Geist


Geist

Geist (German IPA2|gaɪ̯st) is a German word that does not translate very well into English. It is usually translated as mind, spirit, or ghost but can also be associated with drive or motivation. Some English translators resort to using "spirit-mind" to help convey the meaning of the term. Closer approximations include the Greek word πνεύμα(pneuma), the Latin animus and anima, and the Chinese medical 神 shen (all quite similar in meaning).

It is a central concept in Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit" ("Phänomenologie des Geistes"). According to Hegel, the "Weltgeist" ("World Spirit") is not an actual thing one might come upon or a God-like thing beyond, but a means of philosophising about history.Fact|date=October 2007 "Weltgeist" is effected in history through the mediation of various "Volksgeist" ("Folk Spirits"), the great men of history, such as Napoleon, are the "concrete universal".

This has led some to claim that Hegel favoured the great man theory, although his philosophy of history, in particular concerning the role of the "universal state" ("Universal Stand", which means as well "order" or "statute" than "state"), and of an "End of History" is much more complex.

For Hegel's, the great hero is unwittingly utilised by "Geist" or "Absolute Spirit", by a "rouse of Reason" as Hegel puts it, and is irrelevant to history once his historic mission is accomplished; he is thus submitted to the teleological principle of history, a principle which allows Hegel to re-read all the history of philosophy as culminating in his philosophy of history.

The "Weltgeist"

"Weltgeist", the world spirit concept designates an idealistic principle of world explanation, which can be found from the beginnings of philosophy up to more recent time. The concept of world spirit was already accepted by the idealistic schools of ancient Indian philosophy, whereby one explained objective reality as its product. (See metaphysical objectivism) In the early philosophy of Greek antiquity, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle all paid homage, amongst other things, to the concept of world spirit. Hegel later based his philosophy of history on it.

Others

"Geist" is a component of several German loanwords such as "Zeitgeist", the spirit of the time or collective unconscious, and poltergeist, the mischievous ghosts that are believed to make noises.

In German (Roman Catholic) theology, the term "Heiliger Geist" refers to the Holy Spirit.

"Geisteskrank" is a German word literally meaning "of an ill mind" and is sometimes used to describe someone suffering from mental illness. In professional psycho-scientific language, however, the term is obsolete nowadays.

"Geistlos" refers to being mindless or without spirit.

See also

*Consciousness
*Hegel's "Phenomenology of Spirit"
*Georg Lukacs' conception of class consciousness
*Psyche
*"Volk-Geist"

References

* "Of Spirit: Heidegger and the Question", by Jacques Derrida. Translation by Geoffrey Bennington & Rachel Bowlby, Chicago University Press, 1989 (ISBN 0-226-14317-1) and 1991 (ISBN 0-226-14319-8)
* "Faith and Folklore of the British Isles", by William Carew Hazlitt, Kessinger Publishing. ISBN 0-7661-4808-4

Links

* [http://www.hegel.net/en/eb1911.htm#3 Hegel.net] -- an overview in English of Hegel's various uses of the term "Geist"


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Geist — (griechisch πνεῦμα pneuma,[1] griechisch νοῦς nous[2] und auch griechisch ψυχή psyche,[3] lat. spiritus,[4] mens[5] …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Geist [1] — Geist, 1) (lat. Spiritus), sinnlich nicht als Körper wahrnehmbares, aber gleichwohl durch Kraft u. Wirkung als selbständig sich andeutendes Wesen; 2) das in u. durch weinige Gährung in einer Flüssigkeit (als Alkohol, Weingeist) entwickelte… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Geist — Geist. Die neueste Philosophie unterscheidet scharf Seele und Geist. Seele ist dasjenige Vermögen in uns, das denkt, empfindet und will, und sonach das Erkenntniß , Empfindungs und Begehrungsvermögen umfaßt. Dieser kommen also Anschauung,… …   Damen Conversations Lexikon

  • Geist — Geist: Das westgerm. Wort mhd., ahd. geist, niederl. geest, engl. ghost gehört zu einer Wurzel *g̑heis »erregt, aufgebracht sein, schaudern«, vgl. aus dem germ. Sprachbereich got. us gaisjan »erschrecken« und aisl. geiskafullr »voller Entsetzen«… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • Geist — Personnage de fiction apparaissant dans Marvel Comics Naissance Allemagne Ennemi(s) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Geist — Sm std. (8. Jh.), mhd. geist, ahd. geist, as. gēst Stammwort. Aus wg. * gaista m. überirdisches Wesen, Gemütsverfassung , auch in ae. gāst, afr. jēst. Aus ig. * gheis d außer sich sein , auch in ai. hīḍ zürnen ; unerweitert in avest. zaēša… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Geist — ¹Geist 1. a) Denkfähigkeit, Denkvermögen, Intellekt, Klugheit, Vernunft, Verstand, Verstandeskraft; (ugs.): Grips, Grütze, Hirn, Köpfchen; (Philos.): Nus. b) Esprit, Genie, Scharfsinn; (geh.): Genius. 2. Bewusstsein, Denkart, Denkweise,… …   Das Wörterbuch der Synonyme

  • Geist — (ˈɡaɪst) es un término alemán que se puede traducir, según el contexto, por mente, espíritu o fantasma. Procede del protogermánico *gaistoz y es un cognado del inglés ghost (fantasma). Otros términos similares son el griego πνεύμα (pneuma), el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • geist — geist·lich; pol·ter·geist; zeit·geist; …   English syllables

  • Geist — Geist, ein sehr vieldeutiges Wort, das ursprünglich (mittelhochd. gîst, »das Brausende«) wie die gleichbedeutenden Ausdrücke spiritus (lat.) und pneuma (griech.) die strömende Luft bezeichnet. In der Tat wird von den meisten Naturvölkern der G.… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon


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