G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831), the influential German philosopher, believed that human history was advancing spiritually and morally according to God’s purpose. At the beginning of this masterwork, Hegel writes: “What the history of Philosophy shows us is a succession of noble minds, a gallery of heroes of thought, who, by the power of Reason, have penetrated into the being of things, of nature and of spirit, into the Being of God, and have won for us by their labours the highest treasure, the treasure of reasoned knowledge.”
In his introduction to this Bison Book edition, Frederick C. Beiser notes the complex and controversial history of Hegel’s text. He makes a case that this English-language translation by E. S. Haldane and Frances H. Simson is still the most reliable one.
A professor of philosophy at Indiana University, Frederick C. Beiser is the author of The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kante to Fichte.
"Hegel's Geschichte der Philosophie was one of the grand products of the renaissance in historical learning that took place in early nineteenth-century Germany. . . . Hegel remains relevant today for his recognition that any self-critical philosophy must include a knowledge of its own history. A self-aware philosopher, Hegel firmly believed, knew where his ideas came from and their social and cultural context. . . . This is still the only available translation of all three volumes of Hegel's history."—Frederick C. Beiser, The Fate of Reason: German Philosophy from Kant to Fichte
“The main reason why Hegel will remain worthy of study lies in his incomparable gathering together of the whole range of human experience into vital connection with what is best in that experience. . . . He is, without doubt, the Aristotle of our post-Renaissance world.”—J. N. Findlay, Hegel: A Re-examination