G.W.F. Hegal is attributed with the philosophy of Absolute idealism, which was widespread in Germany and Britain in the nineteenth century. Hegal’s philosophical ideas would lay the ground-work for Continental philosophy and eventually Marxism.
According to Hegal, all life is part of a whole that includes the entire world. Hegel stated that in order for the world to be known and understood by humanity, there must be thought and being. According to Hegal, human concepts of the world come from constantly changing and evolving consciousness. One of Hegal’s goals was to explain that humanity is not separate from the world, but a part of the world.
Hegal referred to Kant’s perceiver as the Absolute. The Absolute is the mind of the universe. Hegal’s idealism moved back to a more religiously focused philosophy after Kant had tried to discredit the existence of God. Some of Hegal’s writings give more support in his Christian beliefs. Schopenhauer, one of Hegal’s critics, pointed out that Hegal created absolute idealism after Kant’s objective idealism discredited the existence of God. Schopenhauer stated that Hegal changed out the idea of God with the Absolute. Pragmatic critics have noted that Absolute idealism is too far removed from the lives of humanity.
Neo-Hegelianism is the school of though based on the works of Hegel. Hegelianism continued to spread even even after his death in 1831. Some notable neo-Hegelians include Francis Bradley, Josiah Royce, Benedetto Croce, and Giovanni Gentile.