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"Napoleon, Hegelian hero" Topic

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219 hits since 2 Oct 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Oct 2018 1:00 p.m. PST

"The originality of the Hegelian philosophy lies in its philosophical, rather than historical interpretation of Napoleonic politics. The powerful admiration of Hegel for Napoleon, admiration stressed by all the commentators of the german philosopher, admiration shared equally by one of the most famous interpreters of Hegel, A. Kojčve, matters little here.
What is important is that Hegel's perspective is not historical, but philosophical : by pondering over universal history, Hegel intended to draw the philosophical meaning from Napoleonic politics. In terms of his philosophy, Hegel does not look at the world from the point of view of original history, nor from the point of view of reflexive history, but ascends to the point of view of philosophical history (1). This is why understanding the Hegelian interpretation requires first an understanding of the Hegelian philosophy of history. What are its dominant features, which apply here? I would say there are three which suffice. First, that universal history is ruled by the Absolute; then, that the Absolute is realized dialectically and progressively in the dramas, comedies and tragedies of history; finally, that heroes, nations and states constitute the successive instruments of the accomplishment of the Absolute. Here is the famous Hegelian theme of the guile of Reason, of the artifice of Reason that Hegel probably borrowed from Greek tragedy…."
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