Absolute idealism is an ontologically monistic philosophy attributed to G. W. F. Hegel. It is Hegel's account of how being is ultimately comprehensible as an all-inclusive whole. Hegel asserted that in order for the thinking subject (human reason or consciousness) to be able to know its object (the world) at all, there must be in some sense an identity of thought and being. Otherwise, the subject would never have access to the object and we would have no certainty about any of our knowledge of the world. To account for the differences between thought and being, however, as well as the richness and diversity of each, the unity of thought and being cannot be expressed as the abstract identity "A=A". Absolute idealism is the attempt to demonstrate this unity using a new "speculative" philosophical method, which requires new concepts and rules of logic. According to Hegel, the absolute ground of being is essentially a dynamic, historical process of necessity that unfolds by itself in the form of increasingly complex forms of being and of consciousness, ultimately giving rise to all the diversity in the world and in the concepts with which we think and make sense of the world.
The absolute idealist position was dominant in the nineteenth century in Germany, Britain, and, much less so, the United States. The absolute idealist position should be distinguished from the subjective idealism of Berkeley, the transcendental idealism of Kant, or the idealisms of Fichte and Schelling.
... This is Schelling's "absolute identity" the ideas or mental images in the mind are identical to the extended objects which are external to the mind ... Absolute idealism is G ... Hegel called his philosophy "absolute" idealism in contrast to the "subjective idealism" of Berkeley and the "transcendental idealism" of Kant and Fichte, which were not based on a critique of the finite ...
... members of pragmatism, made lifelong assaults on Absolute Idealism ... James was particularly concerned with the monism that Absolute Idealism engenders, and the consequences this has for the problem of evil, free will, and moral action ... Schiller, on the other hand, attacked Absolute Idealism for being too disconnected with our practical lives, and argued that its proponents failed to realize that thought is merely a tool for ...
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