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Hegelian Idealism - Essay Example

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Hegelian Idealism

Hegel was refuted as part of the emergence of Anglo-American analytic philosophy in England, a century ago. Around the beginning of the last century three philosophical tendencies emerged with the influence of Hegel's Analytical approach: American pragmatism, Analytic philosophy, and Phenomenological movement. C S Peirce is considered as the founding father of American Pragmatism. J H Lambert and Immanuel Kant exhibited phenomenological tendencies whereas, Phenomenological movement and debate was set in motion by Edmund Husserl. Thus, it is difficult to understand Hegel's contribution to the problem of knowledge and contemporary debate on knowledge.
The romantic period flourished with Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Immanuel Kant who emphasized the self, creativity, imagination, and values of art in their works: Kant's idea, that human beings do not see the world directly but through a number of categories, resulted in looking at the world in a subjective perspective. Rousseau, in Social Contract, attempted to describe a society in which natural nobility and liberty of the spirit could flourish. Philosophers and writers like Goethe, Schelling, and Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel nurtured romanticism in Germany, while their contemporaries Coleridge and Wordsworth propagated it in Britain during eighteenth century. Existentialism began in the first half of 19th century with Kierkegaard, who was concerned with the individual's subjective experience to religious faith, and criticized Hegel's approach of analyzing the existence of individuals in an abstract and impersonal way. The school of existentialism gained prominence with Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean Paul Sartre, and Albert Camus. Camus believed that life was essentially absurd and that the modern world is full of injustice.
Analytic philosophy played an important role in the English speaking academic world since the beginning of 20th century. With Kantian philosophy a division occurred between philosophies practiced in European and Anglo-America. Hegel introduced an Idealist direction to Continental philosophy, which took an Existentialist turn through Nietzsche and Heidegger, before entering a phase of uncertainties with post-structuralism. Bertrand Russell and G.E Moore rebelled against British idealism. Influential Analytic thinkers of the period include Wilfred Sellars, Richard Rotry, Robert Random, John McDowell and Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer. Analytic philosophy got fillip through German philosopher Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) with his book "Begriffsschrift" published in 1879. Frege introduced a rigorous logic with a combination of philosophy of mathematics, logic, and language. Another turn in philosophical expression in learning emerged with British philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) who combined Frege's logical insight with David Hume's empiricism. Russell began his philosophical career as an Idealist, converted to empiricism by G.E Moore, and to follower of mathematical logic with the influence of A.N. Whitehead.
A change in direction initiated by Wittgenstein and propagated by Gilbert Ryle (1900-76), to mitigate traditional problems of philosophy, through careful study of language, paved the way to the development of 'Linguistic philosophy. ...Show more


Hegelian Idealism still attracts divergent criticism in varying degrees. Philosophy addresses complex issues and it is not a single, unified subject. The history of philosophy is an area relatively un-chartered by the established doctrine, and thus offers scope for exploring the tendency among scholars to escape from the present to the past…
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Hegelian Idealism Essay essay example
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