In the second half of the eighteenth century, German philosophy came for a while to dominate European philosophy. It changed the way in which not only Europeans, but people all over the world, conceived of themselves and thought about nature, religion, human history, politics, and the structure of the human mind. In this rich and wide-ranging book, Terry Pinkard interweaves the story of 'Germany' - changing during this period from a loose collection of principalities into a newly-emerged nation with a distinctive culture - with an examination of the currents and complexities of its developing philosophical thought. He examines the dominant influence of Kant, with his revolutionary emphasis on 'self-determination', and traces this influence through the development of romanticism and idealism to the critiques of post-Kantian thinkers such as Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard. His book will interest a range of readers in the history of philosophy, cultural history and the history of ideas.
Terry Pinkard is Professor of Philosophy at Northwestern University. His most recent book is Hegel: A Biography (Cambridge 2001).
Introduction: 'Germany' and German philosophy; Part I. Kant and the Revolution in Philosophy: 1. The revolution in philosophy I: Human spontaneity and the natural order; 2. The revolution in philosophy II: Autonomy and the moral order; 3. The revolution in philosophy III: Aesthetic taste, teleology, and the world order; Part II. The Revolution Continued: Post-Kantians: 4. The 1780s: the immediate post-Kantian reaction: Jacobi and Reinhold; 5. The 1790s: Fichte; 6. The 1790s after Fichte: The romantic appropriation of Kant I: Holderlin, Novalis, Schleiermacher, Schlegel; 7. 1795-1809: The romantic appropriation of Kant II: Schelling; 8. 1801-7: The other post-Kantian: Jacob Friedrich Fries and non-romantic sentimentalism; Part III. The Revolution Completed? Hegel: 9. Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit: post-Kantianism in a new vein; 10. Hegel's analysis of mind and world: the Science of Logic; 11. Nature and spirit: Hegel's system; Part IV. The Revolution in Question: 12. Schelling's attempt at restoration: idealism under review; 13. Kantian paradoxes and modern despair: Schopenhauer and Kierkegaard; Conclusion. The legacy of idealism.
"Pinkard does an incredible job of explaining Hegel's strictly philosophical ideas and largely overcomes the barrier of Hegel's notoriously obscure style." The New York Times Book Review "...Pinkard offers a moving account of a precarious and harried life, interspersing it with lucid and not unduly long accounts of the main arguments of Hegel's works...Mr. Pinkard has written engrossingly of a supreme instance of the life dedicated to thinking." The Washington Times "Pinkard takes readers-carefully, succinctly and in a manner sensitive to the political and social ferment of the time-on a journey through the most important hundred years in philosophy since the Renaissance...In Pinkard's hands, what could be just names come alive as men and ideas that have much to teach us about our own beliefs about how to live." Publishers Weekly Advance Praise... "Terry Pinkard has given us a welcome, fresh look at the post-Kantian aftermath in nineeenth-century thought. German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism is that rare book that can serve as both a lucid, engaging introduction and trustworthy guide, as well as an original, insightful, important contribution to scholarship." Robert Pippin, University of Chicago Advance Praise... "Terry Pinkard has given us a welcome, fresh look at the post-Kantian aftermath in nineeenth-century thought. German Philosophy 1760-1860: The Legacy of Idealism is that rare book that can serve as both a lucid, engaging introduction and trustworthy guide, as well as an original, insightful, important contribution to scholarship." Robert Pippin, University of Chicago "[A]n important history of German idealism... Recommended." Choice "Throughout the study, Pinkard's attention to historical detail is impressive; he presents a portrait of an entire century of German intellectual thought, which, to risk understatement, is no small task." Philosophy Today, Elizabeth MillAn-Zaibert
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
The Legacy of Idealism
Place of Publication
Country of Publication
Georgetown University Northwestern University, Illinois
black & white illustrations
GERMAN PHILOSOPHY 1760-1860