Oldest Systematic Program of German Idealism: Translation and Notes

27283 Verden, Germany: Kuhn von Verden Verlag (2021)
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Abstract
This book’s goal is to give an intellectual context for the following manuscript. Includes bibliographical references and an index. Pages 1-123. 1). Philosophy. 2). Metaphysics. 3). Philosophy, German. 4). Philosophy, German -- 18th century. 5). Philosophy, German and Greek Influences Metaphysics. I. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich -- 1770-1831 -- Das älteste Systemprogramm des deutschen Idealismus. II. Rosenzweig, Franz, -- 1886-1929. III. Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von, -- 1775-1854. IV. Hölderlin, Friedrich, -- 1770-1843. V. Ferrer, Daniel Fidel, 1952-. [Translation from German into English of the-- Das älteste Systemprogramm des deutschen Idealismus.]. Note: the manuscript is in the handwriting of G.W.F. Hegel, but the actual authorship is disputed. No date is given. Franz Rosenzweig made up the title as it is known today. He published the text in 1917. At that time, F. Rosenzweig thought F.W.J. Schelling was the author. No one has read this book for errors. As always, any errors, mistakes or oversights etc. are mine alone. Given a couple more years, I could improve this book. This is a philosophical translation and not a philological translation. Martin Luther who did the famous early translation of the Bible into German wrote in a letter, “If anyone does not like my translation, they can ignore it… (September 15, 1530)”. There are no ‘correct’ translations. Some are just better than other translations. The Oldest Systematic Program of German Idealism. The German title is: Das Älteste Systemprogramm Des Deutschen Idealismus. This title was made up by Franz Rosenzweig in 1917, when he first published the manuscript. He found the manuscript in the Royal Library in Berlin in 1913. The manuscript suggested date is around 1796 and was done by handwriting research. However, the manuscript is not dated. The Prussian State Library auctioned in March 1913 from the auction of the house Liepmannssohn in Berlin a single sheet on the front and back with Hegel's cursive handwriting. The manuscript was lost during WWII. But Dieter Henrich found it again in 1979 in the “Biblioteka Jagiellonska” in Krakow (Poland), where it is today. Address: Jagiellonian Library, Jagiellonian University, al. Mickiewicza 22, 30-059 Cracow, Poland. Later research suggests that manuscript had come from the estate of Hegel’s student Friedrich Christoph Förster (1791-1868). He was one of the editors of Hegel’s posthumous works and most likely had access to a number of Hegel’s manuscripts. This text actually being one of them. Hegel traveled around Bohemia with Marie and Friedrich Christoph Förster around the year 1820-21 (see Klaus Vieweg). Philosophical mystery -- who is the author or authors of this text? Take a plunge into the deep and cold waters. Maybe a quagmire or quandary, but decidedly interesting. This project is to contextualize an old handwritten manuscript which is about 225 years old. The actual author is a mystery. I offer my own assessment. You can make your own assessments. The mystery has continued to unfold since 1917. There is plenty to read. Otherwise, think about the authorship and read more of the German philosophers and authors from this period and enjoy the depth of thinking and philosophizing. On one hand, there is just the sheer fun in the puzzle of the authorship questions; and on the other hand, these are the alluring thoughts that lead to the nascent stage of German Idealism and our intellectual heritage. There is no end to the accolades for this group of philosophers. A heritage that we still hear in in our attempts to move forward into our future. Do your own astute exegesis (ἐξήγησις) as all paths are still open. Let your thought take to the wings of what is called thinking with this text. Critical encounters (Auseinandersetzung, or a Gegenüberstellung) with at least: Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling (1775-1854), and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831) --- starts here! German Idealism. We are not going to study this situation endlessly, instead we make some broad strokes and provide you a general context. You are allowed to read between the lines too. Goal: to understand the overall affinity and differences between the intellectuals of this period in German history; and to come to grips with this demanding text within its large scholarly context in the last 100 years. There are no final answers.
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Archival date: 2021-11-06
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