Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (; German: [ˈɡeːɔʁk ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈheːɡl̩]; 27 August 1770 – 14 November 1831) was a German philosopher. He is considered one of the most important figures in German idealism and one of the founding figures of modern Western philosophy. His influence extends to the entire range of contemporary philosophical issues, from epistemology and metaphysics to aesthetics, philosophy of history, philosophy of religion, political philosophy, and the history of philosophy.
Hegel was born in 1770 in Stuttgart, during the height of the Romantic period in Germany, and lived through and was influenced by the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars. He attended the Tübinger Stift seminary with Friedrich Hölderlin and Friedrich Schelling, both of whom exerted a strong philosophical influence on him. His fame rests chiefly upon The Phenomenology of Spirit, The Science of Logic, and his lectures at the University of Berlin on topics from his Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences.
Hegel's philosophical system is divided into three parts: logic, the philosophy of nature, and the philosophy of spirit. In his Phenomenology, he introduces his philosophical system and exhibits the historical process through which spirit acquires an adequate concept of itself. In his Logic, as well as the Encyclopedia, which he compiled as a textbook for his lectures, he further expands upon the different parts of his system. Many of the ideas in his system are further elaborated upon in his Elements of the Philosophy of Right and in posthumously published lecture notes on the philosophy of art, the philosophy of religion, the philosophy of world history, and the history of philosophy.
Hegel's influence on such diverse philosophical movements as Marxism and American Pragmatism, among others, continues to play out to this day in a variety of philosophical styles and traditions.