Was Hegel a scientologist?

Bob asked:

Should Hegel be removed from all formal academic philosophical course of study? Hegel was just ‘signing for his supper’; i.e. making up theories he could not prove or even observe. Hegel’s ‘Weltgeist is effected in history through the mediation of various Volksgeister (‘Folk Spirits’)’. That’s speculation, and out of the boundaries of philosophy. In conclusion, Hegel has the same philosophical credibility as L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. Hubbard has theories about spirits too, just like Hegel. What are your thoughts?

Answer by Jürgen Lawrenz

By golly, Bob, I think you’ve made a major discovery here! Suddenly I realise that, together with many Hegel readers over two centuries, I’ve been hoodwinked. Fancy you finding out about the Volksgeister – astonishing! You’re so right that this is beyond the pall of philosophy. In fact, when you think about it, it’s an insult to philosophy. It is one reason, I’m sorry I have to admit it, why I never read Hubbard. I don’t believe in ghosts – ooops, ‘spirits’. Now I’m really keen now to read your detailed commentary on the ‘Phenomenology’ where you demonstrate with your impeccable logic how Hegel, in his embarrassment with the Volksgeister, kept improvising from chapter to chapter until the whole things became the incredible Geisterphantasmagoria we now have and which the professors are silly enough to think is worth reading. And I hope you’ve got a publisher ready for your paper. The world has waited long enough for someone to stand up to Hegel and call a spade a spade!


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