BOOK THREE: BERLIN
The Foundation of the Berlin Annual for
"The circle of Hegelians rightly saw in the banditry of anonymity, as Gans was in the habit of saying, the curse of literary criticism." (586)
The State did not support this, but it was revived as a private venture by Gans and Cotta, who discussed it in Paris in 1826 (See Gans, Recollections, 1836) under the title Berlin Annuals for Scientific Criticism (Jahrbücher für wissenschaftliche Kritik; see also Corr III, L575). Edouard Gans was a liberal who wrote on the history of property law and is famous as the tutor of Karl Marx. It was preceded by the establishment of a Society for Scientific Criticism, which took place in Hegel's house. Rosenkranz himself joined this in 1829. He reproduces Gans' recollection. Varnhagen also played an important role, but in opposing Hegel's influence. Rosenkranz cites him:
"Now, when the Annuals was launched, Hegel became more and more difficult, more tyrannical, and in the course of the work-meetings behaved in so strange a way that, in the feeling of the whole group, things could not continue on this footing and the business was going to fail." (589)
|Titlepage of the 1st volume of the Berlin Annual (1829)
The Annuals did not at all have Hegelian philosophy for their exclusive object, but philosophy and theology were particular concerns. There was resistance to it: Boine [a liberal and later a Young German and exile] suspected it of being an instrument of the Prussian government.
Its formal proceedings were intended to ensure transparency, but were seen as pretentious. Many works were sent to Hegel in the hope he would review them in the Annuals. As this was not humanly possible, many authors conceived a dislike for Hegel, which was expressed particularly after his death. There was also opposition to his own reviews, especially from theologians. A certain sourness of tone crept into Hegel's writings from this time because of this.
Hegel lived to see his philosophy taught in Paris; in Louvain in Belgium by Seber, a friend of van Ghert; at Copenhagen, by Heeberg; and in Finland, though in Swedish. A Dutch journal was edited at La Haye.
Meanwhile, Fichte's son (IH Fichte) sought his support. Feuerbach opposed the theologisation of the system; whilst Göschel advocated a more biblical focus for the philosophy of religion. There was then a quarrel of Pietists and Rationalists at Halle where Göschel taught. Heinrich Leo, an opponent of the Young Hegelians in 1838, was helped by Hegel. Rosenkranz names several others, some of whose thoughts originate in correspondence from this era.
Hegel told the story of a father who complained to him that his son had become lazy and taken to tobacco after signing up for his course and who thus lectured him on the consequences of his philosophy.
Hegel's Involvement in the Berlin
The Review of von Humboldt
Von Humboldt (1767-1835, above) was a Prussian politician who had founded Berlin University in 1810. His brother Alexander was a famous naturalist. Humboldt expressed his gratitude to Hegel, but elsewhere said of him "that a philosophy of such a sort should put down deep roots, I cannot persuade myself". (596) Noting his obscurity and lack of ease in speaking even about ordinary things, he said:
"The public seems to me divided in two categories as regards Hegel: there are the unconditional sectaries and there are those who turn him about sagely, as they would with a rough-hewn stone." (596)
The Reviews of Solger and Hamann
The Review of
"For we who have learned to know, from its beginnings, the way Hegel related himself to theology, the fact that Hegel was convinced of being not at all in contradiction in his speculation with the essence of Christian faith, even of being positively at one with it, has nothing surprising in it. But for the public at large, the idea of such a unity was quite unbelievable in its novelty." (599)
The Proofs of God's Existence
"God is activity, free activity, relating itself to itself an remaining with itself." (Proofs, lesson 3. (600))Our ideas of God contain mediation. Rosenkranz thinks it disappointing that this work, in Hegel's handwriting, is neglected in favour of remarks drawn from student notes of his philosophy of religion course, when the relation of speculation and religion is discussed. Hegel thought that God's relation to the world could not be that of an arbitrary lawgiver, for this would admit unreason into God. Hegel here reconnects being and thought, separated by Kant, in a new concept or figure.
Answers to Critics
- On the Hegelian Theory, or absolute Knowledge and modern Pantheism (by an anonymous Catholic critic)
- On Philosophy in General and Hegel's Encyclopaedia in particular (Schubarth)
- J J Görres - On the Basis, Articulation and Periodisation of World History
- A L J Ohlert - Ideal-Realism (1831).