Continental Philosophy’s Search for Balance
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) "claimed to provide a unitary solution to all of the problems of philosophy." Hegel "held that the speculative point of view, which transcends all particular and separate perspectives, must grasp the one truth, bringing back to its proper centre all of the problems of logic, of metaphysics (or the nature of Being), and of the philosophies of nature, law, history, and culture (artistic, religious, and philosophical)" (Rossi). Hegel's dialectical philosophy was the ultimate expression of German Idealism, which was prevalent throughout his lifetime and was connected both to Romanticism and political revolution. Arguably the most politically and economically impacting philosopher to follow after Hegel, Karl Marx in the 1840s "reproached Hegel for having absolutized into an ideal state the Prussian state" of his era. "Such absolutizing, he charged, lent itself to generalizations of broad critical scope with respect to the idealistic procedure of hypostatizing the Idea and brought about (as allegorical derivatives from it) certain concrete political and social determinations, such as family, classes, and the state powers...In Marx's view," Hegel's dialectic "was mystifying and alienated inasmuch as Hegel did nothing but sanction, by a method inverted with respect to real relationships, the alienation of all the concrete historical and human determinations" (Rossi).