n Acta Germanica : German Studies in Africa - Die Intellektualisierung des Ekels? Funktionen der außereuropäischen Welt in Hegels Geschichtsphilosophie : Deutsche Ansichten von Afrika und Asien




The article deals with G.W.F. Hegel's uses (and abuses) of the category of "despotism" as well as his representations of non-European peoples. Special emphasis is laid on Hegel's view of Africa and Africans, as developed in the context of his philosophy of history. It is argued that Hegel's representation of non-European societies in general and African cultures in particular is decisively linked to certain aspects of his philosophy of history. Within this broader frame it fulfills certain functions in shaping an original, but problematic, worldview which was to have an enormous impact on European thinking in the course of the nineteenth century: At its base we find the misleading belief in the existence of "people without history", which lent itself to the legitimization of European expansion and colonialism.


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