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Continental Philosophy Essay

824 words - 4 pages

Continental Philosophy Essay

Abstract

Georg Hegel was born on August 27, 1770. He was one of the creators of German idealism.

Idealism “attempted to achieve a complete and unified conception of all reality” (Moore &

Bruder, 2005). Hegel’s theory of idealism revolved around thought. He claimed that thought

was infinite and everchanging.

Hegel was a very brilliant man with many brilliant yet difficult ideas. Idealism, infinite thought, reality, and Absolutism were some of his theories. His logic was mainly based on dialectical reasoning. To come to a conclusion using this type of logic, Hegel used thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. This was a transition of ...view middle of the document...

Søren Kierkegaard also argued Hegel’s ideas. “Kierkegaard doubted Hegel's abstractions, arguing that life cannot be bureaucratically rationalized in Hegel's way, and belief in God is not the solution to a theoretical problem but a free act of faith” (Liukkonen & Pesonen, 2008). Friedrich Nietzsche said that Hegel’s beliefs were dangerous and monstrous. The most famous philosopher to doubt Hegel’s ideas was Arthur Schopenhauer. Schopenhauer described Hegel as “unimaginative, unintelligent, disgusting, revolting charlatan who ruined the entire generation of intellectuals who followed him” (Moore & Bruder, 2005).
Schopenhauer’s theory was based on free will. He believed that human beings were “driven by will to pursue selfish desires” (Moore & Bruder, 2005). After human beings have been driven by will, they rationalized to come to the conclusion of reason. Kierkegaard based his theories on a human beings natural instincts, fight or flight. During this time several other types of philosophies evolved. One of the more influential was Continental philosophy.
In Europe, Continental philosophy (pragmatism in the United States) was developed as a result of Hegelian idealism. This type of philosophy incorporated existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, deconstruction, and critical theory. Of these schools, existentialism, and phenomenology were the most influential. Existentialism is based on the physical characteristics of the human being rather than the mental characteristics. Phenomenology is described as ignoring what “is”. In short, it persuades you to not think beyond what something actually...

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