German Idealism develops its philosophy of history as the theory of becoming absolute and as absolute knowledge. Historism also originates from Hegel's and Schelling's discovery of absolute historicity as it turns against Idealism's philosophy of history by emphasizing the singular and unique in the process of history. German Idealism and Historism can be considered as the central German contribution to the history of ideas. Since Idealism became most influential for modern philosophy and Historism (...) for modern historiography, they are analyzed in this volume in a collaboration of philosophers and historians. German Idealism is presented in Schelling and its critics Schlegel, Baader, and Nietzsche; Historism in Ranke, Droysen, Burckhardt, and Treitschke. The volume further presents the impact of Idealism and Historism on present German approaches to the philosophy of history and outlines the debates on the possibility of a philosophy of history and on the methodology of the historical sciences. (shrink)
Recent considerations of mind and world react against philosophical naturalisation strategies by maintaining that the thought of the world is normatively driven to reject reductive or bald naturalism. This paper argues that we may reject bald or naturalism without sacrificing nature to normativity and so retreating from metaphysics to transcendental idealism. The resources for this move can be found in the Naturphilosophie outlined by the German Idealist philosopher F.W.J. Schelling. He argues that because thought occurs in the same universe (...) as thought thinks, it remains part of that universe whose elements in consequence now additionally include that thought. A philosophy of nature beginning from such a position neither shaves thought from a thoughtless nature nor transcendentally reduces nature to the content of thought, since a thought occurring in nature only has as its content when that thought is additive rather than summative. A natural history of mind drawn from Schellingian premises therefore entails that, while a thought may have as its content, this thought is itself the partial content of the nature augmented by it. (shrink)
In German Idealism and the Jew , Michael Mack uncovers the deep roots of anti-Semitism in the German philosophical tradition. While many have read German anti-Semitism as a reaction against Enlightenment philosophy, Mack instead contends that the redefinition of the Jews as irrational, oriental Others forms the very cornerstone of German idealism, including Kant's conception of universal reason. Offering the first analytical account of the connection between anti-Semitism and philosophy, Mack begins his exploration by showing how (...) the fundamental thinkers in the German idealist tradition--Kant, Hegel, and, through them, Feuerbach and Wagner--argued that the human world should perform and enact the promises held out by a conception of an otherworldly heaven. But their respective philosophies all ran aground on the belief that the worldly proved incapable of transforming itself into this otherworldly ideal. To reconcile this incommensurability, Mack argues, philosophers created a construction of Jews as symbolic of the "worldliness" that hindered the development of a body politic and that served as a foil to Kantian autonomy and rationality. In the second part, Mack examines how Moses Mendelssohn, Heinrich Heine, Franz Rosenzweig, and Freud, among others, grappled with being both German and Jewish. Each thinker accepted the philosophies of Kant and Hegel, in varying degrees, while simultaneously critiquing anti-Semitism in order to develop the modern Jewish notion of what it meant to be enlightened--a concept that differed substantially from that of Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, and Wagner. By speaking the unspoken in German philosophy, this book profoundly reshapes our understanding of it. (shrink)
The turn of the nineteenth century marked a rich and exciting explosion of philosophical energy and talent. The enormity of the revolution set off in philosophy by Immanuel Kant was comparable, in Kant's own estimation, with the Copernican Revolution that ended the Middle Ages. The movement he set in motion, the fast-moving and often cantankerous dialectic of "German Idealism," inspired some of the most creative philosophers in modern times: including G. W. F. Hegel and Arthur Schopenhauer as well as (...) those who reacted against Kant--Marx and Kierkegaard, for example. This volume traces the emergence of German Idealism from Kant and his predecessors through the first half of the nineteenth century, ending with the irrationalism of Kierkegaard. It provides a broad, scholarly introduction to this period for students of philosophy and related disciplines, as well as some original interpretations of these authors. Also included is a glossary of technical terms as well as a chronological table of philosophical, scientific and other important cultural events. (shrink)
The Cambridge Companion to German Idealism offers a comprehensive, penetrating, and informative guide to what is regarded as the classical period of German philosophy. Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling are all discussed in detail, together with a number of their contemporaries, such as Hölderlin and Schleiermacher, whose influence was considerable but whose work is less well known in the English-speaking world. The essays in the volume trace and explore the unifying themes of German Idealism, and discuss their (...) relationship to Romanticism, the Enlightenment, and the culture of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe. The result is an illuminating overview of a rich and complex philosophical movement, and will appeal to a wide range of readers in philosophy, German studies, theology, literature, and the history of ideas. (shrink)
Art, dialogue, and historical knowledge : appropriating Kant's Critique of judgment -- Beyond the third Critique : epistemological skepticism and aesthetic consciousness -- Overcoming the problems of modern philosophy : art, truth, and the turn to ontology -- History, reflection, and self-determination : critiquing the Enlightenment and Hegel -- Schleiermacher's critical theory of interpretation -- Normativity, critique, and reflection : the hermeneutic legacy of German Idealism.
This volume comprises studies written by prominent scholars working in the field of German Idealism. These scholars come from the English speaking philosophical world and Continental Europe. They treat major aspects of the place of religion in Idealism, Romanticism and other schools of thought and culture. They also discuss the tensions and relations between religion and philosophy in terms of the specific form they take in German Idealism, and in terms of the effect they still have on contemporary (...) culture. The authors consider figures such as Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Jacobi. The book will prove very informative to researchers and teachers working in the fields of philosophy, philosophy of religion, and classical German philosophy. (shrink)
This book offers an important reappraisal of Schelling's philosophy and his relationship to German Idealism. Focusing on Schelling's self-critique in early identity philosophy the author rejects those criticisms of Schelling made by both Hegel and Heidegger. This work significantly redraws the boundaries of metaphysical thinking, arguing for a dialogue between rational philosophy, mythology and cosmology.
Beginning with the publication of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and extending through to Hegel’s death, the period known as German Idealism signaled the end of an epoch of rationalism, empiricism, and enlightenment—and the beginning of a new “critical” period of philosophy. The most comprehensive anthology of this vital tradition to date, German Idealism brings together an expansive selection of readings from the tradition’s major figures like Kant, Hegel, Fichte, and Schelling. Arranged thematically into sections on topics such (...) as the relationships between self and knowledge, freedom and morality, law and state, and nature and science, to name a few, German Idealism discloses many of the contrasts that helped to differentiate each of the tradition’s key thinkers. Each expertly translated text comes with an editorial introduction to guide readers through many of the problems the texts specifically deal with, as well as their historical context. The most accessible and expansive introduction to German Idealism ever, this anthology will be hailed by instructors and scholars as the most dependable guide to the tradition for years to come. (shrink)
The period from Kant to Hegel is one of the most intense and rigorous in modern philosophy. The central problem at the heart of it was the development of a new standard of theoretical reflection and of the principle of rationality itself. The essays in this volume consider both the development of Kant's system of transcendental idealism in the three Critiques, the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, and the Opus Postumum, as well as the reception and transformation of that idealism (...) in the work of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. The contributors include many of today's preeminent philosophers of German idealism. (shrink)
This is the most important book on Hegel to have appeared in the past ten years. The author offers a completely new interpretation of Hegel's idealism that focuses on Hegel's appropriation and development of Kant's theoretical project. Hegel is presented neither as a pre-critical metaphysician nor as a social theorist, but as a critical philosopher whose disagreements with Kant, especially on the issue of intuitions, enrich the idealist arguments against empiricism, realism, and naturalism. In the face of the dismissal of (...) absolute idealism as either unintelligible or implausible, Pippin explains and defends an original account of the philosophical basis for Hegel's claims about the historical and social nature of self-consciousness and of knowledge itself. (shrink)
In this book-the first large-scale survey of the complex relationship between Hegel's idealism and Anglo-American analytic philosophy-Tom Rockmore argues that analytic philosophy has consistently misread and misappropriated Hegel. According to Rockmore, the first generation of British analytic philosophers to engage Hegel possessed a limited understanding of his philosophy and of idealism. Succeeding generations continued to misinterpret him, and recent analytic thinkers have turned Hegel into a pragmatist by ignoring his idealism. Rockmore explains why this has happened, defends Hegel's idealism, and (...) points out the ways that Hegel is a key figure for analytic concerns, focusing in particular on the fact that he and analytic philosophers both share an interest in the problem of knowledge. (shrink)
Hegel and the myth of reason -- Hegel's phenomenology as a systematic fragment -- The architectonic of Hegel's Phenomenology of spirit -- Points of contact in the philosophy of religion of Hegel and Schopenhauer -- Kierkegaard's criticism of the absence of ethics in Hegel's system -- Kierkegaard's criticism of abstraction and his proposed solution : appropriation -- Kierkegaard's recurring criticism of Hegel's The good and conscience-- Hegel and Nietzsche on the death of tragedy and Greek ethical life -- Existentialist ethics (...) -- Merleau-Ponty's criticisms of Sartre's theory of freedom -- Sartre and Merleau-Ponty on consciousness and bad faith. (shrink)
In the second half of the eighteenth century, German philosophy came for a while to dominate European philosophy. It changed the way in which not only Europeans, but people all over the world, conceived of themselves and thought about nature, religion, human history, politics, and the structure of the human mind. In this rich and wide-ranging book, Terry Pinkard interweaves the story of 'Germany' - changing during this period from a loose collection of principalities into a newly-emerged nation (...) with a distinctive culture - with an examination of the currents and complexities of its developing philosophical thought. He examines the dominant influence of Kant, with his revolutionary emphasis on 'self-determination', and traces this influence through the development of romanticism and idealism to the critiques of post-Kantian thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard. His book will interest a range of readers in the history of philosophy, cultural history and the history of ideas. (shrink)
: In this paper I explore one issue in the history of German Idealism which has been widely neglected in the existing literature. I argue that Salomon Maimon was the first to suggest that Spinoza's pantheism was a radical religious (or 'acosmistic') view rather than atheism. Following a discussion of the historical context of Maimon's engagement with Spinoza, I point out the main Spinozistic element of Maimon 's philosophy: the view of God as the material cause of the (...) world, or as the subject in which all things inhere. I argue that this doctrine was the basis of Maimon's Law of Determinability. (shrink)
Originally published in German in 1995, this collection of essays has been written by the foremost representative of the hermeneutical approach in German philosophy. Offering a novel interpretation of the tradition of German Idealist thought--Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel--RU;diger Bubner insightfully reviews the philosophical innovations in the complex of issues and aspirations which dominated German intellectual life from 1780 to 1830. This collection will be of special interest to students of German philosophy, literary theory and (...) the history of ideas. (shrink)
On the History of Modern Philosophy is a key transitional text in the history of European philosophy. In it, F. W. J. Schelling surveys philosophy from Descartes to German Idealism and shows why the Idealist project is ultimately doomed to failure. The lectures trace the path of philosophy from Descartes through Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant, Fichte, Jacobi, to Hegel and Schelling's own work. The extensive critiques of Hegel prefigure many of the arguments to be found in Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, (...) Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Derrida. This is the first English translation of On the History of Modern Philosophy. In his introduction Andrew Bowie sets the work in the context of Schelling's career and clarifies its philosophical issues. The translation will be of special interest to philosophers, intellectual historians, literary theorists, and theologians. (shrink)
This book is intended not only for scholars and students in humanities, history (esp. the history of ideas), Jewish studies, philosophy (esp. the history of philosophy), and Christian theology, but also for those concerned with the roots of anti-Semitism and with the need for toleration and intercultural pluralism. Modernity and the Final Aim of History: * Combines the development of German philosophy from the Enlightenment to Idealism, and from Idealism to the revolutionary turning-point of the (...) mid-nineteenth century with the Jewish question; * Shows the close entwining of anti-Jewish prejudices with awareness of the importance of Judaism in the formation of modern thought; * Points out the hopes, obstacles, compromises, and disappointments of Jewish emancipation right up to the appearance of racial anti-Semitism; * Traces the changes in the debate over Judaism from the theological perspective to the philosophical and from the philosophical to that of the economic and naturalistic; * Underlines the dangers to toleration that arise from seeing human history as directed towards a single aim; *Can be used in university courses and seminars, as well as in research groups. (shrink)
Introduction: This paper has two, interrelated aims. The first is to clarify Sartre's theory of intersubjectivity. Sartre's discussion of the Other has a puzzling way of going in and out of focus, seeming at one moment to provide a remarkably original solution to the problem of other minds and at the next to wholly miss the point of the skeptical challenge. The nature of his argument is equally uncertain: at some points it looks like an attempt to mount a transcendental (...) argument, a kind of Refutation of Idealism regarding the existence of others, at others, to be a defence of direct realism; yet again, it can seem to propose a dissolution of the problem closely analogous to Wittgenstein. I will argue (Section 1) that none of these provides quite the right model for understanding Sartre, which requires one to take seriously his method of resolving epistemological issues into matters of ontology. I argue further (Section 2) that Sartre's theory becomes fully coherent only if we make explicit its implicit presupposition of a conception of intersubjectivity articulated by Fichte. My second aim is to pursue the connection opened up of Sartre with German idealism. To the extent that commentators attempt to relate Sartre systematically to German idealism, it is almost always Hegel who provides the other term of comparison.1 What I try to show (Section 3) is that the usual comparison of Sartre with Hegel, which is largely negative, is distracting, and that Sartre's closer philosophical [End Page 325] relations are to Fichte and Schelling.2 This supplies, I argue, an important correction to the tendency of anglophone discussion of Sartre to isolate his claims from historical considerations, or to restrict Sartre's historical frame of reference to Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger: Sartre's philosophy, I suggest, is viewed fruitfully in the context of philosophical debates pursued in early German idealism. Sartre's ethics, I argue (Section 4), provide supporting evidence for this view. I propose tentatively in conclusion (Section 5) a corresponding view of existential phenomenology as a whole. (shrink)
Recent discussions of “GermanIdealism” have laid new emphasis on its central concern with the self-determining or “unconditioned” status of self-consciousness, its critique of “reflective” or “foundationalist” epistemologies and metaphysics, and its account of “Reason” or conceptuality as immanent in all human experience and social life. This article contends that this revaluation throws new light upon Karl Marx’s 1841 doctoral dissertation on ancient Greek atomism. It argues that Marx’s interest in comparing the atomistic theories of Democritus and Epicurus (...) lies in their being historical species of reflective or “essentialist” thinking that attempts to identify an underlying “principle” behind or “beyond” sensible “appearance.” Epicurus is accorded (relative) praise by Marx on account of his clear awareness of the necessary contradiction at the heart of any such structure, and his oblique demonstration of its internal link with the individualism and alienation of the post-Hellenic world. Intimately related themes are then shown to animate the rhetorical declarations against religion, in the name of “Reason” and “Self-consciousness”, that frame the dissertation. The precise manner in which Marx formulates this opposition, it is argued, indicate a closer and more conscious affinity with the original project of post-Kantian Idealism than has hitherto been appreciated. While Marx is sure to have intended more than a simple recycling of this tradition, it is suggested that a greater sensitivity to its role in shaping his outlook will prove suggestive—if not conclusive—for thinking about where he means to take it. (shrink)
One of the Key Questions Facing anyone interested in German Idealism concerns the puzzling transition from Kant to Hegel: how, in the course of a mere two decades, did Kant’s critical idealism, with its emphasis on the need to limit reason’s aspirations, come to be replaced by the seemingly boundless Absolute Idealism of the late 1790s and early 1800s? The traditional—though admittedly caricatured—answer follows an appealingly straightforward path from Kant to the idealist triumvirate of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. The (...) central motivation for the absolute idealists, on this reckoning, is found in the notorious problem of the thing in itself that was taken to plague Kant’s critical idealism, and each of the later .. (shrink)
Developments over the past four decades have secured Immanuel Kant’s status as being for contemporary philosophers what the sea was for Swinburne: the great, gray mother of us all. And Kant mattered as much for the classical American pragmatists as he does for us today. But we look back at that sepia-toned age across an extended period during which Anglophone philosophy largely wrote Kant out of its canon. The founding ideology of Bertrand Russell and G.E. Moore, articulating the rationale and (...) fighting faith for the rising tide of analytic philosophy, was forged in a recoil from the perceived defects of a British idealism inspired by Hegel. Mindful of the massive debt evidently and self-avowedly owed by Hegel to Kant, and putting aside neo-Kantian <span class='Hi'>readings</span> of Kant as an empiricist philosopher of science that cast him in a light they would have found more favorable, Russell and Moore diagnosed the idealist rot as having set in already with Kant. For them, and for many of their followers down through the years, the progressive current in philosophy should be seen to have run directly from Locke, Leibniz, and Hume, to Mill and Frege, without any dangerous diversion into the oxbow of German idealism. (shrink)
This review article responds to a biography of Fichte and a collection of essays on German Idealism stressing the plurality of types of idealism that were presented at the close of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.
Book description: This outstanding collection of specially commissioned chapters examines German idealism from several angles and assesses the renewed interest in the subject from a wide range of fields. Including discussions of the key representatives of German idealism such as Kant, Fichte and Hegel, it is structured in clear sections dealing with: * metaphysics * the legacy of Hegel’s philosophy * Brandom and Hegel * recognition and agency * autonomy and nature * the philosophy of German romanticism. (...) Amongst other important topics, German Idealism: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives addresses the debates surrounding the metaphysical and epistemological legacy of German idealism; its importance for understanding recent debates in moral and political thought; its appropriation in recent theories of language and the relationship between mind and world; and how German idealism affected subsequent movements such as romanticism, pragmatism, and critical theory. (shrink)
Abstract: In this paper I consider the significant but generally overlooked role that the French Revolution played in the development of German Idealism. Specifically, I argue that Reinhold and Fichte's engagement in revolutionary political debates directly shaped their interpretation of Kant's philosophy, leading them (a) to overlook his reliance upon common sense, (b) to misconstrue his conception of the relationship between philosophical theory and received cognitive practice, (c) to fail to appreciate the fundamentally regressive nature of his transcendental argumentative (...) strategy, and, ultimately, (d) to seek to deduce his philosophy from a single first-principle, one grounded in the immediate awareness of the subject's mental life. (shrink)
Schelling’s System of Transcendental Idealism is usually considered to be either (1) an early Fichtean-influenced work that gives little insight into Schelling’s philosophy or (2) a text focusing on self-consciousness and aesthetics. I argue that Schelling’s System develops a subtle conception of history which originates in a dialogue with Kant and Hegel (concerning the question of teleology) and concludes in proximity to an Idealist version of Spinoza. In this way, Schelling develops a philosophy of history which is, simultaneously, (...) a dialectical engagement with the history of philosophy. (shrink)
The seventeenth century background to the emergence of continental idealism -- Monadological world of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz -- Kant's development from physical to moral monadologist -- Kant and the "Copernican" conception of transcendental philosophy -- The moral framework of metaphysics -- The later Kant as a "post-Kantian" philosopher? -- Jena post-Kantianism: Reinhold and Fichte -- The romanticisms of Friedrich Schlegel and Friedrich Schelling -- Hegel's idealist metaphysics of spirit -- Schopenhauer, Nietzsche and the ambiguous end of the idealist tradition -- (...) Postscript: idealism after the end of (its) history. (shrink)
Idealism became the dominant philosphical school of thought in late nineteenth-century Britain. In this original and stimulating study, Sandra den Otter examines its roots in Greek and German thinking and locates it among the prevalent methodologies and theories of the period: empiricism and positivism, naturalism, evolution, and utilitarianism. In particular, she sets it in the context of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century debate about a science of society and the contemporary preoccupation with `community'.
Machine generated contents note: 1. Rationality, idealism, monism, and beyond Michael Della Rocca; 2. Kant's idea of the unconditioned and Spinoza's the fourth antinomy and the ideal of pure reason Omri Boehm; 3. The question is whether a purely apparent person is possible Karl Ameriks; 4. Herder and Spinoza Michael Forster; 5. Goethe's Spinozism Eckart Förster; 6. Fichte on freedom: the Spinozistic background Allen Wood; 7. Fichte on the consciousness of Spinoza's God Johannes Haag; 8. Spinoza in Schelling's early conception (...) of intellectual intuition Dalia Nassar; 9. Schelling's philosophy of identity and Spinoza's ethica more geometrico Michael Vater; 10. 'Omnis determinatio est negatio' - determination, negation, and self-negation in Spinoza, Kant, and Hegel Yitzhak Y. Melamed; 11. Thought and metaphysics: Hegel's critical reception of Spinoza Dean Moyar; 12. Two models of metaphysical inferentialism: Spinoza and Hegel Gunnar Hinricks; 13. Trendelenburg and Spinoza Fred Beiser; 14. Replies on behalf of Spinoza Don Garrett. (shrink)
Spinoza’s letter of June 2, 1674 to his friend Jarig Jelles addresses several distinct and important issues in Spinoza’s philosophy. It explains briefly the core of Spinoza’s disagreement with Hobbes’ political theory, develops his innovative understanding of numbers, and elaborates on Spinoza’s refusal to describe God as one or single. Then, toward the end of the letter, Spinoza writes: With regard to the statement that figure is a negation and not anything positive, it is obvious that matter in its totality, (...) considered without limitation [indefinitè consideratam], can have no figure, and that figure applies only to finite and determinate bodies. For he who says that he apprehends a figure, thereby means to indicate simply this, that he apprehends a determinate thing and the manner of its determination. This determination therefore does not pertain to the thing in regard to its being [esse]; on the contrary, it is its non-being [non-esse]. So since figure is nothing but determination, and determination is negation [Quia ergo figura non aliud, quam determinatio, et determinatio negatio est], figure can be nothing other than negation, as has been said. Arguably, what is most notable about this letter is the fate of a single subordinate clause which appears in the last sentence of this passage: et determinatio negatio est. That clause was to be adopted by Hegel and transformed into the slogan of his own dialectical method: Omnis determinatio est negatio (Every determination is negation). Of further significance is the fact that, while Hegel does credit Spinoza with the discovery of this most fundamental insight, he believes Spinoza failed to appreciate the importance of his discovery. The issue of negation and the possibility of self-negation stand at the very center of the philosophical dialogue between the systems of Spinoza and Hegel, and in this paper I will attempt to provide a preliminary explication of this foundational debate between the two systems. In the first part of the paper I will argue that the “determination is negation” formula has been understood in at least three distinct senses among the German Idealists, and as a result many of the participants in the discussion of this formula were actually talking past each other. The clarification of the three distinct senses of the formula will lead, in the second part of the paper, to a more precise evaluation of the fundamental debate between Spinoza and Hegel (and the German Idealists in general) regarding the possibility (or even necessity) of self-negation. In this part I will evaluate the validity of each interpretation of the determination formula, and motivate the positions of the various participants in the debate. (shrink)
This work is a substantial contribution to the history of philosophy. Its subject, the ninth-century philosopher John Scottus Eriugena, developed a form of idealism that owed as much to the Greek Neoplatonic tradition as to the Latin fathers and anticipated the priority of the subject in its modern, most radical statement: Germanidealism. Moran has written the most comprehensive study yet of Eriugena's philosophy, tracing the sources of his thinking and analyzing his most important text, the (...) Periphyseon. This volume will be of special interest to historians of mediaeval philosophy, history, and theology. (shrink)
Because contemporary political philosophy owes a significant debt to the great nineteenth-century German philosophies of history, a sound knowledge of German Idealist philosophy is crucial to an understanding of our own time. In Political Philosophy 2 , Luc Ferry provides not only a thorough introduction to German Idealism and its critics, but also an insightful look at contemporary political philosophy. Ferry begins this second volume of his ambitious three-volume Political Philosophy by considering both the structure and (...) the potential political effects of the various philosophies of history born of German Idealism. He focuses on the key question of whether, and to what extent, the principle of reason may be said to govern the totality of the historically real. This leads to an examination of Hegel's criticism of the moral view of the world and to an assessment of the phenomenological criticism of Hegel put forth by Heidegger and Arendt. (shrink)
Based on their critical analysis of Kant's "Critique of Judgment", the authors of this book show from different perspectives in what way the Kantian concept of the sublime is still a main stream of inspiration for contemporary thinking.
From the Reformation to the present, German political philosophy has done much to shape the contours of theoretical debate on politics, law, and the conditions of political legitimacy; many of the most decisive and influential theoretical impulses in European political history have originated in Germany. Until now, there has been no thorough history of German political philosophy available in English. This book offers a synoptic account of the main debates in its evolution. Commencing with the formal (...) reception of Roman law and the constitutional reforms in the Holy Roman Empire in the late fifteenth century, German Political Philosophy includes chapters on: · the political ideas of Luther, Zwingli and Melanchthon in the Reformation; · the natural-law theories of the early German Enlightenment; · Kant, Hegel and the age of German idealism; · romanticism and historicism; the Young Hegelians and Karl Marx; · legal positivism and organic theory; · Nietzsche, Weber and early sociology; · neo-Kantianism in the late nineteenth century; · constitutional theory in the Weimar Republic; · the critical theories of the Frankfurt School; · post-1945 sociological functionalism; · Niklas Luhmann's systems theory. At the heart of this book is the claim that, despite - or perhaps because of - the great upheavals and ruptures in the history of state-formation in Germany, there are certain recurrent themes and concerns which persist through these discontinuities to give a distinctive character to German political reflection. This valuable book will be of great interest to political philosophers, intellectual historians, lawyers, and historical sociologists.'. (shrink)
In twentieth-century Kant scholarship, few have provided an account of the analytic-synthetic distinction and of the problem of the synthetic a priori that takes into consideration the views of Kant's idealist successors such as Maimon, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel. I first explain how Kant formulates the analytic-synthetic distinction in terms of the determinate-indeterminate distinction, which, in turn, is based on the distinction between general and transcendental logic. Kant's problem of the synthetic a priori , then, is the problem of showing (...) how the logical forms of judgment can be employed determinately (and not merely indeterminately). I then show that Maimon also formulates the distinction and the problem in the same way, and that his interpretation will shape how Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel each construe and address Kant's question, How are synthetic judgments possible a priori ? (shrink)
The late Richard Rorty was no stranger to provocation, and many an analytic philosopher would surely count as extremely provocative comments he had made on Robert Brandom’s highly regarded book from 1994, Making It Explicit.1 Brandom’s book was, Rorty asserted “an attempt to usher analytic philosophy from its Kantian to its Hegelian stage.”2 The reception of Kant within analytic philosophy has surely been, at best, patchy, but if it is difficult to imagine exactly what Rorty could have had in mind (...) by analytic philosophy’s “Kantian phase,” the idea of an immanent Hegelian one would strike many as ludicrous. Given that the beginnings of analytic philosophy are conventionally described in terms of the radical break initiated by Russell and Moore with the Hegel-inspired idealism of their teachers at Cambridge in the closing years of the 19th century, the distinctly anti-Hegelian character of analytic philosophy has been held to be central. Moreover, the increasing naturalistic tenor of recent analytic philosophy would seem hardly propitious for a revival of 19th century idealism. And yet Rorty’s description should not be dismissed as mere provocation. (shrink)
This paper considers the relation between mytho-poetic narrative and practical philosophy in an Idealist/Romantic fragment, usually attributed to Hegel, known as the ‘System-programme’. Like many works of the young Hegel, the text seeks political reform through a reform of religion and suggests that for politics to be truly motivating reason must be embedded in mytho-poetic discourse. This Hegelian ‘reform’ is in the service of a new, sensuous, practical rationality and a motivating political praxis. The paper places these issues in the (...) context of the religious thought of J.J. Rousseau, particularly his religious themes, as presented in The Social Contract . The paper also connects these issues to a political problem identified in recent work by Simon Critchley, the problem of practical or moral motivation. Critchley claims that while citizens of secular, liberal, democratic societies experience the political norms that shape their lives as externally binding, these norms are not internally compelling. Against this he claims that what are motivating are frameworks of belief that call the secular project into question. At least one of Critchley’s solutions to this problem is connected to the sphere of the religious. While accepting the idea that connecting social and political problems to religion can render them motivating, this paper will withhold from endorsing either the solution offered by the young Hegel in the ‘System-programme’ or Critchley’s, and raises doubts also about the Rousseauian response . It argues that these solutions fail to adequately address the problem they face: how to render contemporary political life internally compelling for modern political subjects? (shrink)
Hegel did not have an adequate appreciation of linguistic diversity. This lapse is linked to Hegel’s Eurocentric view of history and culture. Hegel’s view of language is considered within the context of Leibniz’s hope for a universal philosophical language, the metacritique of Kant, and Fichte’s linguistic nationalism. Hegel overcomes the sort of nationalism found in Fichte. And Hegel aspires toward the universal while recognizing the importance of concrete historical language. However, he does not achieve the sort of appreciation of (...) linguistic diversity we find in Humboldt. The paper concludes that Humboldt can thus be used to critique Hegel’s Eurocentrism without anachronism. (shrink)
I show one reason why Hegel’s theory of history is an improvement over Kant’s. There is an ambiguity in Kant’s theory of history. He wants, on the one hand, to distinguish empirical history (and, by extension, other empirical sciences which constitute experience) from reason’s a priori regulative role in theory. On the other hand, his view of the nature of sciences and the role of reason precludes such a separation. I trace this problem to different roles assigned (...) the faculties of understanding and reason in our experience. In Hegel’s theory of history, both reason and understanding together constitute the sciences, and thus experience. Hegel argues that history is a unified field employing both understanding and reason. I conclude that the more consistent theory of history for idealists is Hegel’s, and that this consistency partially explains the movement in German Idealism from Kantian to Hegelian thought. (shrink)
This paper investigates the fragmentation required of the philosophy of history in light of three key moments in its formation: German Idealism’s desire to see freedom realized in the world, the death of God, and the disasters of the twentieth century. I argue that Walter Benjamin and Maurice Blanchot respond to these threads of the philosophy of history with revolutionary imperatives that belong to no program or project, imperatives that both reorganize and destructure the work of education, (...) affirmations of transience and unmediated violence. I argue, following their lead, that any philosophy of history today must begin in a refusal of state power and the mediated violence of contemporary forms of community. (shrink)