Professor Royce delivered the seventh lecture on the course on Modern Thinkers in Sanders Theatre last evening. The subject was Hegel. In character and life Hegel is perhaps the least imposing of the real first class thinkers. He was in nowise either graceful or heroic, but simply a selfseeking, laborious, shrewd, quarrelsome man, faithful to his office and to his flatterers, and proud of his barbaric style. As a boy he was pedantic and thoroughly objective. Yet even in the diary which he kept when he was fifteen years old there appear warnings of the deep delight he was later to take in the paradoxical, and the professional mind-dissecting air which followed him through life.
The essence of Hegel's doctrine-Hegel's secret, as Dr. Sterling has called it-was the appreciation of the fundamental paradox of consciousn ss. This was the actual idea which Hegel chose to bury in a mass of barbaric words. Each one of us, Hegel said, is what some other moment of his life finds him reflectively to be. All consciousness is merely an appeal to other consciousness, to a past self. The more we commune with others, the richer this past consciousness becomes. An attempt to attain holiness through separation from the world is therefore useless. True, spiritual life lies rather in struggling with sin and overcoming it.