Hegel, Georg Friedrich Wilhelm -

(1770-1831) German philosopher. Studied the patterns of (European) history with a view to the (metaphysical) meaning of history and its underlying rationality. He believed that history reflected goals beyond human understanding (rather than being the chance product of interacting communitites). He also believed that Great Men make history (including himself) rather than, say, availibility of resources, weapons, development, epidemics or climate change. Freedom, Hegel believed, is to internalize the necessary laws so that they are no longer felt as external coersion. He assumed that the laws of the Russian kingdom were good- a kind of pinnacle of human history. For a Prussian citizen this was a convenient conclusion. It is a type of conclusion that is often found with other thinkers in other countries as well.