Author Archives: Robbert Veen

About Robbert Veen

Minister for the Protestantse Kerk in Nederland in IJmuiden - Noord-Holland. Born in 1956 and educated in Amsterdam. University of Amsterdam (philosophy and theology and Semitic Languages). Doctorate in theology - ethics in 2001. Married to Henneke Veerman

General Concept of the Logic – #18-40

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Filed under Method, Science of Logic

General Concept of the Logic #1-17

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Filed under Method, Science of Logic

The Concept of Alienation – PhR #65-70

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Filed under Philosophy of Right, Principles

The Concept of Property in Hegel’s Encyclopedia – #488-492

Brief explanation of Hegel’s Encyclopedia par. 488 – 492, dealing with property.
It is meant as the summary for the more detailed discussion of property that we are producing in our commentary on the Phil. of Right.


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Filed under Objective Spirit, Philosophy of Right

Hegel Babelised

What would happen if we take a difficult, yet understandable quote from Hegel’s work and run it through Google Translate a couple of times? Going from Dutch to Amharic, through Finnish and Mongolian right up to Croatian and English? The artificial Intelligence of the Google Translate program of course lost track of the meaning of the text. And – just for fun, though I suspect there is a lot more interesting to say about this from a linguistic perspective – here are some of the results.

I started with this older Dutch translation of a text by Hegel – originally in German:


Which I then translated into English:


This is pretty close to the original meaning, and so we must applaud Google translate for this high level of accuracy. It only missed the meaning of the text when it came up with “do so”, because this is in the original “do like this”, or “act in this manner”. “So” is close to “Zo” but insufficient. With a little help this could be quite a good translation. But what would happen if we translate into languages that have no relationship with each other at all? I started with the modern Greek rendering:


And then moved through several languages that I could not understand at all, like Finnish, Amharic, Mongolian etc. until I reached Croatian:


And finally English – the Croatian is based on the same Bulgaric version…


Now we see what Google translate ultimately wants to do: to make us dependent without a country.  But that can wait till after the middle. In the mean time we can enjoy the fine poetry of Hegel Babelised!

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Personality and Property – Abstract Right #2 – PhR #44

44. A person has the right to direct his will upon any object, as his real and positive end. The object thus becomes his. As it has no end in itself, it receives its meaning and soul from his will. Mankind has the absolute right to appropriate all that is a thing.

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The Concept of Personality

In Hegel’s Social Philosophy the concept of personality is of vital importance. It is defines human subjectivity in the modern era as the foundational idea about humans a social beings as opposed to Roman Antiquity and the tradition of Natural Right. We are both determined by our social being – as in communitarianism – and yet infinitely distinct, which involves the negative capacity our free will. (The exaggeration of that is liberalism.)
Dudley Knowles found a way to make this concept easy to understand. I present his analysis of that concept in his book on Hegel’s Philosophy of Right.
This video is part #2 of an introductory series on the basic concepts the Philosophy of Right, before we start reading the section on Property.

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