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Hegel's Philosophy of Mind

Hegel's Philosophy of Mind



acter. Thus the philosophy of mind, beginning with man as a sentient organism, the focus in which the universe gets its first dim confused expression through mere feeling, shows how he "erects himself above himself" and realises what ancient thinkers called his kindred with the divine.

In that total process of the mind's liberation and self-realisation the portion specially called Morals is but one, though a necessary, stage. There are, said Porphyry and the later Platonists, four degrees in the path of perfection and self-accomplishment. And first, there is the career of honesty and worldly prudence, which makes the duty of the citizen. Secondly, there is the progress in purity which casts earthly things behind, and reaches the angelic height of passionless serenity. And the third step is the divine life which by intellectual energy is turned to behold the truth of things. Lastly, in the fourth grade, the mind, free and sublime in self-sustaining wisdom, makes itself an "exemplar" of virtue, and is ev