chapter  Lecture II
The Absolute and Philosophical Problems
WithJ. N. Findlay
Pages 19

The nineteenth century brought darker Absolutes into the picture, not only useless or detrimental, but in perilous health. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel sees the whole of Nature as manifesting the Absolute in a state of self-alienation. The Absolute is essentially self-determining, endowed always with a branching power of alternatives, and alienating itself in forms endowed with further powers of alternatives without end. The chapter considers the philosophical problems which centre in value and evil, and which only are problems from the standpoint of an absolutism which alone can hope to solve them. If having an Absolute represents an important step in thought, then the Absolute must do something towards blunting the edge of such philosophical difficulties: if it merely adds to them, it is indeed superfluous. The classical problem of substance is a characteristic case of what happens if one has no Absolute or the wrong sort of Absolute.