The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy

The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy : A Systematic Reconstruction

4.45 (20 ratings by Goodreads)
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Kant declared that philosophy began in 1781 with his "Critique of Pure Reason". In 1806 Hegel announced that philosophy had now been completed. Eckart Forster examines the reasons behind these claims and assesses the steps that led in such a short time from Kant's "beginning" to Hegel's "end." He concludes that, in an unexpected yet significant sense, both Kant and Hegel were indeed right. "The Twenty-Five Years of Philosophy" follows the unfolding of a key idea during this exceptionally productive period: the Kantian idea that philosophy can be scientific and, consequently, can be completed. Forster's study combines historical research with philosophical insight and leads him to propose a new thesis. The development of Kant's transcendental philosophy in his three Critiques, Forster claims, resulted in a fundamental distinction between "intellectual intuition" and "intuitive understanding." Overlooked until now, this distinction yields two takes on how to pursue philosophy as science after Kant.
One line of thought culminates in Fichte's theory of freedom (Wissenschaftslehre), while the other - and here Forster brings Goethe's significance to the fore - results in Goethe's transformation of the Kantian idea of an intuitive understanding in light of Spinoza's third kind of knowledge. Both strands are brought together in Hegel and propel his split from Schelling. Forster's work makes an original contribution to our understanding of the classical era of German philosophy - an expanding interest within the Anglophone philosophical community.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 432 pages
  • 156 x 235 x 15mm | 760g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • 1 halftone, 13 line illustrations
  • 0674055160
  • 9780674055162
  • 800,375

Review quote

Kant maintained that philosophy finally had begun with his Critique of Pure Reason in 1781. In 1806, Hegel claimed that philosophy was now completed. Therefore, philosophy existed for only 25 years. In this masterful book, Forster examines the conceptions of philosophy held by Kant and Hegel that required them to make such seemingly extravagant pronouncements. Forster argues that, astonishingly, they were correct. To do this, he provides synthetic and critical examinations of not only the crucial texts and arguments of Kant and Hegel but also those of Spinoza, Jacobi, Fichte, Goethe, Herder, and Schelling. Forster's command of the historical sources is most impressive. Moreover, this book is clearly written, and Bowman's translation is commendable. Scholars and graduate students will welcome this masterpiece. -- J. M. Fritzman Choice 20120901
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About Eckart Forster

Eckart Forster is Professor of Philosophy at Johns Hopkins University. He is also Honorary Professor of Philosophy at the Humboldt University in Berlin. Brady Bowman is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Pennsylvania State University.
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20 ratings
4.45 out of 5 stars
5 60% (12)
4 25% (5)
3 15% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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