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Lecture

History and the Dialectic- Hegel

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Department
Political Science
Course
POL3102
Professor
Sascha Maicher
Semester
Winter

Description
February 27, 2014 HISTORY AND THE DIALECTIC  For Hegel: freedom for humans is the goal of world history. o History is the actualization of freedom through the modern state o We’re progressively actualizing the idea of freedom.  The existence of a state does not make it rational o If it is not rational, it is not completely actual.  History as a process is not value neutral o There is a right way and a wrong way to actualize  Actualization is: the move from abstract right to concrete right  Concepts of political thought may be more actualized in some societies than others  The universe has an abstractly real structure  The universe is rational because us as humans are rational and we are of the universe  Hegel: we must figure out how to actualize the rationality of the universe o We don’t know what freedom is until it becomes real in the world  There are 2 streams of knowledge o Human beings are biological entities of the world o Human beings are free  Our social drives and biological drives are incompatible o If they are compatible: we must make sure our social structures can be as rational as our biological structures; if they’re not, we’re in trouble  A dialectical process: o Works in different ways and in different levels  Thoughts are dialectical: an idea will general suggest its opposite. There are both integrally related.  Each idea is only partially true, therefore it leads to its opposite.  Ie, slavery. The idea of slavery doesn’t exist without the idea of freedom.  Thinking always produces a counter-question  The way history forms makes it dialectical  Has basic logic as thinking  Hegel: sees his own philosophy as important to the political process  The goal is a harmonious society o Freedom is the reason we need this harmony  Freedom: simply to do what one pleases  Nobody asks why people desire the things they desire and assume there is a truth to it o What produces the preferences of people? o We live in this system because it teaches us about what we think we want  Whatever preferences that have been developed in t
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