To look at world history philosophically means to reveal it as a rational universal process. This is the basic core of Hegel’s philosophy of history—the Hegelian position on world history. From the vantage of philosophy, the sum of human action becomes comprehended as the very movement of Reason, understood as the externalized form of world spirit. When philosophically grasped, world history exhibits its rational design and ultimate purpose or end (telos). For Hegel, the progress of world history is the story of Sprit’s progressive understanding and unfolding of its freedom. In this sense world history is nothing more than Reason’s self-development. The task of the philosopher-historian, then, is to demonstrate that “Reason rules the world and likewise [rules] world history” (12, citations are from Introduction to the Philosophy of History, trans. Leo Rauch, Hackett, 1988).
But what does it mean to say that Reason rules the world? Hegel…
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