The World's Greatest Books (Philosophy and Economics)

The World's Greatest Books (Philosophy and Economics)

by Various Authors
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Universal or world-history travels from east to west, for Europe is absolutely the end of history, Asia the beginning. The history of the world has an east in an absolute sense, for, although the earth forms a sphere, history describes no orbit round it, but has, on the contrary, a determinate orient--viz., Asia. Here rises the outward visible sun, and in the west it… See more details below

Overview

Universal or world-history travels from east to west, for Europe is absolutely the end of history, Asia the beginning. The history of the world has an east in an absolute sense, for, although the earth forms a sphere, history describes no orbit round it, but has, on the contrary, a determinate orient--viz., Asia. Here rises the outward visible sun, and in the west it sinks down; here also rises the sun of self-consciousness. The history of the world is a discipline of the uncontrolled natural will, bringing it into obedience to a universal principle and conferring a subjective freedom. The East knew, and to this day knows, freedom only for one; the Greek and Roman world knew that some are free; the German world knows that all are free. The first political form, therefore, that we see in history is despotism; the second democracy and aristocracy; and the third monarchy.
The first phase--that with which we have to begin--is the East. Unreflected consciousness--substantial, objective, spiritual existence--forms the basis; to which the subjective will first sustains a relation in the form of faith, confidence, obedience. In the political life of the East we find realised national freedom, developing itself without advancing to subjective freedom. It is the childhood of history. In the gorgeous edifices of the Oriental empires we find all national ordinances and arrangements, but in such a way that individuals remain as mere accidents. These revolve round a centre, round the sovereign, who as patriarch stands (not as despot, in the sense of the Roman imperial constitution) at the head. For he has to enforce the moral and substantial; he has to uphold those essential ordinances which are already established; so that what among us belongs entirely to subjective freedom, here proceeds from the entire and general body of the state.
The glory of the Oriental conception is the one individual as the substantial being to which all belongs, so that no other individual has a separate existence, or mirrors himself in his subjective freedom. All the riches of imagination and nature are appropriated to that dominant existence in which subjective freedom is essentially merged; the latter looks for its dignity not in itself but in the absolute object. All the elements of a complete state--even subjectivity--may be found there, but not yet harmonised with the grand substantial being. For outside the one power--before which nothing can maintain an independent existence--there is only revolting caprice, which, beyond the limits of the central power, moves at will without purpose or result.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940151332071
Publisher:
Library of Alexandria
Publication date:
05/28/2015
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
1 MB

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >