Owl of Minerva

Owl of Minerva

The owl of Minerva is the owl that accompanies Minerva in Roman myths, seen as a symbol of wisdom. The nineteenth-century idealist philosopher G.W.F. Hegel famously noted that "the owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk" — meaning that philosophy comes to understand a historical condition just as it passes away. Philosophy cannot be prescriptive because it understands only in hindsight. He had in mind the transition from eighteenth-century feudalism to nineteenth-century commercialism and democracy.

See also

*Philosophy of history


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  • owl of Minerva — A traditional symbol of wisdom, most famously invoked in Hegel s remark at the end of the Preface to the Philosophy of Right : ‘when philosophy paints its grey in grey, then has a shape of life grown old. The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only …   Philosophy dictionary

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  • Owl — (oul), n. [AS. [=u]le; akin to D. uil, OHG. [=u]wila, G. eule, Icel. ugla, Sw. ugla, Dan. ugle.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of raptorial birds of the family {Strigid[ae]}. They have large eyes and ears, and a conspicuous circle of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Owl monkey — Owl Owl (oul), n. [AS. [=u]le; akin to D. uil, OHG. [=u]wila, G. eule, Icel. ugla, Sw. ugla, Dan. ugle.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of raptorial birds of the family {Strigid[ae]}. They have large eyes and ears, and a conspicuous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Owl moth — Owl Owl (oul), n. [AS. [=u]le; akin to D. uil, OHG. [=u]wila, G. eule, Icel. ugla, Sw. ugla, Dan. ugle.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of raptorial birds of the family {Strigid[ae]}. They have large eyes and ears, and a conspicuous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Owl parrot — Owl Owl (oul), n. [AS. [=u]le; akin to D. uil, OHG. [=u]wila, G. eule, Icel. ugla, Sw. ugla, Dan. ugle.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of raptorial birds of the family {Strigid[ae]}. They have large eyes and ears, and a conspicuous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Owl train — Owl Owl (oul), n. [AS. [=u]le; akin to D. uil, OHG. [=u]wila, G. eule, Icel. ugla, Sw. ugla, Dan. ugle.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of raptorial birds of the family {Strigid[ae]}. They have large eyes and ears, and a conspicuous… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Minerva — This article is about the Roman goddess. For other uses, see Minerva (disambiguation). Mosaic of the Minerva of Peace (detail), Elihu Vedder, 1896 (Library of Congress) …   Wikipedia

  • Minerva (disambiguation) — Contents 1 People 2 Geography 2.1 Land development 3 …   Wikipedia

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