Hegel believed that true philosophy was idealism. Hegel came up with a concept Geist (spirit of an individual or a group). The concept Geist is seen as equivalent with the Christian idea of God, so Hegel wished to see spirit as a comprehensive concept that includes Christian view of deity and a more secularized notion of human collective consciousness. So Hegel viewed each individual  mind as both part of and distinct from his greater mind, in other words as individuals  we can both be at one with mind but also at odds with it in our behavior and action. Hegel views the world as a product of the spirit whereby each individual has the task of acquainting with the spirit (Howard, 1997).The spirit according to Hegel can only be known in entirety through philosophy; however this does not mean that those who have not read philosophy will be completely separated from the spirit. He argues that living in the world and being a member of a society, each individual knows the spirit partially. Hegel does not accept that the biblical account of creation as empirically correct because this is not how the spirit comes to the earth. He preferred to agree with scientific accounts on the origin of the universe; however he still regarded nature as ideal. In other words he sees nature as other part of the spirit which reveals itself in the end to be part of spirit (Howard, 1997).

Hegel argues that the spirit does not manifest itself immediately in its complete form but the spirit of the world gradually reveals itself in a number of ascending forms finally leading to freedom. He goes further to argue that the development of spirit commences in the orient and therefore the history of the world. The History of the world travels from East to West where Europe is undeniably the end of history. He portrays Asia as the beginning and like the physical sun; the sun of self-consciousness first arises in the East and reaches its greatest brilliance in the West. Hegel conceives the end as the final total accomplishment in which peak of human development was acquired in terms of perfectibility. Therefore the end of history is a moment when all human being have developed historically, acquire awareness equality and become free. Hegel believed that at the end, rational form of society and state became victorious. According to Hegel, history came to an end in 1806 with Napoleon’s defeat of the Prussian monarchy at the Battle of Jena which symbolized the victory of the ideals of the French Revolution (Howard, 1997).


Howard, W (1997). “The end of history in Hegel and Marx,” The European Legacy: Toward New Paradigms, 2:3, 557-566