This post is a review of Fiorinda Li Vigni’s recent biography of the French Hegel scholar Jacques D’Hondt, originally posted on the discussion. In this post, I discuss Jacques D’Hondt’s book Hegel en son Temps (Paris: Editions Sociales, ). There is an English translation by John. Professor Jacques D’Hondt () was professor at the University of Poitiers and an expert on the philosophy of Hegel. He was introduced to Hegel’s work.
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Hegel Secret covered Hegel’s early reading, social life and friendships. My own view is that the incompatible versions of D’Hondt and earlier interpreters make necessary a r examination of particular positions and their context. Biographers tend to redraw Hegel in their own image. I have found him well worth reading.
Some of the evidence he provides is circumstantial and thus not convincing hondg isolation, but the account of Hegel’s close relationships with several Prussian reformers, three of whom edited volumes of the first collected edition of his works, extends our scholarly picture of the Prussian politics of the day and Hegel’s relations to its leading figures. Meiner,which includes notes drawn by Hoffmeister from Prussian state records.
There is a complete French translation of the letters in Hegel: The following is a summary of Hegel en son Tempsnoting the sources jscques all of which are public and printed and the main factual points made.
Jacques D’Hondt, Hegel: Biographie | Editors | Journal of French and Francophone Philosophy
Page references are to the French edition. The real tide of politics lay elsewhere, he thought. Religious freedom was an issue hsgel Protestants in Bavaria. In Prussia, there was little to restore, for little of what existed before had been destroyed.
Hegel admired the Girondins, the Code Civilconstitutional government and property rights. Ernst Bloch disagreed with this in Subject and Object Hegel mentioned Jacobi as a liberal in a letter to Victor Cousin. Hardenberg valued education as part of his political strategy, but left this task to Altenstein, who invited Hegel to Berlin as Professor of Philosophy in He favored secular public education, opposed feudalism and wanted a national representation.
This would accomplish a modernization as in France, but without bloodshed or revolution. Altenstein was bolder politically than Hardenberg. Compulsory education stopped the use of child labor. The nobility however feared it as a means of social emancipation. Altenstein wanted Berlin to be the cultural center of Germany.
He promoted unification of the Protestant churches. There was a period of reaction after Altenstein left the education ministry, which took place under his successor Eichhorn from Friedrich Wilhelm IV was more in favor of pietism and political reaction than his father.
Hence, fromHegelianism fell out of favor. Eichhorn replaced Altenstein as Minister of Education. Julius Stahl succeeded Edouard Gans. Schelling was called to Berlin to combat and refute Hegelianism. He was an active freemason. After a meeting with the Duke of Saxe-Weimar, who also opposed this, he was under surveillance.
Hegel in His Time: Berlin, 1818-1831
The historian Friedrich von Raumer also supported Hegel. He was the author of Polens Untergang and became a deputy in The Prussian bureaucracy also participated in efforts at reform. Hegel is seen by some as the philosopher of the Prussian state.
Flint was an opponent of the Hegelianism of Edward Caird and others in Scotland. Hegel then chose von Henning, who was imprisoned for ten weeks on suspicion of demagogy Briefe II, Edouard Gans was allowed by Hegel to teach philosophy of right from Gans was the son of a Jewish merchant friendly with Hardenberg. He knew Heinrich Heine and Varnhagen. He was not asked to join the Berlin Academy of Sciences. Other reactionary figures included Schuckmann, Wittgenstein and Eichhorn.
Protestant orthodoxy was the dominant force amongst the people and at the Court. During the Restoration, the king turned from Hardenberg to Metternich. Hegel was invited to court once, inperhaps by Princess Wilhelmine, the daughter of Frederick V and protector of Sinclair.
The king was attached to absolutism. Varnhagen comments on this. The king had the censors look at coverage of private and public events. Hegel praised Frederick II Phil. There were many writers against revolutionary ideas. He argues that Prussia had supported Haller through their ambassador in Switzerland, so in attacking him, Hegel was attacking elements of the court. This move had been rumored for some time. Haller argued that the Reformation was a precursor of the French revolution.
In this he agreed with Hegel, though for opposite reasons. In The Vocation of our Time for Legislation and Legal Sciencevon Savigny argued against Thibaud for common law against the right of a legislature to codify and render laws uniform. Law, he said, rests on tradition and develops organically. This favored the particularism of the little German states and went against French models of reform.
Friedrich Engels — Revolution and Counter-revolution in Germany W Oeschu jqcques History of Switzerlandin German. The Fries affair for long gave Hegel a reputation as a servant of power. It relies on a few lines of the Preface to the Philosophy of Rightwhich are cited by Robert Flint.
Hegel and Fries had met 20 years earlier at Jena, as competitors for academic preferment. Both gained doctorates in and taught as private tutors Privatdozentenhoping to progress to extraordinary, then ordinary professorships.
Fries was younger than Hegel. Both became extraordinary professors in Fries espoused both Kantianism and sentimentalism. Fries moved on to Heidelberg inwhich Hegel did only 11 years later. His teaching there was reckoned heavy schwer. In the Science of LogicHegel again criticized Fries, this time in print. Hence, his opposition is not owing solely to Fries role at the Wartburg Festival of In another letter, Hegel boasted that Fries had five or six hearers for his Logic class at Heidelberg, whilst Hegel had almost 70 Briefe II, n, Kieser’s Das Wartburgfest Under pressure from Prussia, the government of Saxe-Weimar suspended Fries later that year.
Hegel complained to Altenstein about subsequent criticism of him in the Halle Journal Berliner Schriften The French visitor Victor Cousin noted Fries as a liberal in Both Hegel and Fries approved of Royer-Collard, he thought. It seems that Hegel wanted to warn the Burschenschaften against a false philosophical tendency.
Hegel also opposed atomist social theories more generally in the Philosophy of Right. The German Student Fraternities. A new student fraternity movement the Burschenschaften grew up in Germany.
It included many professors and students who had taken part in the wars of liberation The Burschenschaften succeeded the Landmannschaftenwhich were organized on regional, particularist lines.
Their demands were moderate, as was typical of the liberalism of the Hondf years It was foreseen that political power was to pass to the upper middle class. It meant that foreign loan words were rejected, medieval dress worn and anti-French feeling was evinced by some. The reactionary writer and agent of the Tsar, August von Kotzebue, was murdered on 23 March in Mannheim by a student K.
Sand was executed in May Metternich and others used this to crack down on the Burschenschaftpress, political reform movements and the universities. Such feeling was generally felt and variously expressed at the time. He c subsequently suspended from teaching. De Wette was a friend of Fries. Hegel, Honddt and others took some care for De Wette’s short-term finances when he left for Weimar. Her brothers jacqeus the politicization of the Burschenschaft.
Both are available to read for free on the jacquez. Students and professors were affected by government sanctions. Arnold Ruge, the future editor of the Halle Annualswas sentenced to prison in Others left for Switzerland or America. These extracts however, are incomplete. Hoffmeister has four pages of notes on Victor Cousin, but refers to four volumes of Prussian documents.