Was vernünftig ist, das ist wirklich; und was wirklich ist, das ist vernünftig  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Was vernünftig ist, das ist wirklich; und was wirklich ist, das ist vernünftig (English: The real is rational; the rational is real) is a dictum by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

It is recorded in Elements of the Philosophy of Right (1820)

Variant translations:

    • What is reasonable is real; that which is real is reasonable.
    • Variant translation: What is rational is actual and what is actual is rational. On this conviction the plain man like the philosopher takes his stand, and from it philosophy starts in its study of the universe of spirit as well as the universe of nature. If reflection, feeling, or whatever form subjective consciousness may take, looks upon the present as something vacuous and looks beyond it with the eyes of superior wisdom, it finds itself in a vacuum, and because it is actual only in the present, it is itself mere vacuity. If on the other hand the Idea passes for 'only an Idea', for something represented in an opinion, philosophy rejects such a view and shows that nothing is actual except the Idea.


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