A nineteenth-century German philosopher who held that what was truly real in the world was mind or spirit, not material things. Hegel argued that history showed a gradual unfolding of this mind. Karl Marx (see also Marx) later treated history as a similar kind of unfolding, but maintained that matter, rather than mind, was truly real; Hegel, Marx said, had “stood reality on its head.” (See Marxism.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.