How does Hegel defend subjective morality from the goals of history?

Hegel does so by arguing that humans, with their arbitrary personal moralities, are not only the means of Spirit in achieving its goal but also share in that goal themselves. This is because the nature and goal of Spirit are fundamentally rational--thus, each human contains that goal (the end) to the extent that they are rational. The subjective morality that values human life and freedom is generally arbitrary and particular. However, it gains unshakable strength because it stems in part from the universal ethics demanded by Spirit and Reason. Thus, human freedom is to be valued because true human freedom has its context only in Reason, and Reason is the end-goal of history. Although human deaths in the past have served Spirit’s higher purpose, we cannot claim to justify one of them on that account.

Would myth fit into Hegel's system of recorded history?

It would not. Hegel bars "legends, folksongs, [and] traditions" from counting as true history. The reason is that Hegel considers such folk forms to be the products of a people still unaware of themselves as a people, rather than a record of “observable” events by a people "who knew what they were and what they wanted." For Hegel, collective self-awareness in the form of a State must precede any truly historical record. Genesis, although it may set forth a general story about human nature, is not Hegelian history.

What significance does Anaxagoras have for Hegel?

The pre-Socratic philosopher Anaxagoras was the first to perceive nature as operating on a set of rational laws. Hegel compares and contrasts this idea with his own assertion that Reason “rules the world.” The crucial difference (which, Hegel reminds us, was first recognized by Socrates) is that Anaxagoras’s philosophy failed to address the nature of the fundamental Reason that lay behind natural laws, and failed to show how one relates to the other. Hegel, on the other hand, will be concerned with precisely this relationship, and specifically with the way concrete human history unfolds from abstract Reason or Spirit. Anaxagoras, in Hegel’s view, saw Reason in the concrete but not in the abstract.

Popular pages: Introduction to the Philosophy of History