Talk:Absolute idealism

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"Both logical positivism and grew out of a rebellion against Hegelianism prevalent in England during the 19th century. " something wrong here.... Wblakesx (talk) 04:51, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Idealism == I would propose the following Major edit to the absolute Idealism section, but are waiting on comments, since it is a rather big overhaul. The text proposed is as follows:

There are rich and wide-ranging meanings for the philosophical notion of idealism, which extend from the philosophy of Ancient Greece to contemporary versions of idealism. In the following, these differing articulations of idealism with be examined.

Objective Idealism -- Plato (needs to be written)

subjective idealism -- Berkeley (needs to be written)

Absolute Idealism is a ontologically monistic philosophy. Absolute idealism is a the philosophical doctrine attributed to G.W.F.Hegel. It posits that in order for us (subject) to know the world (object) some necessary point of identity between the two must exist. Would it be otherwise the subject would never have access to the object and we wouldn't be able to know anything about the world. That point of identity must itself give rise to such different ideas as subject and object and must therefore lay at the basis of all the concepts with which we think and make sense of the world.

We find that if we try to think that absolute point, we will always fall short. We can only describe it using different concepts, but no concept will adequately cover what that absolute is and give rise to to a consideration of its opposite. For instance if we hold that the absolute is in fact infinity, than that would mean that infinite would not be part of it, but infinity is just as much a part of that underlying absolute as infinity is. The absolute is in fact the unity of these concepts. We learn that every concept has a necessary relation to its opposite.

This absolute relation we have to the world creates in this dialectic fashion all concepts we have to understand the world. this works in the individual mind, but also through history. Our historical development called 'spirit' can be seen as a journey through stages of explanations of the world. Each explanation created problems and oppositions within itself, leading to tensions which could only be overcome by adopting a view that could accommodate these oppositions in a higher unity. At the base of spirit lies a rational development. that means that the absolute itself is exactly that rational development. The assertion that "All reality is spirit" means that all of reality is ordered with the concepts we have of it. Even nature is not different from the spirit since it itself is ordered by the determinations given to us by spirit. It follows the same pattern of rational development as spirit does.

The Absolute Idealist position should be distinguished from Transcendental Idealism, (Immanuel ) subjective idealism, (Fichte) and Objective Idealism (Schelling)

Please tell me what you think. regards Tobias —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 85.97.154.27 (talkcontribs) 05:21, October 4, 2005 (UTC)

Good to see you joining in, Tobi. The rule here is be bold in updating pages. Your edits can only improve this rather poor page, so please, put them in. In fact, if you don't, I will.
I also suggest, even if you only want to edit occasionally, that you Create an account, so you can access some more editing tools. See Wikipedia:Why create an account Banno 20:31, 4 October 2005 (UTC)
Good to see some editing on this entry. Not that this has happened, but just as a for warning: no need to give Plato and Berkeley's idealisms too much space, only as much as needed to draw infomative contrasts. As I am sure you already realize this. Atfyfe 21:44, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Christian science[edit]

Does anyone know if this is true? --goethean 15:56, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Merge Discussion[edit]

ATF:The philosophers and philosophies described in the entries for Neo-hegelianism, Absolute idealism, British idealism as well as German idealism are all very similar and repeatative. I propose we bring all the versions of Absolute idealism or Neo-hegelianism (both German and British wings) into two sections of one article on all of Absolute idealism. I am by no means a Hegel expert, but I have just begun reading some Absolute Idealism and I cannot find any reason for why it has 4 different entries on wikipedia. - Atfyfe 22:39, July 31, 2006 UTC

The basic problem with having these as a single entry is that "British Idealism" and "German Idealism" name historical traditions, while "Absolute Idealism" names a particular variety of idealism that certain figures within each tradition held. Kant is always included among the German Idealists, and arguably one should trace the tradition back at least to Leibniz. Kant and Leibniz were certainly not "absolute idealists", however. Similarly, within British Idealism, there are a number of figures who are not "absolute idealists", McTaggart being a prominent example. --The preceding unsigned comment was added by DPt3
ATF:Perhaps the case for merging British Idealism into the entry on Absolute Idealism is stronger than the case for merging German Idealism into Absolute Idealism. What if both a German Idealism and a British Idealism section appear inside the entry for Absolute Idealism, but that the German Idealism section only appears as a short recap of the main article on German Idealism and as a link to the main article on German Idealism. While the British Idealism entry can be merged to appear in-full under its section of the Absolute Idealism entry. Any errant philosophers inside the British Idealist school (e.g. McTaggart) can be better dealt with by giving a short paragraph about their departures from the core doctrines of the school rather than making British Idealism its own entry. --Atfyfe 18:36, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think neo-Hegelianism is close enough to be merged. Absolute idealism in any case covers parts of Fichte and Schelling that are probably better treated as in some sense opposed to Hegel's thought. It would have to be a very thorough discussion of the place of absolute idealism that gave all neo-Hegelians their due. Charles Matthews 16:29, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Neo-Hegelianism and British Idealism are seperate schools of thought, while Absolute Idealism is a concept. They are related in the same way that Steak and Minced beef are related to a Cow, though they are not and wouldn't be treated in a single article. Some crossover is needed, but ultimately it would be a mistake to merge any of these three Djlayton4 10:45, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

If anything, German Idealism is more broad than Absolute Idealism. So if anything should be merged than the page on Absolute Idealism should be merged within German Idealism. Still it is fine as a seperate entry I think. Neo Hegelianism could be merged maybe, but than the article will be long and should comprise many different points of view. regards Tobi


Some Proposed Revisions

Before making these changes I'd like to float them here to see if there are serious objections. The first paragraph currently reads:

"Absolute idealism is a monistic ontology attributed to G.W.F. Hegel. That is, it is Hegel's account of how being is ultimately comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole. It posits that in order for the subject to relate to the world, or object, some necessary point of identity between the two must exist. Otherwise, the subject would never have access to the object and we wouldn't be able to know anything about the world. That point of identity must itself give rise to different ideas, including the notion of subject and object, and must be the basis of all the concepts with which we think and make sense of the world."

This is basically a good opener but I see some room for improvement.

1. I liked the earlier term "ontologically monistic philosophy" better than "monistic ontology." It seems to me that absolute idealism is as much epistemology as ontology, but I may be wrong about that.

2. I'd like to avoid "posit" where possible because it's kind of obscure for this audience - and Hegel used it in a different sense, anyway, I think.

3. It needs to be gotten across right up front that the unity of subject and object is about the unity of thought and being. The latter terms have more content for the average reader. So I would like to add more about "thinking" and "knowing".

4. "point of identity" seems wrong to me. There's no single "point" of identity -- all of thought is identical (in the Hegelian sense) to all of being. I think this peculiar concept of identity needs to be spelled out a bit more right up front (as a premise for the "finity/infinity" example) because it was fundamental for Hegel, IMO.

5. There should also be at least a hint of Hegel's innovative logic -- otherwise the bald statement of his project tends to sound like gibberish.

So the revised version I propose is:

"Absolute idealism is an onotologically monistic philosophy attributed to G.W.F. Hegel. It is Hegel's account of how being is ultimately comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole. Hegel asserted that in order for the thinking subject (human reason or consciousness) to be able to know its object (the world) at all, there must be an "identity" of thought and being. Otherwise, the subject would never have access to the object and we would have no certainty about any of our knowledge of the world. To account for the differences between thought and being, however, as well as the richness and diversity of each, the unity of thought and being cannot be expressed as the abstract identity "A=A". Absolute idealism is the attempt to demonstrate this unity using a new "speculative" philosophical method, which requires new concepts and rules of logic. According to Hegel, the absolute ground of being is essentially a dynamic, historical process of necessity that unfolds by itself in the form of increasingly complex forms of being and of consciousness, ultimately giving rise to all the diversity in the world and in the concepts with which we think and make sense of the world."

I'm not by any means satisfied with this but I do think it's an improvement. Do you?

Aldrichio 06:18, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

Hearing no dissent, I went ahead and made these changes and a few related ones.

Aldrichio 21:39, 8 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I have a BIG problem with being commanded what to think while being given absolutely no reason whatsoever for the SHOULD being shoved down my throat. Will someone either remove the line:

"The absolute idealist position should be distinguished from the subjective idealism of Berkeley, the transcendental idealism of Kant, or the idealisms of Fichte and Schelling."

-OR- explain why I should arrange my mental files in the way you desire. Thanks. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.113.118.196 (talk) 06:31, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

Russell[edit]

That entry About Russell should be removed from the Other notable neo-Hegelians section. He was a Hegelian for only a short period in his life and he was continually critical of Hegel. Does anyone have an opinion on the matter? Exiledone (talk) 22:38, 14 February 2008 (UTC)