel was a highly cultivated man of letters, and a friend of many of the artistic figures of his day, notably of the poet Hölderlin. Despite his bohemian entourage, however, he did not allow the fashion for romantic despair to overcome his will for success and establishment, and ended his life as the revered and comfortable official philosopher in the Prussian state which, by a happy but characteristic turn of thought, he had foretold as the highest expression of the political life of man.