Georg Hegel (1770-1831)
Quotations


The first glance at History convinces us that the actions of men proceed from their needs, their passions, their characters and talents; and impresses us with the belief that such needs, passions and interests are the sole spring of actions.

Animals are in possession of themselves; their soul is in possession of their body. But they have no right to their life, because they do not will it.

The true courage of civilized nations is readiness for sacrifice in the service of the state, so that the individual counts as only one amongst many. The important thing here is not personal mettle but aligning oneself with the universal.

The true theater of history is therefore the temperate zone.

Education is the art of making man ethical.

We do not need to be shoemakers to know if our shoes fit, and just as little have we any need to be professionals to acquire knowledge of matters of universal interest.

It is easier to discover a deficiency in individuals, in states, and in Providence, than to see their real import and value.

The history of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of freedom.

An idea is always a generalization, and generalization is a property of thinking. To generalize means to think.

Mere goodness can achieve little against the power of nature.

Once the state has been founded, there can no longer be any heroes. They come on the scene only in uncivilized conditions.

World history is a court of judgment.

When liberty is mentioned, we must always be careful to observe whether it is not really the assertion of private interests which is thereby designated.

When we walk the streets at night in safety, it does not strike us that this might be otherwise. This habit of feeling safe has become second nature, and we do not reflect on just how this is due solely to the working of special institutions. Commonplace thinking often has the impression that force holds the state together, but in fact its only bond is the fundamental sense of order which everybody possesses.

Truth in philosophy means that concept and external reality correspond.

Poverty in itself does not make men into a rabble; a rabble is created only when there is joined to poverty a disposition of mind, an inner indignation against the rich, against society, against the government.

Amid the pressure of great events, a general principle gives no help.

To him who looks upon the world rationally, the world in its turn presents a rational aspect. The relation is mutual.

The learner always begins by finding fault, but the scholar sees the positive merit in everything.



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