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A Meeting with Hegel in 1826

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  • Stephen Cowley
    Dear Group, You may well be interested in the following rarity: an extract from the diary of a Dr Aitken in 1826, during which he met Hegel. It was published
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 14, 2003
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      Dear Group,

      You may well be interested in the following rarity: an extract from the
      diary of a Dr Aitken in 1826, during which he met Hegel. It was published
      in 'Germany in 1826: Extracts from a Diary of the late Rev. David Aitken',
      Scottish Review, vol. 24 (1894), pp. 106-107.

      Aitken visited Hegel on 17 April 1826, and wrote in his diary:
      My last call this day was to Dr Hegel, Professor of Philosophy - a free and
      communicative man with whom I had a long, but not very philosophical
      conversation, although upon philosophy. Better lodged and garbed than
      Neander. Spoke of Scotch metaphysics, the leading principles of which he
      knew, but apparently not from the originals and not very profoundly. I
      endeavoured to impress him with some idea of Dr Thomas Brown. An intimate
      friend of [?Anstie] of whose talents and knowledge of German philosophy he
      spoke highly. In answer to a question of mine repeatedly said that there was
      no book or books which he would recommend as giving a correct idea of German
      philosophy. That the Germans wrote for themselves, and not only that, but
      also only for men of profession, and did not possess the talent of writing
      for the public. Tennemann and Tiedemann's histories both bad, the
      Abridgement by Reichardt [?] of Leipzig, which I have, better. Expected a
      work from Krause of Göttingen, which would be 'gediegener' [more solid].
      Kant's philosophy not only no longer in vogue, but to be a Kantist something
      like a term of reproach - that, nevertheless, Kant's philosophy explained in
      his and other lectures as forming an era, and being the foundation of modern
      German metaphysics. Kant's best works - Kritik der reinen Vernunft, der
      praktischen Vernunft, and a third, [Urtheils]Kraft. The work upon religion
      never made a great public impression, yet internally very interesting. Hegel
      ascribed the connotations of modern theology to the circumstance that
      philosophy or reason was excluded from theological enquiry. For, if it be
      adopted as a principle that reason can judge or decide nothing, then there
      must be another source from which our notions and views are derived. This
      exists - the Bible. But the Bible is subjected to exegetical interpretation,
      and thereby every sect and every party bring out of it just what is desired.
      No one of Schelling's writings (the last person who has formed a system)
      gives a good idea of his principles. They rise and are concatenated - has
      expressed them most condensedly and decidedly in some numbers of a
      Zeitschrift. Thought little possibility of German philosophy being known out
      of the country. Said that, whatever differences there might be in the
      development, the radical principles of the French and British philosophy
      were the same, viewed in contradistinction to the German. The starting point
      of Kant Hume's scepticism. An [word missing] person, though perhaps a little
      commonplace sometimes, and not possessed of much cleverness of utterance.
      Read Morning Chronicle and [?Edinburgh?] Review - (pp. 110-11).

      Aitken met Hegel again on the 22 April: 'Revisited Hegel, talked of English
      politics and newspapers, of which Hegel was a constant reader' (p. 117)."

      The source of the above is the www.thoemmes.com - a reprint book company.

      I wonder if this is included in 'Hegel in the Eyes of His Contemporaries'?
      It's interesting that he doesn't think German philosophy well known outside
      Germany, but as far as the UK was concerned, this was the impression he
      would have got from the Edinburgh Review before 1827, when Carlyle's essay
      on The State of German Literature appeared.

      All the best

      Stephen Cowley



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mike Ballard
      ... ********************* Thanks Stephen. That was very interesting, indeed. Regards, Mike B) ===== We are going to inherit the earth, there is not the
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 14, 2003
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        --- Stephen Cowley <Stephen@...>
        wrote:
        > Dear Group,
        >
        > You may well be interested in the following rarity:
        > an extract from the
        > diary of a Dr Aitken in 1826, during which he met
        > Hegel.
        *********************

        Thanks Stephen. That was very interesting, indeed.

        Regards,
        Mike B)

        =====
        "We are going to inherit the earth, there is not the slightest doubt about that. The bourgeoisie might blast and ruin its own world before it leaves the stage of history. We carry a new world, here, in our hearts. That world is growing this minute." -
        - Buenventura Durruti

        http://au.profiles.yahoo.com/swillsqueal

        __________________________________________________
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      • Paul Trejo
        Stephen, This post was a delight. I had never read about this meeting before, and it adds a distinctly personal touch. Well done. --Paul ... From: Stephen
        Message 3 of 3 , Jan 15, 2003
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          Stephen,

          This post was a delight. I had never read about this meeting
          before, and it adds a distinctly personal touch. Well done.

          --Paul

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "Stephen Cowley" <Stephen@...>
          To: <hegel@yahoogroups.com>
          Cc: <hegel-dialognet@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 11:22 AM
          Subject: [hegel] A Meeting with Hegel in 1826


          Dear Group,

          You may well be interested in the following rarity: an extract from the
          diary of a Dr Aitken in 1826, during which he met Hegel. It was published
          in 'Germany in 1826: Extracts from a Diary of the late Rev. David Aitken',
          Scottish Review, vol. 24 (1894), pp. 106-107.

          Aitken visited Hegel on 17 April 1826, and wrote in his diary:
          My last call this day was to Dr Hegel, Professor of Philosophy - a free and
          communicative man with whom I had a long, but not very philosophical
          conversation, although upon philosophy. Better lodged and garbed than
          Neander. Spoke of Scotch metaphysics, the leading principles of which he
          knew, but apparently not from the originals and not very profoundly. I
          endeavoured to impress him with some idea of Dr Thomas Brown. An intimate
          friend of [?Anstie] of whose talents and knowledge of German philosophy he
          spoke highly. In answer to a question of mine repeatedly said that there was
          no book or books which he would recommend as giving a correct idea of German
          philosophy. That the Germans wrote for themselves, and not only that, but
          also only for men of profession, and did not possess the talent of writing
          for the public. Tennemann and Tiedemann's histories both bad, the
          Abridgement by Reichardt [?] of Leipzig, which I have, better. Expected a
          work from Krause of Göttingen, which would be 'gediegener' [more solid].
          Kant's philosophy not only no longer in vogue, but to be a Kantist something
          like a term of reproach - that, nevertheless, Kant's philosophy explained in
          his and other lectures as forming an era, and being the foundation of modern
          German metaphysics. Kant's best works - Kritik der reinen Vernunft, der
          praktischen Vernunft, and a third, [Urtheils]Kraft. The work upon religion
          never made a great public impression, yet internally very interesting. Hegel
          ascribed the connotations of modern theology to the circumstance that
          philosophy or reason was excluded from theological enquiry. For, if it be
          adopted as a principle that reason can judge or decide nothing, then there
          must be another source from which our notions and views are derived. This
          exists - the Bible. But the Bible is subjected to exegetical interpretation,
          and thereby every sect and every party bring out of it just what is desired.
          No one of Schelling's writings (the last person who has formed a system)
          gives a good idea of his principles. They rise and are concatenated - has
          expressed them most condensedly and decidedly in some numbers of a
          Zeitschrift. Thought little possibility of German philosophy being known out
          of the country. Said that, whatever differences there might be in the
          development, the radical principles of the French and British philosophy
          were the same, viewed in contradistinction to the German. The starting point
          of Kant Hume's scepticism. An [word missing] person, though perhaps a little
          commonplace sometimes, and not possessed of much cleverness of utterance.
          Read Morning Chronicle and [?Edinburgh?] Review - (pp. 110-11).

          Aitken met Hegel again on the 22 April: 'Revisited Hegel, talked of English
          politics and newspapers, of which Hegel was a constant reader' (p. 117)."

          The source of the above is the www.thoemmes.com - a reprint book company.

          I wonder if this is included in 'Hegel in the Eyes of His Contemporaries'?
          It's interesting that he doesn't think German philosophy well known outside
          Germany, but as far as the UK was concerned, this was the impression he
          would have got from the Edinburgh Review before 1827, when Carlyle's essay
          on The State of German Literature appeared.

          All the best

          Stephen Cowley
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