Kings, Yogis, and Oriental Unfreedom

Table of Contents

“The History of the world is none other than the progress of the consciousness of Freedom,”  said G. W. F. Hegel (1770-1831), in what is undeniably among the most famous philosophical utterances of the modern world.1 He then attempted to prove this claim — that human beings over the entire course of history have fulfilled our destiny in coming to understand the nature of freedom. For Hegel, all past events are just expressions of this deeper narrative.

Hegel illustrated the great progress of Freedom by dividing human history into three broad categories. First, there were the Eastern nations, who knew only that one is free. Next were the Classical civilizations — the Greek and Romans — who knew only that some are free. Finally there was the arrival on the world stage of Christian Europe, the “first to attain the consciousness, that man, as man, is free.”2 With this realization of man’s universal freedom — that all are free — the story of the ultimate design of the world had reached its conclusion. 

Fig 1: An 1828 illustration of Hegel lecturing in his students. Some of Hegel’s most influential works were not published texts, but lecture series. The “Lectures on the Philosophy of History” is one such example of this.3

In a moment, I’ll return to Hegel’s formulation of world history, both to clarify and contest it. But first, here’s something to consider: if the “consciousness of freedom” is the goal of history, it would seem to me that we have entered into a fourth, but hopefully not final, stage. We inhabitants of the 21st century now know that no one is free — not kings, not dictators, not the wealthy and certainly not the poor. Rather than entertaining the foolhardy proposition of genuine, universal freedom, we have instead habituated ourselves to a culture that only acknowledges power, difference, and arbitrariness. Or at least, that’s what Hegel’s method would lead us to believe. 

But I’m getting ahead of myself; before we can truly arrive in the present, Hegel would first have us join him on a voyage through time and space. Today, we will start at the beginning of his world-historical journey: the primordial and unchanging East. More specifically, we will engage with two of Hegel’s most powerful claims: that China had no history, and India had no philosophy. In doing so, we should be able to develop a better grasp of what it really means to speak of “freedom” at all.  

Europe and Eurocentrism


Since Aristotle, many prominent names in the pantheon of “great Western thinkers” have referenced the fundamental unfreedom of the Orient, including Machiavelli, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Hegel, Karl Marx, and Max Weber. I intend to touch on a few of these names at a later time. But first it must be said, of all these figures Hegel is perhaps the quintessential theorist of Eurocentrism, a fact that has only made his continued prestige as a philosopher and humanist all the more troubling. 

Hegel went out of his way to establish his Eurocentric outlook in as stark and unmistakable terms as possible. Indeed, he claimed that world history literally ended in Europe; for “history of the World travels from East to West, for Europe is absolutely the end of history, Asia the beginning.” Hegel used two metaphors to illustrate this progression. First, he spoke of the sun, which rose over the East but sets in the West. Second, he regarded the East as “the childhood of history,” a place of innocence, lacking in true individuality and freedom from authority. Although the human spirit began its life in Asia, it only reached full maturity in Christian Europe.4 This was  Eurocentrism at its most systematic and totalizing.

In the 19th century, many disparaging attitudes toward Asia were articulated with the goal, intentional or otherwise, of justifying Europe’s rapidly growing imperial enterprise. If, as so many Europeans declared, the Oriental world was barbaric and unchanging, then it would only be right for the more “mature” and civilized Europeans to exert their control over its lands and forcefully bring Asia into the future. Hegel himself made statements to this effect, frequently illustrating his intense racism:5

Deceit and cunning are the fundamental characteristics of the Hindoo. Cheating, stealing, robbing, murdering are with him habitual. Humbly crouching and abject before a victor and lord, he is recklessly barbarous to the vanquished and subject… Children have no respect for their parents: sons maltreat their mothers.6

Unsurprisingly, Hegel agreed that the only solution to the barbarity of the “Orientals” was European colonial rule, despite its violent character:

The English, or rather the East India Company, are the lords of the land [of India]; for it is the necessary fate of Asiatic Empires to be subjected to Europeans; and China will, some day or other, be obliged to submit to this fate.7

But Hegel’s Eurocentrism should not be understood just in terms of colonialism, even if that was an important dimension of his thinking. Rather, it is clear that he viewed Asia as an important, if lesser, part of the story of Europe itself. As Harvey Goldman writes, Hegel “sought to integrate the East into a picture of ‘spiritual’ development and the development of freedom, taking as his vantage point what he regarded as the achievements of modern Protestantism and the Germanic world.”8 In other words, Asian culture and history were to be understood only in relation to the “Spirit” of the modern West.

For Hegel, Spirit (Geist) was the immanent force of history —  the true reason behind and motivating dynamic of historical events. In order to reveal the truth of Spirit, Hegel considered it the job of the philosopher to apply thought to history — that is, to contemplate history as it was. Upon doing so he discovered that this underlying truth was none other than Freedom, the essential nature of humanity and the singular goal of all world history. 

Hegel’s philosophy is notoriously complex and obscure — so such a brief summary can only go so far in explaining it. There is no mistaking, however, that what mattered most to Hegel was Freedom; it was the beating heart of his philosophy and defined for him what it meant to be human. He famously argued that “all humans are intrinsically free” — that is, capable of self-determination and rational decision-making — but not all humans are aware that they are free.9 This forms the basis for his tripartite division of history, which outlines the progress of human beings in developing their awareness of freedom. This story began with the Orientals, who “do not know that spirit, or the human being as such, is intrinsically free; because they do not know this, they are not themselves free”.10 

Similarly, modern Christian Europe was at “the end of history” and was the most “free” primarily because of its robust consciousness of freedom. In phrasing the story of “freedom” this way, Hegel flipped the script on prevailing narratives of historical progress. At the time, many Europeans were under the impression that they had literally become more free over time, thanks to republican institutions, a flourishing civil society, and the systems of inalienable rights and privileges. But for Hegel, modern institutions are not the cause of our freedom, so much as they are its expression. Humans have always been free, by our very nature, said Hegel — what makes the difference is whether we realize it or not. 

Yet modern institutions remained of the utmost importance for Hegel, who considered the state to be “the actualization of freedom” and the “external manifestation of the human will.”  Contrary to the fairly common belief that the state (or society) puts limitations on the freedoms of individuals, Hegel considered purely individualistic freedom to be mired in arbitrary desires and preferences. Instead, he argued, the principles of the state — laws, government, and especially rights — in fact allow us to be free, by recognizing each others’ freedom and working within a common unity.11 Historically speaking, the progress of freedom is therefore expressed in the progress of the state; the deeper a people’s awareness is, the more free their form of government. For Hegel, the most free state was of course his own: the kingdom of Prussia. 

Regardless, the theoretical strength of the system outlined above has allowed Hegel to stand firm as the modern West’s greatest theorist of freedom and progress.  As Foucault very poignantly wrote, even those who set out to oppose Hegel often ultimately end up in fundamental agreement with him: 

We have to determine the extent to which our anti-Hegelianism is possibly one of his tricks directed against us, at the end of which he stands, motionless, waiting for us.12 

I suspect that so many conscientious readers of Hegel have either failed or refused to rid themselves of him for a rather simple reason: they agree with his notion of freedom, even if they deny his logic and metaphysics. In order to understand why that is the case — and in order to consider whether another “freedom” is possible — we first have to delve into Hegel’s theory of world history, beginning of course with China.  

Did China have history?


For Hegel, the Orient  is forever at the “beginning” because it never changes. He was not alone in this evaluation of the Asian past; by 1800, the notion that Asia had no history was very common among European thinkers, who contrasted it with the alleged dynamism of modern Europe. Whether or not one objects to the idea, it is not difficult to understand how Europeans came to the conclusion that India was “ahistorical.” Most of all, of course, it came down to bigotry toward Indians and the desire to rationalize colonial rule. But it is also true that India lacked an extensive historiography prior to the arrival of Islam on the subcontinent.13 On the other hand, to declare that China had no history should surely have seemed odd; not only did it have the most detailed records of its past, it also boasted the world’s most extensive and empirically rigorous tradition of history-writing.14 How could they, of all people, be without history?

Fig. 2: A fragment from a manuscript at least a thousand years old, of the biography of Bu Zhi. The source text is the Records of the Three Kingdoms, a history covering parts of the 2nd and 3rd centuries. It was one of the Twenty-Four Histories, a canonical collection of historical works that covers the period from 3000 BCE to the 17th century, across over 300 volumes.15

Hegel did acknowledge China’s storied historical tradition, but denied that this was “history” of the same kind that Europeans were writing.16 He wrote,

[In China] history is still predominantly unhistorical, for it is merely a repetition of the same majestic process of decline. The innovations with which courage, strength, and magnanimity replace the splendours of the past go through the same cycle of decline and fall. But it is not a true downfall, for no progress results from all this restless change… no progress is made: and all this restless movement results in unhistorical history.17

So China had “no history” because it had no progress, no forward motion. But the question still remains, in what sense did China lack progress, given that it had long encapsulated so much of what we understand to be progress (i.e. science, technology, wealth, stability)? This question leads us to the heart of Hegel’s theory of freedom. China allegedly had no history for one simple reason: its constitution never changed, and it never developed an awareness of human freedom. 

Let’s rewind to fifty years earlier, when the renowned French economist François Quesnay wrote with approval of China’s “constitutional despotism.” Most of all, he appreciated the paternalistic attitude of the emperor, who always considered the well-being of his subjects a top priority, even though he wielded complete authority in practice. Quesnay attributed this to a set of established principles of government that effectively limited the emperor — in other words, a constitution. He admitted the supremacy of the emperor, but disagreed with those of his contemporaries who accused him of tyranny:

…if these [authors] attribute to [the emperor] an authority that is arbitrary and superior to the laws of the nation, they disregard the fact that the constitution of China is based upon natural law in such an irrefragable and so emphatic a manner that it deters the sovereign from doing evil…18

Quesnay didn’t pretend that China was without flaws; for example, he agreed with the stereotype that in China “men are too much given to superstition”. But China also represented everything he wanted France to be: a unified, centralized authority, with no separation of state and religion, where all power ultimately derived from the sovereign ruler. In Quesnay’s view, China was despotic in all the right ways — even though his knowledge of contemporary China was actually quite poor.  

Hegel concurred with many of Quesnay’s descriptions, the only difference being that he hated everything Quesnay loved about China — its alleged paternalism, despotism, and centralized authority — all symptoms of a deeply unfree society. This led Hegel to disagree that the established principles of Chinese governance could rightly be called a “constitution.” A state only has a true constitution, according to Hegel, when individuals and corporations19 have rights independent of the state, and especially the right to property. This was true of the Germanic constitution, which regarded all men as equal before the law, ensured their right to private property, and enabled them to pursue their own individual interests. 

In comparison, Hegel believed that China limited individual freedoms by putting all social and economic activity under the control and direction of the emperor. By Quesnay’s account, this very fact ensured prosperity for all; but even while Hegel notes that China treated everyone as “equal,” he still considered the Chinese people to be “equally” unfree. Hegel argued that in China, there is no freedom for the individual, who is always subordinated to authority. The theme of subordination is everywhere in Hegel’s writings on China; take for example some of his most influential comments on religion:

The Chinese are the most superstitious people of the world; they have a ceaseless fear and anxiety of everything, because everything external has a significance for them, is a power over them, is something that exerts authority over them, something that can affect them.20

Hegel’s argument boils down to this: China’s fortunes may rise and fall, its science may produce marvelous inventions, its scholars may be unparalleled in erudition and meticulous in their writings on the past — but nonetheless China had no history. For Hegel, true freedom has nothing to do with the things listed above; it can only be realized in the rights and institutions of the modern state. Since they lacked such things, the Chinese people had no independence from their ruler. 

Therefore, Hegel claimed, in China only one is free: the emperor himself. Of course, despite how well-read he was on the subject, he had an extremely distorted view of China and its past. In comparing it to the constitutional principles of modern Europe, he could only view China as falling short, and in so doing he effaced the diversity and complexity of Chinese history. He therefore failed to consider whether Chinese scholars might have articulated various ideas of freedom that were valuable on their own terms.  

The comparison with Europe also explains why Hegel considered the Indians more developed than the Chinese, even though they did not even attempt to write history, and even though they replaced equality with the evils of caste. Indians were still one step closer to freedom, because unlike the Chinese they were capable of imagination. They were therefore like children upon their first exposure to the wonders of philosophy (must I repeat how very racist this all is?). Let us progress, then, to the next stage. 

Did India have philosophy?


Recent debates over the stunningly Eurocentric bias of philosophy departments have revealed some unfortunate truths about the discipline. Even among professional philosophers, there remains the enduring yet erroneous idea that non-Western philosophy is not really philosophy at all — that “philosophy” itself was born in Greece and in Greece alone.21 This was more or less Hegel’s position — and while he wasn’t alone in that, he was particularly effective in expelling everything non-Western from the domain of “philosophy.”22   

The idea that India had no philosophy, just like the idea that China had no history, should have been a hard sell in early 19th century Europe. The previous fifty years had seen a rapid increase in exposure in Europe to the intellectual traditions of Asia (and especially India), and a number of scholars had acquired considerable renown by communicating “Oriental” thought to eager European readers. One such scholar was H. T. Colebrooke, who in 1824 published his celebrated and widely read essay, “On the Philosophy of the Hindus.” “The Hindus,” Colebrooke began, “as is well known, possess various ancient systems of philosophy.”23 Surely Hegel knew this much, especially considering he read the essay in question.24 How, then, did he make the case that India lacked philosophy? Again, it comes down to what it means to be free. As Hegel says,

…I am free only in so much as I establish the freedom of the others, and that I am free only in so much as I am recognized as free by the others. Only among many freedom is real, existent freedom. Therewith is established the relation of free beings with free beings — laws of morality, rational rights … 

We find this concept of freedom for the first time in the Greek people, and because of this Philosophy begins there. But in fact in Greece true freedom is given with a limitation: as we know there are slaves in Greece. Urban life could not maintain itself without slaves. Freedom thus is still limited. And this make the difference among the Orient, Greece and Germany.25

Here, Hegel repeats his argument that the Orient lacked a consciousness of human freedom, as indicated by the absence of a system of rights. In particular, he declared that India was “despotism without a principle,” and that among the Indians “all is reverie and consequently enslavement.” Indians were therefore “driven to the creation of a dream-world and a delirious bliss in Opium” — and there is nothing more to their philosophy than that.26 In Greece, by comparison, freedom was truly expressed for the first time, through the mutual recognition of freedom among (slave-owning) members of a community. But is it true that Indian philosophy lacked such an idea of freedom?

In a sense, yes — none of the major schools (darśanas) of classical Indian philosophy define freedom in such a way. But this is not a “lack,” so much as it is a crucial point of difference. Indian philosophy has in fact rigorously interrogated ideas of freedom (mukti, mokṣa, or nirvana), frequently making it the foremost goal of spiritual and ethical life.28 However, Indian ideas on freedom did not require the recognition of freedom “among many,” at least not by way of rational laws of morality or rights. As Karl Potter writes, compared to ancient Greek sources,

…for better or worse, the ultimate value recognized by classical Hinduism in its most sophisticated sources is not morality but freedom, not rational self-control in the interests of the community’s welfare but complete control over one’s environment… 28 

This alternate view of freedom takes precedent in non-Hindu and heterodox (nāstika) traditions as well. For instance, as I’m sure many readers are aware, the Buddhist idea of freedom (nirvana) does not at all depend on the recognition of others. If that were the case, then the story of the Buddha would have ended in a public forum, rather than in solitude underneath the bodhi tree. Buddhist freedom requires only that practitioners develop mastery over their own habits and desires. They might seek freedom as members of a monastic community (saṅgha), but it is nonetheless acquired on an individual basis. 

Fig. 3: A random excerpt from an 18th century manuscript of the Yogasūtras by Patañjali, a collection originally compiled at an unknown date between 500 BCE and 300 CE. It systematically explores the practice of yoga, and was particularly important for the “Yoga” school of Hindu philosophy. Note that “yoga” is also a term used for many different sorts of practices, and could be applied to other traditions as well.29

On the whole, while Indian philosophy might at times have indicated that all persons have the theoretical capacity for freedom, it still emphasized the efforts of individuals to perfect themselves and acquire it. In a sense, then, Hegel was right when he said that Indians only recognize that one is free — but only in a broken-clock sort of way. 

If “freedom” requires the mutual recognition of freedom in a society– and if it additionally requires the establishment of a system of rights to ensure it — it is indeed hard to see how such a description could be applied to classical Indian philosophy. It must therefore be admitted, if “philosophy” begins and ends with the Greek notion of freedom (as Hegel describes it anyway), then India of course had none. But this is an absurd position to take. There is an obvious alternative here, namely that Hegel’s idea of freedom is far too restrictive, excluding entire diverse philosophical traditions and depriving generations of Western thinkers of an array of meaningful possibilities.  

Conclusion


A lot has been written about Hegel since he died in 1831, and a great deal of it is highly critical in nature. Some of the most common critiques have focused on Hegel’s enthusiastic support of the Prussian state, accusing him of encouraging an illiberal and totalitarian attitude toward authority. Others have targeted his idealistic philosophy (notably Karl Marx). But few have looked at Hegel’s progression of freedom — “one is free,” “some are free,” “all are free” — and taken issue with the end result, even if they dispute the specifics. That is to say, few commentators of Hegel have directly contested the idea that true “freedom” must involve freedom for all, or the closely related assumption that any “freedom” that fails to apply universally is somehow fundamentally incomplete. It is for this reason that Hegel is still with us today.

Let’s return to the main points of contention here: the idea that China had no history and India had no philosophy. Both positions should have been received as absurd — but they weren’t. In fact, two hundred years later, they have yet to disappear. The reason is simple enough: Hegel’s theory of world history is about freedom and nothing more. China might have written “histories” of its past, but those histories were not written as the story of freedom’s gradual yet inexorable progress in time. India might have philosophized extensively on the topic of “freedom,” but for Hegel it was not freedom in the truest sense of the word. This is why the “Orient” is unchanging and backwards, whereas Europe is dynamic and free. Hegel takes the modern concept of freedom and makes it the measuring stick of all human history.

But can one agree with Hegel’s idea of freedom while rejecting his Eurocentrism and racism? Alison Stone thinks so; she writes,

We can separate the essentials of Hegel’s account of freedom from his concrete interpretation of the actual movement of history. Hegel was wrong and prejudiced when he dismissed Africans, indigenous Americans and Orientals as unfree and incapable of coming to freedom on their own. Nevertheless his basic account of what freedom is, including its necessary historical development, remains insightful. A better informed judgment of non-European peoples would require a very different historical narrative. But that does not undermine Hegel’s basic points that freedom develops historically in tandem with the consciousness of it, as embodied in different cultures and social institutions.30

According to Stone, Hegelian freedom is an insight worth preserving — so what we must do is prove that freedom is not, as he claimed, inherently “European.” This might require us to find proof of Hegelian freedom outside of the modern West, and indeed, many have attempted to do exactly that. Such a project would allow us to save Hegel’s freedom from his Eurocentrism.

On the other hand, perhaps we should hesitate to maintain our faith in Hegel in spite of his blatant bigotry and racism. He may have articulated a theory of freedom for all, based on universal rights, but he certainly didn’t care whether those rights were extended to Africans or Asians. He also summarily dismissed all of non-Western world history as immature, barbaric, and essentially inferior. This problem is not unique to Hegel. The founding fathers of the United States made similar mistakes when they declared that all men are created equal despite owning slaves and treating non-white people as less than fully human. This raises the question, is the notion of universal freedom somehow deeply unsound, purely on account of our repeated failures to live up to it?  

The real question here is whether one truly believes in the sort of freedom Hegel propounds — a universal freedom, dependent on a constitution, involving a system of rights and privileges, and represented most of all by state institutions — or whether a different “consciousness” of freedom altogether is desirable. The latter is an option worth considering. An alternate or pluralistic understanding of “freedom” might allow us to look at medieval Chinese history or classical Indian philosophy, among other disrespected traditions, and not treat them as totally inadequate. Yes, if our metric is the “consciousness of freedom” as Hegel imagined it, then premodern China and India might genuinely have lacked freedom. But if we are willing to set aside our modern assumptions and expectations, then we might stand to learn something even from the superstitious and subordinate Orients. 

For what it’s worth, I’d wager that most of my peers would find themselves in agreement with basically all of Hegel’s criteria for genuine freedom. I would therefore encourage them to consider the possibility that another sort of freedom is possible, both in imagination and in reality. Like most of us, I do value my rights and constitution — but I also believe that there is something more to human freedom that Hegel’s philosophy fails to capture. If only we were to look toward the past — and beyond the modern West — with an open mind, we might develop a more complete and robust consciousness of what it means to be free. In some sense, after all, that’s precisely what Hegel would have wanted. 

In the next installment of my series on Hegel’s world history, I’ll move on to the Classical age and its place in modern European social thought — and after that, the implications of Hegelianism for the present condition of freedom.

Related:

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  • Marx was an important critic and inheritor of Hegel’s thought. This site has a a couple articles relating to Marxists and Marxism, with more on the way; I’d recommend this article by Bryan Doniger on Du Bois’s theory of the general strike.

Notes

1 Forgive me for using multiple translations in this article; the one most frequently cited is this one, the original and most widely read translation of Hegel’s lectures on history (originally published in 1857): G. W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History, trans. J. Sibree (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2004), 19.
2 Ibid., 18.
3 Franz Kugler, “Hegel vor seinen Studenten am Katheder,” (1828), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hegel_by_Kugler_(retouched).jpg
4 Harvey Goldman, “IMAGES OF THE OTHER: ASIA IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY WESTERN THOUGHT–HEGEL, MARX, AND WEBER,” in Asia and Western World History, ed. Ainslee T. Embee and Carol Gluck (ME Sharpe, Inc., 1997), 151-152.
5 There is some disagreement on whether Hegel was a “racist,” although I would insist that he was. For a dissenting article on this point, see Sandra Bonetto, “Race and Racism in Hegel–An Analysis,” Minerva–An Internet Journal of Philosophy 10 (2006): 35-64.
6 Hegel, The Philosophy of History, trans. Sibree, 158-159
7 Ibid., 142-143. 
8 Goldman, “IMAGES OF THE OTHER,” 149.
9 Alison Stone, “Hegel and Colonialism,” Hegel Bulletin 41, no. 2 (August 2020): 4.
10 Quoted in Ibid.
11 Hegel’s argument has generally been described as “positive freedom,” as opposed to “negative freedom”, that is, the absence of constraints. 
12 Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. Alan Sheridan, (New York: Pantheon, 1972), 236.
13 For more on India’s alleged lack of history, see Georg G. Iggers, Q. Edward Wang, and Supriya Mukherjee, A Global History of Modern Historiography (London and New York: Routledge, 2008), 38-43. I should also mention that Hegel comments on this as well; Sibree 161-162.
14 For a summary of Chinese historiography up to this point in time, see A Global History of Modern Historiography, 56-68.
15 A Fragment of Biography of Bu Zhi, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Fragment_of_Biography_of_Bu_Zhi_History_Books_of_Three_Kingdoms_01_2012-12.JPG
16 Hegel, The Philosophy of History, trans. Sibree, 116-119.
17 G. W. F. Hegel and Duncan Forbes, Lectures on the Philosophy of World History. Introduction: Reason in History, trans. Hugh B. Nisbet (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998), 199, quoted in Teshale Tibebu, Hegel and the Third World (Syracuse University Press, 2011), 156. 
18 Lewis Adams Maverick and François Quesnay, “China, a model for Europe.” (1946). Unfortunately, my digital copy did not have page numbers.
19 When Hegel spoke of “corporations” he was not referring to what we now call corporations, but rather professional organizations based around a specific industry, which would mediate between individuals and the state. 
20 G. W. F. Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, vol. 2, trans. Robert Brown, Peter Hodgson, and Jon M. Stewart, with the assistance of Joseph Fitzer and Henry Harris, ed. Peter Hodgson, (Univ. of California Press, 1996), 561.  
21 Take, for example, this brief article published in Aeon by a Fordham philosophy professor, which is in my opinion, embarrassingly bad: Nicholas Tampio, “Not All Things Wise and Good Are Philosophy – Nicholas Tampio | Aeon Ideas,” Aeon, accessed August 27, 2020, https://aeon.co/ideas/not-all-things-wise-and-good-are-philosophy. Suffice it to say that plenty of philosophical traditions easily meet the definition of philosophy Tampio offers here. 
22 At one point, Hegel said, “Therefore the Eastern [thinking] must as a whole be excluded from the History of Philosophy” and elsewhere, “Thus Philosophy begins for the first time where the essence of things reaches consciousness under the form of pure idea (Gedanke); and this is the case in the Greek world.” Quoted in Fernando Tola and Carmen Dragonetti, “WHAT INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OWES HEGEL,” Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 83 (2002): 8-9.
23 Henry Thomas Colebrooke, “On the Philosophy of the Hindus. Part I,” Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland 1, no. 1 (1824): 19.
24 Tola and Dragonetti, “WHAT INDIAN PHILOSOPHY OWES HEGEL,” 5.
25 Quoted in Ibid., 7.
26 Hegel, The Philosophy of History, trans. Sibree, 161, 167.
27 “Freedom” might not always be the best translation; “liberation” might be a better one overall, but both are very common in practice. Depending on the circumstance, more specific translations are sometimes used (extinction or extinguishment for nirvana, for example). 
28 Karl H. Potter, Presuppositions of India’s Philosophies (Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 1991), 3.
29 Excerpt from the Yogasutras, courtesy of Ms. Sarah Welch, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yogasutra_with_Patanjali%27s_bhasya,_Sanskrit,_Devanagari_script,_random_sample_pages_f1v_f2r_f3v.jpg.
30 Alison Stone, “Hegel and Colonialism,” 12.

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