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date: 26 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As becomes apparent from his cursory treatment of the earlier philosophical systems of the East, Hegel’s account of the history of philosophy is decidedly Eurocentric, and this in turn reflects an important feature of his conception of the nature of philosophy itself. While abstraction plays a crucial role in its method, philosophy is not ultimately about the abstractions belonging to some purported platonic realm: it is about the actual, concrete world. Thus the invention of philosophy reflected a peculiarity of the outlook of its Greek inventors: their Heimatilichkeit, their distinct sense of feeling at home in the world. The Greeks, he claimed, did not employ abstract thought in an attempt to escape into a realm of abstractions. Rather, they employed systematic thought as part of the process of creating their own way of life in their world, thus linking the development of philosophy to the development of democratic institutions.

Keywords: Heimatlichkeit, philosophy, Eurocentric, Greek, abstraction, concreteness

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