In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

354 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Hegel-Studien, vol. 10. Ed. Friedhelm Nicolin and Otto POggeler. (Bonn: Bouvier Verlag Herbert Grundmann, 1975. Pp. 459. Paper.) These Hegel studies are sponsored by the Hegel Committee of the Rheinisch- Westfalische Akademie der Wissenchaften and the editors connected with the publication of the first historic -critical edition of Hegel's Gesammelte Werke by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, (of which volumes 4, 6, and 7 have been released). Not only this ambitious venture, but also the publication of the Hegel-Studien, give conclusive evidence of a great Hegel renaissance in West Germany and elsewhere. The current volume contains four valuable texts and documents, five essays, a contribution to a critical discussion, and, finally, quite a number of reviews of current publications on Hegel. But this is not all: the volume ends with a bibliography briefly describing essays on Hegel research, 1973 (collected and edited by Joseph Wachter), where we find additional material outlining new and original ideas. Among the documents, the most important ones are Nicolin's findings about Hegel's early concepts of constitutional monarchy and Manfred Baum's and Kurt Meist's amazing discoveries concerning the fledgling philosopher's political opinions, culled from his editorial work with the Bamberger Zeitung in 1807 and 1808. From Nicolin's material, which he calls "a fragment from the first lecture on legal philosophy" (ein Splitter aus der ersten Rechtsphilosophie - Vorlesung), it clearly appears that the young Hegel had quite liberal ideas about constitutional monarchy far remote from any admiration of the Prussian state that later was considered as the epitome of the legal power system. In the original version, we do not find the unilateral declaration that the power of the prince forms "the summit and the starting point of the whole system." The early version of Rechtsphilosophie only recently was made available for publication; the text concerns a hand-written copy left by the jurist Carl Gustav Homeyer who had heard the lecture delivered by Hegel in his first Berlin semester, that is, during the winter 1818/1819. Its title was Naturrecht und Staatswissenschaft (Natural Law and Political Science). The manuscript has two parts: a paragraph dictated by Hegel and written down word by word by Homeyer; and explanations following it, jotted down in loose keywords. This material was published by Karl-Heinz Ilting as the "original version" of Rechtsphilosophie . Nicolin connects it with two small fragments from Hegel's first lecture on legal philosophy given a year before the Berlin course. They convey the same notions as those developed in Ilting's interpretative thesis. According to Ilting, for reasons of adjustment to the Prussian regime, Hegel's liberal political concepts were concealed in the printed text of Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts, published in 1820. Therefore, one could not consider this famous textbook as the authoritative description of his philosophy of law, since earlier and later lectures had different versions. It is interesting that in lectures delivered in Heidelberg in 1817 and 1818 on his philosophy of law, Hegel had given the following dictation : "In a nation that has developed into a society of citizens, altogether into the consciousness of the infinity of the free self, only a constitutional monarchy is possible" (Nicolin's emphasis). This proposition was omitted in the two editions of Natural Law published in 1821 and 1833. Baum and Meist, in their essay "Politics and Philosophy at the Bamberger Zeitung: Documents on Hegel's Editorial Activity, 1807-1808," rightly claim that, except for one publication by Wilhelm R. Beyer, Hegel scholars have paid very little attention to the political ideas expressed in his articles and editorial work at the Bamberger Zeitung. Yet the year of Hegel's editorship of a political daily was of great significance for Germany and Europe because Napoleon, through the defeat of Prussia at the battlefield and in the peace treaty of Tilsit, established at that time a temporary stabilization of his hegemony on the European continent. Hegel did not conceal his admiration for Napoleon and his legislative efforts (his dubbing him the "Weltgeist on horseback" is well-known), and he confessed to his friend Niethammer that he "was following the world events with curiosity." He also made...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 354-357
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.