Public opinion contains all kinds of falsity and truth, but it takes a great man to find the truth in it. The great man of the age is the one who can put into words the will of his age, tell his age what its will is, and accomplish it. What he does is the heart and the essence of his age, he actualizes his age. The man who lacks sense enough to despise public opinion expressed in gossip will never do anything great.
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Wrttemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. His influence has been widespread on writers of widely varying positions, including both his admirers (F. H. Bradley, Heidegger), and his detractors (Kierkegaard, Marx).
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