"The only Thought, which Philosophy brings... to the contemplation of History, is the simple conception of Reason; that Reason is the Sovereign of the world, that the history of the world, therefore, presents us with a rational process."

"Spirit is self-contained existence. Now this is Freedom, exactly. For if I am dependent, my being is referred to something which I am not; I cannot exist independently of something external. I am free, on the contrary, when my existence depends on myself."

"The History of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of Freedom... The destiny of the spiritual world, and... the final cause of the World at large, we claim to be Spirit's consciousness of its own freedom, and ipso facto, the reality of that freedom... This final aim is God's purpose with the world; but God is the absolutely perfect Being, and can, therefore, will nothing but himself."

"All the worth which the human being possesses, all spiritual reality, he possesses only through the State... For Truth is the unity of the universal and subjective will; and the Universal is to be found in the State, in its laws, its universal and rational arrangements. The State is the Divine Idea as it exists on earth. We have in it, therefore, the object of history in a more definite shape than before; that in which Freedom obtains objectivity. For Law is the objectivity of the Spirit."

"The nation lives the same kind of life as the individual... in the enjoyment of itself, the satisfaction of being exactly what it desired to be,... [and the consequent] abandonment of aspirations,... [the nation slips into a] merely customary life (like the watch wound up and going on of itself), into an activity without opposition. And this is what brings on its natural death. ... Thus perish individuals, and thus perish nations, by a natural death."

"What experience and history teach is this--that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it."


"The significance of that 'absolute commandment', know thyself--whether we look at it in itself or under the historical circumstances of its first utterance--is not to promote mere self-knowledge in respect of the particular capacities, character, propensities, and foibles of the single self. The knowledge it commands means that of man's genuine reality--of what is essentially and ultimately true and real--of spirit as the true and essential being."

"Each of the parts of philosophy is a philosophical whole, a circle rounded and complete in itself. In each of these parts, however, the philosophical Idea is found in a particular specificality or medium. The single circle, because it is a real totality, bursts through the limits imposed by its special medium, and gives rise to a wider circle. The whole of philosophy in this way resembles a circle of circles. The Idea appears in each single circle, but, at the same time, the whole Idea is constituted by the system of these peculiar phases, and each is a necessary member of the organisation."