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By Frederick C. Beiser

Histories of German philosophy within the 19th century regularly specialise in its first half--when Hegel, idealism, and Romanticism ruled. against this, the rest of the century, after Hegel's dying, has been quite overlooked since it has been noticeable as a interval of stagnation and decline. yet Frederick Beiser argues that the second one half the century used to be in reality essentially the most innovative classes in glossy philosophy as the nature of philosophy itself was once up for grabs and the very absence of walk in the park ended in creativity and the beginning of a brand new period.

In this cutting edge concise background of German philosophy from 1840 to 1900, Beiser focuses no longer on subject matters or person thinkers yet relatively at the period's 5 nice debates: the id concern of philosophy, the materialism controversy, the tools and bounds of historical past, the pessimism controversy, and the "Ignorabimusstreit." Schopenhauer and Wilhelm Dilthey play very important roles in those controversies yet so do many ignored figures, together with Ludwig Buchner, Eugen Duhring, Eduard von Hartmann, Julius Fraunstaedt, Hermann Lotze, Adolf Trendelenburg, and ladies, Agnes Taubert and Olga Pluemacher, who've been thoroughly forgotten in histories of philosophy.

The result's a wide-ranging, unique, and impressive new account of German philosophy within the serious interval among Hegel and the 20 th century."

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Extra resources for After Hegel: German Philosophy, 1840-1900

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J. 31 Spalding’s question was not new at all, however, but simply a fresh statement of a perennial problem of the Judeo-­Christian tradition. It assumes that there is a God who creates nature and humanity according to a plan or design and that each individual is assigned his or her proper role or place in it. The meaning of life, the purpose of existence, the vocation of man, is to fulfill one’s role in this plan, to play one’s allotted part, and so to satisfy the purpose of God in creating us.

The method of the histor­ ical school, as Zeller described it, was that of historical criticism, pure and simple. Such criticism consists in the rigorous exam­ ination of the evidence behind historical texts to determine their authorship and accuracy, so that we accept or reject what a text states about the past strictly according to the degree of evidence for or against it. The origins of this methodology, Zeller said, lay with the new critical history formed in the early 1800s by Barthold Niebuhr (1776–­1831) and Leopold Ranke (1795–­1886).

From the mid-­1860s until the early 1900s, virtually every neo-­ Kantian wrote about Schopenhauer. 50 While the neo-­Kantian conception was at first limited to the the­ oretical or epistemology, Schopenhauer’s conception of philoso­ phy put the ethical and existential interests of philosophy front and center. Ultimately, for the general public, and eventually for the neo-­Kantians themselves, Schopenhauer’s conception of phi­ losophy proved a more attractive solution to the identity crisis. Schopenhauer’s conception not only ensured philosophy against obsolescence—­because the empirical sciences could not answer questions about the value and meaning of life—­but it was also more true to the traditional vocation of philosophy.

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