Bruno Bauer’s response to Max Stirner’s Der Einzige und sein Eigentum (1845) is here examined closely, for the first time. In working out their concepts of freedom and self-determination, the Hegelian Left stressed different elements in the synthesis which Hegel himself had effected. Options appear that can be described as generally Fichtean or Spinozistic; each has distinct political and ethical implications. Bauer’s claim is that Stirner “Unique One” is to be understood as a version of Spinozist substance, which fails to (...) rise to the Fichtean-Hegelian standpoint of rational subjectivit y which his own thought represents. The paper endorses Bauer’s conclusion that essential differences between his republicanism and universalism, as opposed to Stirner’s anarchism and particularism, can be traced to divergent receptions of Fichte and Spinoza, as mediated through Hegel. With references to Hegel’s critiques of Spinoza, the paper reconstructs Bauer’s argumentation on the inadequacies of a merely substantial view of freedom. (shrink)
An examination of the intellectual context in which Fichte develops his ethical program in the Jena period and its immediate aftermath reveals the determining presence of Leibniz, and the complex heritage of Leibnizian perfectionist thought from which Kantian, and post-Kantian, ethics seek to extricate themselves. While Kant blocks any reversion to the older, Leibnizian perfectionism, his criticisms leave open a space for a new kind of perfectionist ethic, one whose object is the promotion not of any determinate notion of eudaimonia (...) or thriving, but of the possibility of free agency itself. The aim of post-Kantian perfectionism is to sustain the conditions of free, spontaneous action. Fichte’s ethical system is one example of post-Kantian perfectionism. (shrink)
In his early text, The Limits of State Action, Wilhelm von Humboldt raises the Kantian question of the permissibility and legitimate extent of political and juridical coercion, as his contribution to a debate amongst Kantians launched by the publication in 1785 of Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. In arguing for a minimal state, concerned exclusively with internal and external security of its members but not at all with their felicity, Humboldt inflects Kantian political thought in the direction of (...) a liberal laissez-faire state, in marked contrast to the strong interventionism that his fellow-Kantian Fichte derived from similar Kantian grounds. The article argues that the underlying conception of the individual retained by Humboldt has markedly Leibnizian traits, namely the notion of freedom as the spontaneous unfolding of a highly personal, monadic developmental trajectory toward perfection, which ought not to be impeded or homogenized by unnecessary state intervention. Humboldt thus represents not only a ‘rightist’ libertarian reading of Kant, but a particular appropriation of significant Leibnizian themes. His combination of these sources is compared with that of other contemporary theorists like Hufeland and Fichte. (shrink)
This paper examines the relation between Kant’s Metaphysics of Morals and his Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science in order to explain the analogy in the doctrine of right between juridical interactions and the movement of bodies according to mechanical laws. Kant’s various formulations of the idea of reciprocal action and his concept of limit are central to the examination. A comparison with Fichte is suggested, and implications for the theory of property are indicated.
Bruno Bauer’s response to Max Stirner’s Der Einzige und sein Eigentum is here examined closely, for the first time. In working out their concepts of freedom and self-determination, the Hegelian Left stressed different elements in the synthesis which Hegel himself had effected. Options appear that can be described as generally Fichtean or Spinozistic; each has distinct political and ethical implications. Bauer’s claim is that Stirner “Unique One” is to be understood as a version of Spinozist substance, which fails to rise (...) to the Fichtean-Hegelian standpoint of rational subjectivit y which his own thought represents. The paper endorses Bauer’s conclusion that essential differences between his republicanism and universalism, as opposed to Stirner’s anarchism and particularism, can be traced to divergent receptions of Fichte and Spinoza, as mediated through Hegel. With references to Hegel’s critiques of Spinoza, the paper reconstructs Bauer’s argumentation on the inadequacies of a merely substantial view of freedom. (shrink)
This paper examines whether Bruno Bauer's critical assessment of Jewish emancipation in Prussia is consistent with his other republican writings in the 1840s. It argues that Bauer's political position is a form of republican rigorism, according to which human emancipation requires identification with universal interests, and not the defence of particular identities. Rigorism involves the elimination of internal as well as external heteronomous influences, and implies shifting the boundaries between the juridical and the moral realms as defined by Kant. Subjects' (...) incentives for adopting the maxims that govern their external action are taken to be relevant to the assessment of the emancipatory potential of their deeds and claims. The paper distinguishes degrees of rigorism, and shows that Bauer's specific conclusions on the Jewish question, while not entirely unfounded by his political logic, are not strictly implied by his premises. Contrasting positions in his work are illustrated. (shrink)
The paper examines the political implications of Schiller's On the Aesthetic Education of Man (1795). Schiller's thought has frequently been depicted as a flight from contemporary conditions of revolution and war, but his aesthetic ideas are closely connected to his assessment of political emancipation and they contribute to a new kind of republican thought. While earlier eighteenth-century republicanisms had presupposed, or attempted to enforce, homogeneity of interest among the citizen body, Schiller acknowledges modern diversity, resulting from new relationships in civil (...) society and the division of labour. He advocates a politics of mutual recognition, compatible with modern individuality and its differentiated forms. His aesthetic approach seeks harmony through reciprocal interaction and mutual adjustment, without producing uniformity or suppressing spontaneity. This approach represents an important innovation in the republican and Kantian traditions. (shrink)
This paper disputes Habermas' accounts of labor as monological expressivist-aesthetic or instrumental action. It shows how tensions in Kant's account of experience, as developed by Fichte and Hegel, enable Marx to formulate two distinct intersubjective models of labor, teleological and structural. Marx elaborates the former in the 1844 Manuscripts, and the latter in the German Ideology. He combines the two models the two models in Capital. Each model has normative implications for theories of intersubjectivity and democracy.
This chapter discusses the developments of Young Hegelianism in Restoration Prussia, with a special focus on Max Stirner’s radical critique of Hegelian thinking. It presents an overview of the history of Hegelianism in the 1830s and 1840s, and addresses the theoretical issues raised by Stirner’s attack in 1844. It examines important aspects of Young Hegelianism, including ideas of a modernized civic humanism and emancipation, and traces the Young Hegelians’ reconfiguration of Hegel’s thought in order to eliminate what they saw as (...) its conservative or insufficiently critical elements. The refurbished republicanism of the Young Hegelians took up the new challenges of the industrial age that was dawning in Germany, with special attention to the social question and the intransigent conflicting interests that typified the emergent economic order. Stirner’s critique is framed by its anti-humanist repudiation of Left Hegelian emancipatory projects. (shrink)
Ludwig Landgrebe interprète les réductions phénoménolo- gique et eidétique de Husserl comme théorie de la corporéité, du travail et de la société, pour situer le sujet actif dans le monde naturel et historico-culturel. Cette théorie repose toujours sur un individualisme aprioriste. Une ontologie sociale, inspirée surtout des derniers ouvrages de Lukacs, cherche le principe de synthèse des dimensions concrètes et structurelles de l'expérience dans la logique dialectique du processus de travail lui-même, plutôt que dans la corporéité, et reformule ainsi le (...) problème de la constitution transcendantale.Ludwig Landgrebe interprets Husserl's phenomenological and eidetic reductions as a theory of corporeality, labour and society in order to situate the active subject in the natural and historico- cultural world. He remains committed, however, to an a priori individualism. A social ontology inspired by Lukacs's final writings seeks to synthesize the concrete and structural dimensions of experience not in corporeality as such, but in the dialectical logic of the labour process itself, thus giving a new formulation to the problem of transcendental constitution. (shrink)
Elster's work unstably combines Leibnizian and utilitarian conceptions of action and offers various deconstructions of rationality and individuality. His method ological individualism gives an inadequate account of its privileged object, individual teleologies, and a distorted account of the relational framework of social reproduction and transformation. Elster has not properly conceptualized the relation of the teleological act to patterns of material and social causality, and his rational choice theory proves unable to accommodate the interactions of his postulated monadic individuals. His most (...) recent work dearly illustrates the limits of an individualist approach, while remaining committed to its principles. (shrink)
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, new conceptions of culture, society, and politics, arose in rapid succession. The members of the Hegelian school, forming around Hegel in Berlin and most active in the 1830’s and 1840’s, are often depicted as mere epigones, whose writings are at best of historical interest. In _Politics, (...) Religion, and Art: Hegelian Debates, _Douglas Moggach moves the discussion past the Cold War–era dogmas that viewed the Hegelians as proto-Marxists and establishes their importance as innovators in the fields of theology, aesthetics, and ethics and as creative contributors to foundational debates about modernity, state, and society. (shrink)
The period leading up to the Revolutions of 1848 was a seminal moment in the history of political thought, demarcating the ideological currents and defining the problems of freedom and social cohesion which are among the key issues of modern politics. This 2006 anthology offers research on Hegel's followers in the 1830s and 1840s. With essays by philosophers, political scientists, and historians from Europe and North America, it pays special attention to questions of state power, the economy, poverty, and labour, (...) as well as to ideas on freedom. The book examines the political and social thought of Eduard Gans, Ludwig Feuerbach, Max Stirner, Bruno and Edgar Bauer, the young Engels, and Marx. It places them in the context of Hegel's philosophy, the Enlightenment, Kant, the French Revolution, industrialization, and urban poverty. It also views Marx and Engels in relation to their contemporaries and interlocutors in the Hegelian school. (shrink)
This is a comprehensive study in English of Bruno Bauer, a leading Hegelian philosopher of the 1840s. Inspired by the philosophy of Hegel, Bauer led an intellectual revolution that influenced Marx and shaped modern secular humanism. In the process he offered a republican alternative to liberalism and socialism, criticized religious and political conservatism and set out the terms for the development of modern mass and industrial society. Based on in-depth archival research this book traces the emergence of republican political thought (...) in Germany before the revolutions of 1848. Professor Moggach examines Bauer's republicanism and his concept of infinite self-consciousness. He also explores the more disturbing aspects of Bauer's critique of modernity, such as his anti-Semitism. This book will be eagerly sought out by professionals in political philosophy, political science and intellectual history. (shrink)