Politics, Religion, and Art
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Northwestern University Press
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This project was undertaken with the support of a Killam Research Fellowship, awarded by the Canada Council for the Arts, and with funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the University of Ottawa Research Chair in Political Thought. Visiting Fellowships from Sidney Sussex and King’s Colleges, University of ...
Part 1: Foundations
1. Reconfiguring Spirit
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The period from 1780 to 1850 witnessed an unprecedented explosion of philosophical creativity in the German territories. In the thinking of Kant, Schiller, Fichte, Hegel, and the Hegelian school, new theories of freedom and emancipation, and new conceptions of culture, society, and politics arose in rapid succession. These theories offer powerful diagno-...
2. Group Formation and Divisions in the Young Hegelian School
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Already at Hegel’s death in 1831 there existed a spectrum of politically oriented distinctions among various tendencies in Hegelianism. These differences came to a head in the latter half of the 1830s, with the appearance of a new generation of young intellectuals. After Arnold Ruge delivered his striking repudiation of the “old Hegelian principle” in ...
Part 2: Religion, Politics, Freedom
3. The Metaphysical and Theological Commitments of Idealism: Kant, Hegel, Hegelianism
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It is sometimes said that changes in academic philosophy in the twentieth century reflected a process in which a discipline that had been earlier closely tied to institutional religion became increasingly laicized and secularized.� In line with this idea, the idealist philosophy that had flowered within British philosophy at the end of the nineteenth century can look ...
4. Hegel’s Philosophy of Religion and the Question of “Right” and “Left” Hegelianism
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The labels traditionally used to characterize the Hegelian schools of the 1830s and ’40s have long contributed to an oversimplification and distortion of this period in the history of ideas. By dividing schools into Right and Left (and sometimes Center) Hegelians, and by distinguishing members of these schools from another group of thinkers desig-...
5. Politics, Religion, and Personhood: The Left Hegelians and the Christian German State
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The radical “disincorporation,” or literally, disembodiment of power counts among the most basic features of modern democracy. All earlier conceptions of power had demanded that power be invested inalienably in some body, some person or corporate assembly of persons. So, for example, the absolutist theory of the seventeenth and eighteenth ...
6. Hegelianism and the Politics of Contingency
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This chapter examines the writings of the Young Hegelians as part of a long discursive lineage, and it claims that their works are organized around an intentional reconstruction of the constitutive motifs of the philosophical and political history of European societies. Central to this argument is the claim that political theory is interlaced with processes of ...
Part 3: Politics, Civil Society, Ethics
7. Hegelianism and the Theory of Political Opposition
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An appropriate starting point for this chapter is the following apparent contradiction: on the one hand, there is a large consensus among historians of political thought that, in the 1830s and 1840s, Hegelian ideas exerted a considerable influence on the way in which a political opposition was conceived in Germany. The role of Hegel and his school ...
8. Between Hegel and Marx: Eduard Gans on the “Social Question”
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In the account of his travels in France published in Berlin under the title Looking Back on Persons and Situations (R�ckblicke auf Personen und Zust�nde),� Eduard Gans,� the celebrated Hegel follower among the jurists, described a conversation which unfolded during a meal at the famous Parisian restaurant Au Rocher de Cancale. Participants in this con-...
9. Post-Kantian Perfectionism
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Like many British and French republicans of the century before them, German Left Hegelians in the period described as the Vormärz (preceding the outbreak of revolution in March 1848) shared the view that a deep-seated opposition exists between virtue and commerce.¹ They thus appear—at first sight—inattentive to the reworking of this problematic ...
Part 4: Art and the Modern World
10. The Aesthetics of the Hegelian School
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This chapter will recall a tendency in the philosophy of art that has been largely neglected, or only summarily researched: the aesthetics of the Young Hegelians.¹ The difficulty of depicting the contours of this aesthetic conception may be readily admitted. To speak of “Young Hegelian aesthetics” can be misleading if it suggests that we are dealing with a ...
11. Karl Rosenkranz and the “Aesthetics of the Ugly”
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Karl Rosenkranz’s Aesthetics of the Ugly (Ästhetik des Hässlichen) was first published in Königsberg by the Verlag der Gebrüder Bornträger in 1853. Since then it has been republished several times in Germany in the last few decades (in, for example, 1973¹ as well as in 1990, 1996, and 2007²) and been translated into languages including Italian (1986) and ...
Part 5: Appropriations and Critiques of Hegel
12. Some Political Implications of Feuerbach’s Theory of Religion
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Together with David Friedrich Strauss’s The Life of Jesus (1835– 36), Ludwig Feuerbach’s epochal work, The Essence of Christianity (Das Wesen des Christentums, 1841), has come to represent the radical challenge posed to traditional Christian doctrines by a younger generation of Hegel’s disciples. A significant advance in English- language research on Feuer-...
13. Max Stirner and the End of Classical German Philosophy
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On June 28, 1856, in the Kirchhof der Sophien-Gemeinde (the cemetery of the Sophia parish) in Berlin, there was laid to rest the body of one Johann Caspar Schmidt. Because of Schmidt’s persistent penury, his grave was modest: second- class, costing one Thaler, ten Silbergroschen. On his “last journey” he was accompanied by only two friends, Bruno Bauer ...
14. Ruge and Marx: Democracy, Nationalism, and Revolution in Left Hegelian Debates
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Despite a number of important recent publications in the field,� studies of the Hegelian school continue to face formidable obstacles. The philosophical and political language of the Young Hegelians seems perhaps dated and certainly complex. It is precise and technical, but also difficult to render adequately in translation. Translations which might ...
15. Marx, German Idealism, and Constructivism
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This chapter is on Marx and constructivism. Constructivism is a central theme in German idealism, which lends unity to this tendency, starting with Kant, and continuing through all the later German idealists, specifically including Marx. This assertion is obviously controversial. The claim that Marx is a constructivist in a manner similar to German idealism is ...
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Page Count: 368
Publication Year: 2011
Volume Title: 1
Series Title: Topics in Historical Philosophy
Series Editor Byline: David Kolb, John McCumber