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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index H > Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel Quotes

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
(27 Aug 1770 - 14 Nov 1831)

German philosopher.

Science Quotes by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (5 quotes)

In all spheres of science, art, skill, and handicraft it is never doubted that, in order to master them, a considerable amount of trouble must be spent in learning and in being trained. As regards philosophy, on the contrary, there seems still an assumption prevalent that, though every one with eyes and fingers is not on that account in a position to make shoes if he only has leather and a last, yet everybody understands how to philosophize straight away, and pass judgment on philosophy, simply because he possesses the criterion for doing so in his natural reason.
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
From Phδnomenologie des Geistes (1807) as translated by J.B. Baillie in 'Preface', The Phenomenology of Mind (1910), Vol. 1, 67.
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In history an additional result is commonly produced by human actions beyond that which they aim at and obtain—that which they immediately recognize and desire. They gratify their own interest; but something further is thereby accomplished, latent in the actions in question, though not present to their consciousness, and not included in their design. … This may be called the cunning of reason.
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
From Vorlesungen όber die philosophie der weltgeschichte (1837), as translated from the Third German Edition by J. Sibree (1857), in The Philosophy of History (1857, 1861), 28-29 & 34. Hegel coined the expression List der Vernunft translated as the cunning of reason. In Hegel’s philosophical view, the expression represents a process by which a certain purpose is realized in the history of mankind that is not conscious to the acting man.
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Reason is just as cunning as she is powerful. Her cunning consists principally in her mediating activity, which, by causing objects to act and re-act on each other in accordance with their own nature, in this way, without any direct interference in the process, carries out reason’s intentions.
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
In Die Logik (1840), 382.
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The History of the World is nothing but the development of the Idea of Freedom.
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
From Vorlesungen όber die philosophie der weltgeschichte (1837), as translated from the Third German Edition by J. Sibree (1857), in The Philosophy of History (1857, 1861), 476.
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To him who looks at the world rationally the world looks rationally back.
— Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Quoted in Reason in History: A General Introduction to the Philosophy of History (1953), trans. Robert S. Hartmann, 13.
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Quotes by others about Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1)

As pure truth is the polar star of our science [mathematics], so it is the great advantage of our science over others that it awakens more easily the love of truth in our pupils. … If Hegel justly said, “Whoever does not know the works of the ancients, has lived without knowing beauty,” Schellbach responds with equal right, “Who does not know mathematics, and the results of recent scientific investigation, dies without knowing truth
Max Simon
From Didaktik und Methodik des Rechnens und der Mathematik (1908), 37. As quoted and translated in J.W.A. Young, Teaching of Mathematics in the Elementary and the Secondary School (1907), 44. From the original German, “Wenn Hegel mit Recht sagt: ‘Wer die Werke der Alten nicht kennt, der hat gelebt, ohne die Schφnheit gekannt zu haben’, so erwidert Schellbach mit nicht minderem Recht: ‘Wer die Math. und die Resultate der neueren Naturforschung nicht gekannt hat, der stirbt, ohne die Wahrheit zu kennen.’”
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Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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