chapter  6
28 Pages

Soul between Body and Spirit in Hegel

Hegel considers the soul and the soul-body relation in his philosophical anthropology, the first major section of the first division of part 3 of his Encyclopaedia. This anthropology succeeds the last category of the philosophy of nature, Organics, and immediately precedes the Encyclopaedia phenomenology. It is thus supposed to cover the entire sphere of human nature which lies between man considered as a purely natural being and his spiritual nature. (The latter enters the soul, says Hegel, like a flash of lightning, giving unity to it and precipitating the spiritual development which is described by phenomenology.1) The anthropology has three main categories: the natural, feeling and actual souls. These encompass a very broad selection of topics, including the differences between cultures; childhood and the ages of man; habit, sleep and dreaming; sensation and the different senses; the language of gestures and in general the use of the body as an instrument of the soul; the many nuances of the life of feeling; the different forms of insanity and their cures and, for the purposes of this book the most interesting and important discussion of all (as well as the longest in Hegel’s text), the nature of animal magnetism and clairvoyance.