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Hegel as geographer: From geographische Grundlage to Spatial fix
  • Goran Mutabdzija
Goran Mutabdzija
University of East Sarajevo

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Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) established a turning point between the epochs of the premodern and the modern with his dialectic. It was a period of enlightenment in which religion lost the significance of the only factor of social integration, thus diminishing (disappearing) its cohesive power. There was a “certain gap” that needed to be filled, that is. define a new form (mind, power, practices) that will provide new meaning and content to the coming epoch of modernity. Hegel and his students believed in the dialectic of the Enlightenment, in which the mind should replace the power of religion, and its principle of subjectivity essentially determines the new (modern) age. We can now return to the elements of Hegel’s geographical thought, which is best represented by the term “geographical basis” (geographische Grundlage). It forms the basis for understanding Hegel’s geographical thought, within which three notions exist: space, territory, and a set of regional-geographical questions, including geographical determinism, that best reflects Ritter’s notion of Erdindividuum. The common denominator of various contemporary critical reviews of Hegel’s geographical work is the denial of the dialectic of idealism (absolute idea), while individual specifics can be grouped in two directions. One consists of the successors of the Left Hegelians (Marxists and critical geographers) such as Harvey (1981), Anuchin (1987), Lefebvre (1991), Massey (1995), Peet (1998), Elden (2001), Timár (2003) and Soja (2013). Their general criticisms relate to issues of capitalism (unequal distribution of capital) and imperialism; relativization of “moral climatology” and geohistory. The second champion is the successor to the ideas of right-wing Hegelians (liberals and neoconservatives), who do not consider Hegel relevant to contemporary Anglo-American geographical thought (Glacken, 1967), emphasize his Eurocentrism (Unwin, 1992; Gregory, 1998) or emphasize his racist views. 1992).