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"One more word about teaching what the world ought to be: Philosophy always arrives too late to do any such teaching. As the thought of the world, philosophy appears only in the period after actuality has been achieved and has completed its formative process. The lesson of the concept, which necessarily is also taught by history, is that only in the ripeness of actuality does the ideal appear over against the real, and that only then does this ideal comprehend this same real world in its substance and build it up for itself into the configuration of an intellectual realm. When philosophy paints its gray in gray, then a configuration of life has grown old, and cannot be rejuvenated by this gray in gray, but only understood; the Owl of Minerva takes flight only as the dusk begins to fall."
This translation of the famous "Owl of Minerva" passage from Hegel's Philosophy of Right appeared, along with its German text, on every back cover of The Owl of Minerva, the journal of the Hegel Society of America, from Volume 15, Number 2 (Spring 1984) to Volume 15, Number 2 (Spring 1996).