Friday, June 18, 2010

Donougho, Martin. Review of G. W. F. Hegel, HEIDELBERG WRITINGS. NDPR (June 2010).

Hegel, G. W. F.  Heidelberg Writings: Journal Publications. Ed. and trans. Brady Bowman and Allen Speight. Cambridge: CUP, 2009.

This text -- first in a projected series, under the general editorship of Michael Baur -- presents two essays from Hegel's stint at Heidelberg in 1816-18. One essay, previously untranslated, reassesses the philosophical significance of F. H. Jacobi, who had been roundly criticized by the young Hegel in Faith and Knowledge (1802). The other, partially translated by T.M. Knox in Hegel's Political Writings (Oxford, 1964), is an extended polemic against the Proceedings of the Assembly of the Württemberg Estates, 1815-16. The series aims to offer "translations of the best modern German editions of Hegel's work in a uniform format suitable for Hegel scholars, together with philosophical introductions and full editorial apparatus" (p. i). This inaugural volume gets things off to an excellent start.

On taking up his position at Heidelberg Hegel was invited to help edit the Jahrbücher der Literatur (Yearbooks of Literature). He clearly relished the chance to engage in a public forum beyond teaching and esoteric theorizing. Written in a relatively accessible style, the pieces here display a different, more expansive side to Hegel's personality. As interventions in cultural and political life they may be seen as a rehearsal for his career at the University of Berlin. They appear, moreover, at a time critical for reconsidering the political and cultural legacy -- post-Kantian, post-revolutionary, post-Napoleonic -- of the period of Hegel's youthful formation. . . .

Read the whole review here:

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