Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

                     His all-embracing philosophical system, set forth in such works as Phenomenology of Spirit(1807),
                     Science of Logic (1812-16), and Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences (1817), includes theories of
                     ethics, aesthetics, history, politics, and religion. At the center of the universe Hegel posited an enveloping
                     absolute spirit that guides all reality, including human reason. His absolute idealism envisages a
                     world-soul, evident throughout history, that develops from, and is known through, a process of change
                     and progress now known universally as the Hegelian dialectic. According to its laws, one concept (thesis)
                     inevitably generates its opposite (antithesis); their interaction leads to a new concept (synthesis), which in
                     turn becomes the thesis of a new triad. Thus philosophy enables human beings to comprehend the
                     historical unfolding of the absolute. Hegel's application of the dialectic to the concept of conflict of cultures
                     stimulated historical analysis and, in the political arena, made him a hero to those working for a unified
                     Germany. He was a major influence on subsequent idealist thinkers and on such philosophers as
                     Kiekegaard and Sartre; perhaps his most far-reaching effect was his influence on Karl Marx, who
                     substituted materialism for idealism in his formulation of dialectical materialism.