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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was extremely important in the history of 19th century European and Anglo-Saxon philosophical and social though. His idea of the dialectical nature of historical development has influenced all subsequent though in history and the history of ideas. Most major works in the history of ideas during the 19th century adopted his pattern of thesis, antithesis and synthesis to describe the major movements in human affairs, and used his notion of the Idea or Spirit as a ground for idealistic and teleological understanding of human history outside the earlier Christian scheme or providential history. The dialectical materialism of Karl Marx is in many ways Hegelian, but with causation and antithesis revolving around economic and material rather than ideal realms.
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